Twenty Years ago, my company sent me to the Franklin Institute for a class, where were taught how to use the latest invention for corporate calendaring, the Franklin Planner. Remember the Franklin Planner? They still sell them! It’s amazing to me that they still sell them because you can easily transpose everything in them into your smart phone today. Some people still use the old fashioned planners. If you don’t mind carrying around a bulky notebook, or writing everything down with pen or pencil, they’re certainly better on batteries than a smart phone, and they recover better from wet weather.
The biggest problem I had with my old paper based planner was that the only person who knew what was in it, was me. One huge advantage of electronic calendars is that you can easily share them. My wife, my boss, my co-workers, etc, can all access some or all of my calendar and I use it as much as I possibly can. As I get older and more forgetful, my electronic calendar gets fuller and more detailed. Everything from my dog’s heartworm pill schedule to the recording times of new TV shows goes in there to remind me to take action.
Recently, I started blocking off the time I would actually be in the air as “busy.” I used to have a reminder posted at the start of my flight that had the schedule, confirmation numbers, seat assignment, etc, listed. For example, let’s say I’m scheduled to fly to San Francisco at 4:05pm, arriving three hours later at 5:05pm local SFO time. I would enter a calendar event at 4pm with a “reminder bell” to beep at me two hours in advance. I would enter the flight data in the event and save it. Then, I would enter a Rental Car event for 5:30 SFO time with the car details, etc.
I don’t do it that way anymore. Using that same example, here’s what my schedule would look like to my co-workers in the home office today:
2:00pm – 3:30pm – Airport Security time, email and phone OK
3:30pm – 7:30pm – Flight time to SFO, no phone no email
7:30pm –8:30pm – Rental Car Drive to hotel, no phone no email
8:30pm Reminder for Hotel Check-in email and phone OK
This gives me a place to record all travel confirmation numbers, phone numbers, etc, but it also alerts my home office to leave me alone from 3:30 to 8:30pm local time! This entire time slot shows up as a big red block on my calendar, so people don’t even try to invite me to meetings, call and leave me voicemail, etc, it works like a charm!
EXTRA: If you have questions for Ken regarding business travel, hotels, airplanes, etc, please call 1-877-49-EXPERT. Your questions will be recorded and sent to him. You can also follow Ken on Twitter @foodbreeze!