Thursday, September 06, 2007

My favourite organising tools #6 - perpetual calendar system

Please go to main blog page for the tidy desk competition.

A perpetual calendar is one where you capture the information once and you use the calendar forever. This way you don't have to update every year as with a "normal" calendar.

I use two versions:
1. paper version (just because I like paper)
I write the names of birthdays and anniversaries on each month's page and then at the end of the previous month, I prepare all the birthday cards and gifts for the month ahead.
I then have a shelf where I keep all the presents, ready to go. If I'm really in the mood, I do two or three months at a time.
2. Outlook
I only recently started using Outlook for this purpose because I'd read about someone's birthday on a blog and immediately enter it in Outlook so as not to forget.

When you enter people's details in Outlook, remember to tick the box that says recurrence and then click yearly and no end date. Now your computer will remind you of that same date every single year. Isn't it great?

You can set reminders as early as you need; if you like to live on the edge, you can be reminded a day or two before, or if you like more time, set it to one or two weeks.

And under labels, choose the correct category and it colour codes your reminders and makes them all pretty!

Of course, I still write phone Susan or email John on my daily to-do list :-)

What kind of system do you use? Paper or electronic?


Lyn said...

I'm a paper girl. I guess I just don't trust any computer or electronic gadget enough. :) It just seems much more visual to me; old habits are hard to break I guess.

Anonymous said...

Paper gal here too. I use a calendar in my purse and one on the wall at the kitchen.

Karen@FamilyBriefs said...

Electronic! I love my Palm Treo for everything - birthdays, calendars, to-do lists, memos about all kinds of stuff (including lists). I have my perpetual housework (except laundry :) and office work listed. When I check it off, it updates it to the next time I need to do it. I can even have something set to repeat 1 month or 1 year after I do it, so that if I procrastinate on something, I don't have to update the future date when I check it off. Does that make sense? I just LOVE LOVE LOVE this feature!

Marcia said...

Yes, Karen, it makes sense :)

The not having to rewrite things appeals to me in a huge way about electronic products. BUT and this is a big BUT, I just love paper and writing with juicy yummy pens so much that I can't stop.

Now I sound obsessed :)

Marcia said...

Laura, if you're reading, I changed to yellow to celebrate our warm weather!