What is a personal organizer?

A personal organizer is a tool used to keep track of personal information, such as appointments, addresses, birthdays, due dates, or important notes. It is aimed at helping you remember important personal information, to easily view or find what you need quickly and efficiently, and to save you time. There are several types and styles of personal organizers, and they can be customized to meet your specific needs.

Types of personal organizers

  • Notebook – a book style organizer with paper templates in a variety of sections, such as a calendar, address book, and blank paper for notes. Additional sections can be added depending on the product and style preferred, including storage pockets and maps.
  • Digital – a personal digital assistant, often referred to as a PDA, is a small hand held device that stores personal information digitally, much like a small computer. PDAs have sound and color which enables them to be used as phones and gaming devices, and they can even be set up to connect to the internet. Models come with touchscreens, pointing devices or mini keyboards.
  • Computer Software – personal organizing software can be installed on your computer, and behaves much the same way as the notebook or digital formats. Because software is linked to your computer, portability and ease of access is limited unless you print information stored or synchronize it with your hand-held digital device.

Which one is right for me?

Personal organizer styles vary widely. The first thing to consider when selecting an organizer is what you will be using it for. Some important questions to think about are:

  • Do you prefer to see your information on a computer screen or in handwriting?
  • Do you like to use hand held digital devices or do you get frustrated with technology?
  • Do you want to carry your organizer? If so, what size and weight requirements do you have? (i.e., what will fit into your purse or briefcase?)
  • How much can you afford to spend on your personal organizer?

You should then consider what type of information you need to remember or organize. Some examples include: personal schedule, calendar, addresses, meeting notes, shopping lists, important dates, international time zones, maps, phone numbers, pictures, and family appointments. If you decide that a notebook style is best for you, it is especially important to carefully decide what is included in your organizer because weight can be a concern: more features can mean more paper and this could result in a heavier or larger notebook.

Used correctly, personal organizers should save you time if you have entered information in categories and sections efficiently. However, it is helpful to recognize that new tools can actually increase the complexity of keeping you organized.

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