I’ve tried most of the planning systems out there so I’d know which ones to recommend to my clients. It’s hard to recommend something if you haven’t tried it. After using Day-Timers, Franklin, Time Design, Day Runner, Filofax and a few other systems, I figured out which systems were effective and which ones were duds.
• Getting things done (GTD) helped her see clearly what next steps she needed to take. You take the projects and tasks you have in your mind and organize them in one place.
• The Pomodoro Technique. You work in spurts using a nifty tomato-shaped timer. You can use any timer but Shellenbarger opted to invest in the tomato. I would have too. This system showed her where she was wasting time.
• FranklinCovey’s Focus. This system uses a “time matrix” that helps you figure out which tasks are important, urgent and truly urgent.
Shellenbarger’s bottom line: each planner offers something different and she plans to use parts of each method/system to plan her days.
My bottom line: there’s no one-size-fits-all planning system out there. You’ll have to try on a few planners until you find one that fits.