Originally published on 22 March 2007.
I was discouraged. I couldn’t keep up with the overwhelming amount of stuff in the 7 Habits. My daily tasks were mounting up. I abandoned the Daytimer 7 Habits pages and went back to the 1 Page Per Day format. This suited me, to a certain extent. But I then became involved in two projects with rapidly changing schedules.
My Daytimer started getting out of date based on the changes in my schedule, and I was having a hard time keeping up with it. I would bring my planner to meetings, but I was never sure if it was accurate; I stopped trusting its accuracy in time. I could have used Outlook, but it couldn’t print out nicely formatted pages for my Daytimer. Also, my interactions with Outlook have always been problematic, and at that time Outlook was being starting to be a major target for email viruses. I chose to stick with my email client of choice, Eudora.
At this point, the Daytimer Corporation offered a software package that would print out in the formats I expected. It had everything I wanted it to, and the screen was even laid out like the planner. I bought it, and spent the time to enter everything into the system.
What the System Offered
This software was my first true experience with digital planning. I was able to update things as necessary, have tasks automatically move to the next day, and print out hard copies for my planner as needed. It was light on the machine, rock-solid, and easy to use.
How I Used This System
I entered the basics of my planner into the system. It contained my calendar, to-do list and phone numbers. When I made changes to my schedule away from my home computer, I would mark up my planner, and then transcribe the changes to the software at home, printing out new pages as necessary. The paper that Daytimer sold made it very easy to integrate their excellent printing with my planner.
What I learned from the Daytimer Software Days
The PC is my Fastest Method Of Entry
If I have to enter a lot of data, I prefer to type it. This first became apparent with the Daytimer software.
The PC is my Most Accurate Method Of Entry
Once I started typing everything, I was no longer left in situations where I was trying to figure out a hastily scribbled note or phone number in my planner.
It’s Easier to Alt+Tab…
It is easier for me to switch between programs on the computer than it is for me to stop and write something down in a planner. This taught me the value of not having to do a cognitive shift between computer and paper when I needed to quickly get something out of my head.
The Daytimer Software Got Me Into Electronic Productivity
This software was the first adventure of mine into the electronic realm. It was a good way to transition, easing me away from my dependence on paper, into a much more fluid environment. In a lot of ways, it was the best of both worlds.