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The Monthly Log

For me… the Monthly Log is where a good bit of the magic happens. In the original form pictured here, the calendar days with their date specific events is on the left and the task list both new and migrated is on the right. I modify that just a bit to include recurring information that I need to track such as submitting payroll and mileage, sometimes even meal planning ideas.

As you can see in my example on the right, the left side of the page is much like the original. The left side includes space for mileage and tolls (which are totaled at the end of the month and migrated to one collection for end of the year tax preparation) and timesheet submission including what days are covered in a period.

Some other mods I tend to make is to identify weekends and holidays. I find it important to my frame of mind to keep work and home edges clean. (there will be another post on that later). This is one way I do that.

The monthly is probably my most referenced page. At the end of each week, I find time for a review starting with the monthly to identify any missed assignments and ending with the monthly to plan for the coming week. The monthly is where I identify any schedule conflicts far enough ahead to correct and timely enough to plan. The 6 month future log serves more as a holding pen for events that I can’t really prepare for in an immediate fashion and 90% of my work is no more than 3-5 days relevant.

My work is all about putting out fires and preventing small fires from spreading. If there is no risk of fire, it’s just not my work. There is very little I can affect more than 3-5 days in advance. That is simply the nature of Case Management – at least in the environment I work within. So my tools and my methods have to be responsive to that immediate schedule.

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