I’m in the middle of figuring out a new way to keep track of my calendar, and I’d love to get your help in that decision process.
My life these days has a lot of telephone calls, a lot of instant messages, and a lot of e-mail. The program I use to keep track of what I’m supposed to do (ACT!) is really starting to bum me out, because I have a hard time using it to simultaneously keep track of 100s of things I might want to do in the future while keeping a narrow focus on things that need to get done in the next 72 hours. As a result, I’m doing inexcusable things like missing lunch meetings, even though they are clearly marked on my electronic calendar.
Rather than spec out things that I’d like to see in a calendar system (be that laptop, PDA, paper or mobile phone based), I’d like to hear from you all what you are actually using to keep track of your days. How do you remember what phone calls you need to return tomorrow, and how do you keep track of which people you want to talk to a few times a year to stay in touch? What if anything prompts you in advance of a meeting or call while you are on the move so that you don’t have to sit glued to a telescreen (er, laptop) all day?
I’m particularly interested in innovative, non-traditional, obscure, or weird ways to keep yourself in sync. Is it all scribbled down on a three for a dollar pocket notebook from the dollar store? Is your life planning tracked in a set of wiki pages? Does your iPod whisper soothing reminders to you in the morning as you go to work? Is your next car maintenance date encoded in intricately beaded knotwork that you carry with you? I’m sure there are more.