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What's Your Favorite Planner?

In this crazy mad modern world where juggling is a must and a working gal has to keep on top of her schedules, there's a need to be and stay organized. One can use a plethora of organizers, both software and old-skool, like paper planners and organizers. Or for those who are obsessive-compulsive, both would do great.

Q. When do you use paper planners and when do you use software-based planners?

A. You use paper planners when most of the work you do would be offline or would require you to travel. In this case, software-based planners just won't do.

Then you use software-based planners when you need to collaborate, because it's easier to send colleagues a copy.

And if you have the luxury of time, or are extremely organized that you can manage to do it, or you have your personal secretary to do it for you, you can synchronize your software planners with your paper planners.

Microsoft Outlook is one software that has a built-in organizer. Most corporates use this to organize their company. For the Macheads, there's iCal. An iCal calendar can be exported and sent to colleagues. For those who live on the Cloud, there is Google Calendar, amongst a whole slew of organizers that can enable you to keep track of your tasks.

Then there's the smartphone. If you're a heavy Google user, an Android device would be very useful for you. Your Google apps would be synchronized seamlessly to your Android device. And since smartphones also have the function of being an advanced organizer, it's all the easier.

A Blackberry is known to be the best corporate device. With military-grade security for its push email capabilities, if you're very concerned about the security of your correspondence, Blackberry's push email service should be the best option for you. Each Blackberry comes with a memo app, a task list app and a calendar app pre-installed. With the memo application, you can jot down your lists, notes to yourself, notes from seminars and meetings, among other things. The task list can be set to remind you of your tasks, and it's so comprehensive, you can even set deadlines, priority levels, progress statuses, and even set the reminder to go off on a different timeslot from the deadline. As for the calendar, you can make notes, set a task, reminders, and even write whole articles from within the notes section. Indeed, the Blackberry is the Obsessive-Compulsive's friend.

One lady we know uses these in different occasions. She uses a whiteboard when she's too overwhelmed and confused to understand where and how to start listing her to-do's, her Blackberry to set her alarm for tasks, especially recurrent tasks, and she uses TeuxDeux and Google Tasks to track down the things she's done. She has a paper planner which she no longer uses because she now lives in Boracay and doesn't need to meet people anyway, and a calendar planner which she uses on a daily basis to track her targets. She once used Flow, which is great for delegating tasks: great for a boss and his or her personal assistant. It integrates with the iPhone, so it's convenient for iPhone users.

There's also one other reason to back up your to-do's on your paper planner: when a blackout happens and your mobile device battery drains or dies on you for some inexplainable reason. Tech may be great, but without electricity to power it, you won't be able to function anyway.

So how about you? What are your favorite Getting Things Done tools?

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