I know someone who has every type of planning tool and they are everywhere! She has a monthly calendar and a white board with a daily calendar on her wall, then an Outlook calendar for scheduling appointments and a blackberry. This system works great for her and supports her in keeping up with her busy life of being a professional and a Mom and a wife, among many other roles and responsibilities.

I remember purchasing a Palm Pilot several years ago when I landed a great paying job and tried for 3 months to use that thing to organize my plans and appointments. After giving it a decent try, I concluded that I was indeed more of a paper-planner girl. I went back to my FranklinCovey planners and was thrilled! Highlighting important tasks and checking off completed items gave me a sense of satisfaction I could not get from the Palm Pilot. What planner or life management tool or system works best for you?

Whether the tools you need to manage your life and stay on top of your business tasks are time management tools or space savers, finding the right tools for you is key to supporting you in carrying out your vision and goals for your business, and any project you feel compelled to pursue.

“Organize your life around your dreams – and watch them come true.” -Unknown

As a coach I work with clients with a variety of preferences when it comes to organizing thoughts, ideas, goals and plans. Although I am naturally a list person, I find there are many women who enjoy using symbols, images, or some sort of diagram to create a vision for their life, business, career path or another specific life area. Often, I must use more than one tool and approach with a client to get to the “sweet spot”, the aha moment or breakthrough moment when she sees her vision and the path synergize. That is very exciting as a coach!

The idea behind all of these tools and approaches to focusing, organizing and managing routine activities is to find the one(s) that facilitate- not complicate- your life.

Here are some Yes/No questions to assess how your tools are working for you (or not!):

  • I know what tools I am using to help me manage my schedule and to-dos.
  • I am not using any sort of tool to help me manage my life.
  • The tools I use help me feel organized.
  • I am using too many things to attempt to manage things.
  • I need to explore what tools and goal setting approaches work best for me.
  • I am happy with the tools and approaches I am using.

So, what do you think about your responses? What steps can you take to better support you in feeling more focused and organized so you can keep moving forward?