Wednesday, January 1, 2014

YearBook - Personal productivity tool from LifeTools series by ViprasCraft

ViprasCraft's YearBook (LifeTools series) can be best utilized following these simple guidelines:

Making your book first:
Based on your convenience you can either choose A4 or A5 paper optimized format of YearBook.

A4 format: If you have opted for the A4 paper size format, it is just sufficient to print this free PDF file in this way:
  1. First print all the pages in the PDF file back to back (front & rear) printing on A4 sheets. You will get 5 A5 sheets with 10 pages printed on them back to back.
  2. First sheet with pages 1 & 2 serves as a Cover page as well as a guide with instructions for better use.
  3. Second sheet with pages 3 &4 serves as the section 'Roles, Goals and Habits'. You can take as many photocopies of this page as you want. But if you ask us how many pages would be ideal, we recommend 2 sheets (with 4 sides) as ideal. Considering 30 goals per page (15 x 2 columns) we make 60 per sheet which means a total of 120 goals. That means in a year you have 1 goal every 3 days on an average and this is itself too much. We can't really achieve short term or long term goals bigger than that number in a single year because if we have goals exceeding 4 pages, maybe then they aren't goals, but are more 'things to do' list.
  4. Third sheet with pages 5 & 6 would act as a separator page between section-1 and section-2 which is 'Weekly plan'. Only one copy of these pages (1 sheet) is needed, as it just explains what is the Time management matrix learnt from the famous book by Stephen Covey, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective people". Then you have a sample week which shows how the priorities have been managed over a week with enough flexibility, and how your activity over the week can be recorded.
  5. Fourth sheet with pages 7 & 8 serves as the section-2 which is Weekly plan. You need to print or photocopy for a maximum 28 sheets (56 pages/sides) as each page/side is a week starting from Monday, Tuesday,..... to weekend Saturday & Sundays. Though we have 52 weeks as a general saying, in different countries, the numbering of weeks are different. Generally whenever the first week of the year contains 3 working days in January, it is officially considered as Week No. 1.
  6. Fifth sheet with pages 9 & 10 serves as the next section-3 which is 'Things to Do'. You can print/photocopy somewhere around 25 sheets (50 pages/sides) to start with, as this is the part which serves like a workbook. As even the less important things get listed here depending on your needs, this section needs more pages/sides and luckily as we place it at the end, you always have the choice to add as many pages as you need.
You can then get all these pages bound in the form of a good book and this book will record your life of the next 1 year. So the name LifeTools series 'YearBook.

Feel free to share with us your opinions commenting on this post in the comments form below.

A5 format:

The logic is more or less the same as the above except that for each page you have 4 sides as every page is intended to be folded at the center to make a normal A4 size paper folded or cut into two A5 pages.

The only trickiest part is the First week page in Weekly plan section, but it is all easy once the file in A5 format is printed directly back to back on A4 pages. Then it is a matter of identifying the pages and understanding how many copies you need to print/photocopy depending on your needs following the same criteria as above.

The only care you need to take while making the first print is to understand with respect to your printing preferences, if the binding side comes at the left side after you fold/cut your A4 pages into A5 pages or if it comes at the top of A5 pages.

Utilizing the YearBook:
The first and important thing about your success in any thing is the discipline and the will to not accept your defeat even if you fail to follow a certain daily routine. That means once you start using the YearBook, you may fail occasionally to write down your activities of  a particular day in the timeline, but you have to remember this point to continue. With a bigger picture in mind that at the end of the year you might have already made a good habit, you'll not lose your inspiration even if you miss out on few days.

1. Roles and Goals:

In this section, you can list all those short term and long term goals which need a time of about 1 month to 1
year for accomplishing them. These could be related to your career or personal development, or your
reading habits or your physical fitness, etc. You can also put your habitual goals in this list. But you have to
judge well the differences between your 'Things to do' on daily basis with respect to the short and long term
goals.

You can also identify your Roles, give them some code name (ENG for Engineer, DOC for Doctor, STD for
student, HWF for housewife, VOL for volunteer, etc) and list your goals using the ID names which may look
like STD01, VOL10, ENG25, DOC95, etc.

2. Week Plan:

Before you start using this section, you shall read and understand the 'Time Management' matrix presented
to you along with a sample week. Your emphasis shall always be to keep your activities mostly under
quadrant Q2 which is for 'Important but not urgent' activities and for doing your best to minimize Q1 and Q3
activities though you can't really avoid them. It is also important to recognize and abolish the Q4 activities
from your life to invest this saved time for Q2 activities.

This part of the YearBook is all about putting your honest and best efforts in building your success in discrete steps of achieving your goals on a weekly basis. The week, unlike a day, is a practical unit of time
with enough flexibility for many of us to accomplish the weekly goals.

Knowing the Q2 activities from your 'Things to do' list, you will try to allocate at least one important task to
each day in the week. This gives you an idea of how much free time you have for other activities.

The habitual goals like say Mediation, Physical fitness, Gym, Running, etc will be entered in the timeline of
each day with a checkbox against them for monitoring your progress. Doing so will enable you know exactly
your programs in the week which in turn will ensure that you accept other appointments/tasks judiciously for
not hampering your Q2 activities.

This if practised over the whole year will land you in a whole new level of personal effectiveness and eventual success in accomplishment of your goals.

3. Things to Do:

This is the simplest yet a valuable tool for not forgetting any good idea that sparks in your mind. You record

whatever idea comes to your mind which can be translated in to a small set of definite actions. Besides
these, you will also list out all the activities you may need to do irrespective of their importance or priority.
Then once you identify your Q2 activities, you will allocate them in the 'Week Plan'.

To begin with, it is always advisable to start numbering progressively so that at the end of the year, you
would be amazed at how many things/activities you have listed out and upon which you have taken the
'action'. Things that get listed are those that get done!

You can download the A4 and A5 formats of the YearBook at this link: LifeTools YearBook from ViprasCraft

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