What if you could send important notes and reminders to yourself up to a year in advance and never forget important dates again. Would you do it? A few years ago I did just that when I built my own tickler file system and I’ve never regretted it.
There are a few ways to set up a tickler file. Author and Entrepreneur Dan Kennedy uses one that consists of 90 file folders. He has 30 folders each in three different colors and labels them 1-30 corresponding to the days on the calendar. He then has a three month system of folders that he uses to place important items, reminders, and other information. Author and productivity guru David Allen uses a system that consists of 43 folders. This is the system I use in my own office.
In the 43 folder system you have 31 folders labeled 1-31 for the days of the month. You then have 12 folders you label for each month in a year (see photo at right). You set up your system by starting with tomorrow’s day of the month (assuming your ARE already working on things today right?) and placing the remaining “days” folders behind that. The extra days you have left over after the “31” folder you hold onto. You then organize your monthly folders by starting with the next month of the year and putting the other 11 behind that one. The extra day folders you had left over you can now place behind next month’s folder. Now, each time you need to leave yourself a note for the future, write it down and place it in the appropriate folders. If it’s a long term note, place it in the monthly folder. Then each day, check your daily folder and place it behind the other days in next month’s rotation. When a new month starts, check that folder and take any appropriate notes and scatter them throughout the month and then place that monthly folder at the back of the monthly stack.
If it sounds a little confusing at first, don’t worry. Just set it up and you’ll intuitively see it’s value. If you have any questions, leave me a note and I’ll be glad to help.