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How to Effectively Use a Diary System at Work

Livingsta shares her positive experience in business administration, customer service, and education.

My diary system keeps me organized and ahead of the schedule, and it could help you, too.

My diary system keeps me organized and ahead of the schedule, and it could help you, too.

The Importance of a Work Diary

A diary system is maintained to utilise time and complete tasks and appointments in a very effective and efficient way. It helps the organisation as a whole and helps manage my own and other people’s time too. Diaries can be maintained either manually or electronically.

I personally have both types of diaries. I have my electronic calendar on Outlook that is shared with my manager and other administrators. I also have a manual diary that can be used in times of emergency.

Why Is It Important to Have a Manual Diary?

The manual diary that I use is a bound book with three days per page since I don't have many entries for each day.

As I mentioned above, I only use this diary during emergencies. This includes times when I am sick or away from work and am not able to access my electronic diary or when the computer systems are down, and Outlook is not accessible.

What Are the Advantages of an Electronic Diary?

As I mentioned, the electronic diary that I maintain is on the Outlook calendar on my work computer.

Here are the advantages of having an electronic calendar:

  • I am able to highlight a potential conflict between appointments.
  • I only need to input regularly occurring events once.
  • No paper is used.
  • There is password protection.
  • I can access it from pretty much anywhere.
  • There are on-screen reminders of appointments.
  • It automatically communicates changes to those involved whose systems are connected with mine.

How Do I Use My Diary?

I use my diary for things like alerts and appointments.

The most common entries in my diary will be:

  • panel meetings
  • team meetings
  • stationary orders
  • training sessions
  • visits
  • preparation of agendas
  • annual leave
  • other office tasks
  • supervision
  • other weekly and fortnightly tasks that repeat at a certain frequency (this ensures I won't miss them)

I sometimes have to book meetings and send meeting invites to colleagues or other delegates, and it is done electronically.

Here is how I manage these types of meetings.

  • I try to input as many details as I can, like date, venue, duration, visitors, etc.
  • I rarely encounter a situation where a meeting is cancelled or postponed, but if this does happen, I make sure to check the effects that a requested change will have before agreeing to it.
  • I also gather all relevant information to make sure that everyone attending the meeting or appointment has access to all of the pertinent details so that there is no room for miscommunication.
  • I typically deal with requests and changes from other attendees in chronological order, but I will prioritize the most urgent requests if I'm dealing with a large volume of them.
    • When any requests are agreed upon, or changes are made, I make sure that everyone involved is contacted and that it is convenient for them before the changes are confirmed.
  • I also make sure that every person involved in the appointment or meeting is given sufficient time for planning, travelling, and any other needs so that the meeting goes smoothly.

I am aware that diaries have to be kept up to date when changes have been agreed upon. I make sure that I have deleted any cancelled appointments. A diary that is not kept completely up to date can risk all kinds of confusion. It will also undermine confidence and encourage people to either feel the need to check on arrangements, which is a waste of time, or, even worse, keep a separate diary of their own.

One Final Note

On a kind note, please do not copy anything submitted here and display it in your file. This has been published here purely to help you gain an idea/understanding of what they expect you to keep track of. You will have to relate to your own work area and organisation and stick with it while preparing the files. Thank you for your cooperation.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2012 livingsta


Niloy Miah on November 07, 2016:

I enjoyed reading this information and it has helped me substantially. Thank you vey much and good luck in the future

livingsta (author) from United Kingdom on June 21, 2014:

Hello David,

Thank you. I am glad that this was of help to you. All the best :)

David Levi on December 24, 2013:

I benefited from the article on diaries. Thank you very much. All the best in the new year.