How much do you utilise apps/systems to assist with planning?

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Abraham Lincoln quoted;

“Give me six hours to cut down a tree and I will spend the first four, sharpening the axe.”

However good a person’s intentions, if something is not planned for, it is rarely carried out. Though technology is supposedly making our lives easier, it also means we are spending ample time planning as much as we do on tackling the actual task. 

I use a number of apps, software and spreadsheets in order to keep track of my projects at home and at work. It is work in itself monitoring the process of each project or even keeping your calendar (mobile and hand held diary) up to date. On reflection I feel that the average person is far busier today than say 20 years ago.  Technology has developed so much that we can reach people via countless social media platforms at any time of the day. This of course, has it’s advantages and disadvantages. 

I would struggle to keep on top of my projects, meetings, social events if I was without my mobile and hand held diary. I rely on my mobile to prompt me for the most basic of actions. As in “call Denise” or “make an appointment at the doctor’s surgery”. I am confident I would remember high priority tasks but there is no need to when I have systems in place to assist me.

Everything is becoming more fast paced and we are able to attain what we need in seconds. At times the influx of information fed to us can be overwhelming but there is room to switch off from “the world”. That is, if we really have the desire to. 

Do you heavily rely on technology to keep you on track? Which apps or software do you use?

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31 thoughts on “How much do you utilise apps/systems to assist with planning?”

  1. Thanks for sharing Phoenicia. I have the standard notepad apps, which I use quite frequently for building reminder lists. I do find however, that the more information I store on my phone, the less I actually retain it. That’s why I prefer to carry a mini journal around for any planning or brainstorming session.

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  2. I don’t use a particular app but I do use my Apple mail calendar. I can insert dates and “to-do’s” on my calendar either on my iPhone or desktop and they are duplicated on the other device. I have found this to be an excellent planning tool for me.

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  3. I like technology, but I still use a physical planner to write things down. I’m real good on following up with it.

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  4. Being organized does take work, but that work pays off in spades.

    I use a simple file system to organize my technical blogging work – I don’t need anything more than that. When I take notes for a blog post, I just type them up in a word processor file rather than writing them out on paper.

    When I was an instructor back in the day I used spreadsheets extensively, e.g., to compute exam averages and assign grades at the end of a semester. Good luck keeping track of a 200-student class with a paper notebook!

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  5. Planning is vital in any project.
    As for me, I am such a luddite, that my phone is more of a hassle to remember where I left it, then to use it as a tool.
    I do appreciate what you provided in your post. thanks for sharing.

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  6. It is a great question. I use many apps for planning purpose, because I feel like mobiles and all the technology makes us so distractive and we should do something about it. I guess the best way to fight the tech -addiction is again with tech

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  7. To actually plan, track and be on time for things & people, I use my electronic calendar. It syncs phone to computer, of course, so that makes my life easy. To track the time I spend on each project during the day, I use an app on my phone: Hours Tracker. This holds me accountable. Other than that, I’m pretty minimal!

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    1. Rose Mary – your plan appears to be working. I like the sound of an hourly tracker. It is easy to become distracted, especially if you are completing a task which you are not particularly enjoying.

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  8. I don’t use apps of any kind but rely on my daytimer to write everything down. I guess it’s all a matter of what you’re used to. When I was working I did record my day’s todo list on a mini-recorder which I found very helpful
    One thing – after reading the other comments I may check out Microsoft OneNote and see if I can make use of it.

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  9. I never heard that quote before, but I love it!

    I don’t use a ton of apps to keep myself organized. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. I stay organized pretty much in my head. About once a year I dabble at writing things down, but I inevitably go back to keep everything in my head. I’m pretty good at remembering things, I’m extremely punctual and I’m very reliable. . However, I wonder how much energy I use to keep everything stored in my mind.

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  10. I do really on technology for reminders, but I do it with the simplest of apps. Most of what I need to keep track of things I can put in my calendar or in notes. What I find especially helpful is a shared Google calendar with my wife.

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  11. I use OneNote religiously to keep track of odds and ends for big-picture story and blog planning, as well as client work. I also use spreadsheets to work on my blog’s editorial calendar, track tax info, stay on top of job requests and submissions to literary contests. The one area I am still old school is would be using a calendar book. I don’t know why I haven’t taken to using an electronic calendar for scheduling, though I hope to incorporate that as well someday.

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  12. My time management tool that I use is Microsoft OneNote (which is like Evernote). It has helped me go paperless and be more mobile. I also like my tablet because I can take it to clients instead of a large laptop. Thanks for sharing.

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  13. I must confess I reside in the stone age when it comes to the world of “apps”. For many years, my work required me to be on-call 24/7 and it was not unusual for me to get called out at all hours of the day or night. After leaving that life behind I have made conscious choices to avoid being tethered to a phone so I’m blissfully ignorant of the latest apps and hope to remain that way. 🙂

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  14. Personally use tools on the internet a lot but there is no way I will start being dependent on my mobile. What if you lose it and don’t have a clue what your agenda for the next week looks like? Besides it’s really easy to hack mobiles because of wifi and people who handle their bank accounts from their mobile sometimes have an unpleasant surprise.

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  15. Hello Phoenicia,

    I rely on technology moderately. And the apps I use are mainly entertaining ones.

    But gradually I have started to believe that in upcoming years we need to be tech-dependent a lot more than now.

    Thank you

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