September is almost upon us, which means it is time to set up my monthly spread for September.
I use the monthly spread to keep track of appointments for the month ahead, I record details here and refer to it when writing my daily lists. It’s a month at a glance (or should be!)
Therein lay my problem – I hadn’t found a way to easily be able to see the whole month on one page without the appointments looking muddled. If I am delivering training, there may only be one thing to note on the day, but if it is a day full of one-to-one coaching sessions it started to get confusing.
I tried the original simple list – but the appointments were out of order and it was hard to see which days had empty time to allocate to other appointments or tasks.
I tried introducing some order by dividing the list into morning, afternoon and “to do” but it still did not give enough of a visual representation of the month.
Next I opted for a calendar style layout – more visual but the appointments still got in a muddle and days were either empty or to small to fit everything in! It became such a problem I gave up using it as the month wore on.
In August I gave up on days and concentrated on weeks which helped with the space issue, and has helpful for simply logging meetings, but still meant they were not in order and was of no help when fixing meetings because it was still not easy to see where the free time was.
So, when thinking what to change for September, I suddenly realised that the solution was staring me in the face! Ever since the early days, I have included a time planner bar in my dailies and for me it works really well. It occurred to me that I could adopt this for the monthly.
So here it is – days of the month down the left side and then a time planner with space to the right of that for details of appointments. I’ve decided that for long appointments (where there is sufficient space) I’ll just write the details in the bar. For others, I’ll colour the bar and us a circle of the same colour to match the description to the appointment. The regular appointments don’t need a description every time – they’ve just got colours of their own.
So far I’m loving it – but the proof of the pudding will be in the doing. So I’ll report back in September!