Since I’m being allowed a gentle start to probation, I thought I’d take the opportunity to get myself organised ‘administratively’. I’m not a natural organiser. I have a bunch of notebooks with no order to them where jottings of meetings get put – along with to-do lists and ‘notes to self’ and contact details and reminders and… You get the idea. Basically, I need to find a system of work that… works.
I’m a lot better at the ‘diary thing’ than I used to be and use a smartphone which syncs with my pc calendar (which is shared by my wife, so we each know what the other is doing – although the kitchen calender is still the ‘master’). It’s also my contacts list. The downside of such technological wizardry is that, surprisingly (or not), it is not that ergonomic. It’s difficult to get an ‘at-a-glance’ picture of a week, a month, or even a year unless I am at the pc with its larger screen. Paper diaries area lot more user-friendly. Flicking between ‘views’ is also a lot easier when you have a paper diary with a year planner. Jotting down a quick diary date is so much easier in a paper diary. So, I’ve decided to go back to using a paper diary which I’ll get in the habit of ‘synchronising’ with my master (electronic) diary on a regular basis.
But, small, neat diaries are not so great for taking notes at meetings, so I still need a notebook. To avoid having a jumble of notes it needs to be re-arrangeable, so probably a filofax-style one. So why not use that as the diary as well? Good question. I’ve been doing some ‘experimenting’ and find that anything with a page size smaller than A5 is just a bit cramped for notes, or it ends up over too many pages. That’s a fairly chunky organiser and not so discreet to cart around all the time. But it’s OK for going to meetings or visits where I know I’ll need to take lots of notes. That size also has the advantage that I can print out the electronic calendar on A5 sheets and keep the latest printout in the organiser.
But… how to organise the organiser?
Actually, that’s not so difficult. I guess I’ll use it primarily for funeral visits and pastoral visits. Contriving a generic ‘report’ sheet to print out and insert isn’t too difficult. Similarly for meetings and planning activities.
One issue, of course, is data protection. Anyone clear on the rules for such things as it applies to keeping a record of visit details? Or is that only for electronic data?
So, I think I know what I’m doing to be the super-efficient, well-organised, every-piece-of-information-at-my-fingertips probationer, but we’ll see how long it lasts.
Anyone else got advice/ideas for keeping track of diaries and notes?