You might think it’s pretty obvious how to use your (appointment) diary, but you’d be surprised – especially if you’re a ‘diary newbie’ – how easy it is to screw things up. So here’s a quick reminder of what should (or shouldn’t) be on your schedule:
1) Put ALL your appointments in it. Not just your appointment with your Physiotherapist or Family Planning clinic. Everything. Even the appointments you know you won’t forget: your band rehearsals, your evening classes, even WORK. The only possible exception is IF you work a regular 5 day week (in which case put the times you’re not at work in your diary – such as a vacation). If you don’t work a five day week – if you work part-time, or shifts, or you’re on a contract – put the work days in. Yes, it looks crowded! Now you know how busy you are.
2) Unless you have another system for this (one that actually works) add all birthdays and anniversaries, and potentially extra reminders a few days ahead of the real event (e.g. you might want an appointment entitled ‘it’s your wedding anniversary this time next week’).
3) Add public/bank holidays, Easter (remember Easter moves around from one year to the next), Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas Day, Boxing Day (the real Boxing Day), Valentine’s Day, and both days when they change the damn clocks – in your diary. If you’ve elected to use Google Calendar you may be interested to know that you can get it to do this for you by clicking the small down-arrow (next to ‘Other Calendars’ in the bottom left hand corner) and then browsing ‘Interesting Calendars’
4) If your diary has a reminder function I recommend you set it to remind you several days in advance. Yes, days. Mine is set to 10 days (and the day itself). Birthdays are set to one month. There’s no point in getting a reminder about an important birthday or anniversary on the actual day itself – not if you need to get a card and a gift (what d’you mean you always buy the card and gift on the day?)
5) Add your own birthday. You’ll be surprised how many years I agreed to work on my own bloody birthday!
6) Delicate one, this one – you may wish to add your menstrual cycle, or the cycle of someone you’re close to, to your diary. I’m just putting the idea out there. Moving on….