In The Know: Diary Management

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Diary Management

This edition of In The Know has Natalie Morhen, Executive Assistant to CEO, sharing her best practice’s for Diary Management. Over the previous few months diaries have been thrown into disarray and unprecedented priorities have taken over, making room for a new challenge of how to manage our time in the ‘new normal’ working environment. Take a look through some of the top tips for managing your diary efficiently and hopefully you can either learn something new or refresh your memory…

What exactly is it that makes for good diary management skills?  When it comes to it, the ultimate goal is to use everyone’s time as effectively as you possibly can.  Just remember, by being organised and structured in your approach, whatever platform you are using, you will achieve so much more.

Behind every successful business is an efficient and organised diary management service and system. Ensuring that your day to day processes are running effectively and smoothly is crucial to every company.

Good diary management means keeping appointments updated as soon as you discover the details. If a client offers multiple possible dates for a meeting, book the time out for each option. Once a final date is set, you can delete other options, freeing up your diary.

It is very easy for diaries to become crammed with meetings, not leaving any time in the office to catch up /work on things you must do or to follow up from any actions from the meetings you’ve had.  If you know that you have a lot on, try and identify some areas in your diary that you can keep clear to work.  You can block them out in the diary so that the time does not get taken up with more meetings.

Calendar Entries

When it comes to managing calendar entries you are limited to very few characters to quickly identify each activity with. Making use of the event description can be the ideal way to sneak in any extra information you need to hand. This could include:

  • A snapshot meeting agenda. Jot down a few bullet points to help structure the meeting and ensure you cover everything you need to.
  • Useful pre-meeting prep. A short bio for each of the prospective clients you’re meeting or a summary of actions taken so far.
  • Goals and objectives. What is the overall aim of the meeting? What are you hoping to achieve? Keeping your end goal in mind could help keep the appointment on track and reduce unnecessary ‘noise’.
  • Practical information. The address of a venue or the reservation number for your train ticket to get there, perhaps.

It’s easy to store much of this information in separate documents or notes, or even just keep it in a folder in your inbox, however it could be useful to keep everything in one place: the calendar you’re checking ahead of every appointment you attend!

Set Handy Reminders

Are you making use of reminders? Calendars will allow you to set multiple reminders per event and receive those reminder notifications by email or notification (a push notification to your phone and/or in-browser notification). Reminders can be used to not only ensure you don’t forget about the meeting entirely, but can also help you plan for it too. Some ideas could include:

  • Set a calendar reminder the day before travelling to an important meeting,
  • Set a reminder 2 hours before a performance review with your boss, followed by another one 20 minutes before. The first will be to ensure you prepare for the meeting (i.e. stop whatever you are doing and work on the prep). The next will be to stop working and get to the meeting ahead of time! Early is on time and on time is late.
  • Set an email reminder for the time of a sales call. Importantly, don’t delete or archive the reminder email until you have sent a post-meeting email to thank the prospect for their time. This extra safeguard ensures that any distractions after your meeting don’t stop you from making a great impression!

Keep Tasks In A To-Do List

One last tip would be to keep your calendar entirely separate from your to-do list. It’s so easy to pop a little reminder here and there into your diary (perhaps as all-day events), but these simply clutter up your schedule and make it more difficult to separate your appointments from any work you need to do.

These are a selection of Natalie’s top tips for Diary Management. We hope that you find these points helpful and can incorporate them into your day to day work going forwards and see an improvement in managing your time best for you.

As always, if anyone wants to know more, or has any further tips they want to share with our teams that work great for you, then don’t hesitate to contact us on +44 (0) 1793 792200 or email [email protected].