A New Calendar Year

A look at better time management methods.

As we approach 2009, it’s a good time to evaluate our personal scheduling methods and consider if we should be using more effective ways to organize our time. A method that works well for one person may not be good for another, but chances are, whatever system you’re using could probably use some fine-tuning. Electronic calendars such as those in e-mail or Web-based applications offer automated features that might help.

To make event tracking easier for your company or its customers, consider adding a calendar feature to your Web site. Visit www.calendarzone.com/Web for links to a variety of Web-based calendars. Some options, such as www.eventkeeper.com, host the calendar for you and provide easy access for updating. Others, such as www.webpagecalendar.com, provide complete code that you can add directly to your site.

For keeping track of my work-related meetings and appointments, I use the calendar in Microsoft Outlook. It provides a nice daily, weekly and monthly view of what lies ahead for me, but more significant are the electronic reminders it sends me of upcoming events. I run into problems, though, when I’m out of the office and I have limited Internet access. For these times, I carry an old-fashioned paper calendar, with hand-written notes transferred from Outlook. Each of my calendars provides certain benefits that are important to me that the other cannot provide. What’s lacking is a reliable, automated way of linking the two methods.

For the upcoming year, I plan to implement a new system that will synchronize my calendars more effectively. Web-based personal organization systems such as those offered by Yahoo! and Google offer simple import functionality that allows the user to merge data from other calendars such as Outlook. Another effective option would be a PDA such as a Blackberry (www.blackberry.com) or iPhone (www.apple.com/iphone) to maintain all of my scheduling requirements.