THERE’S no shortage of Time Management tools available.  For your desktop, iPad, smart phone; synch them all up, good to go. I’m just not a fan, at least not yet.

In the meantime, here’s two tools that I find quick, simple, and effective.

The first is from Cal Newport at Study Hacks (which, by the way, is a great blog with lots of interesting and useful content). This is a good tool for people with multiple projects on the go, say, writers, bloggers, IT people, academics.

Cal uses a simple .txt file created once per week and stored on the desktop. It’s free-form written narrative that has no rules or format. You just write what you’re going to do, how, and when.

What I like about this tool is that it forces a thinking process. When you make a simple list, its easy to jot down all the things you’re “going to do”, but what that usually really means is a list of the things “you’d like to do”. A tool that promotes thinking helps to mitigate wishful thinking.

Read Cal’s post on the subject here.

The second tool is one I’ve been using for twenty years. It’s great for desk-bound workers who attend daily briefings and meetings. It’s a simple pad with a few headings that get’s reviewed at the beginning and end of each day and re-written every few days. It looks like this:


Three reasons I like using this:

Its quick – it sits on my desk in it’s open folio, always ready. There’s something about pen on paper…

It forces review – it gets scribbled on daily, and every few days or when it’s looking full or messy, gets torn off and a new page written out.

It doesn’t ring in meetings. I don’t like phones and other devices in meetings because they’re too often distracting or rude.

Try it if you like, the file is here:   JPG   PDF

If you’d like the PSD file to insert your own logo, just ask.  Together with a leather folio it makes a decent executive gift.