Business Efficiency: It’s all about the diary

Whether you call it a diary, a calendar or a chronological work-life balancing system (is that a thing?), it’s crucial that every business owner, senior leader and entrepreneur has an effective way of keeping track of events, meetings, appointments, deadlines and yes, even social engagements.

In fact, due to so many people often working the occasional evening and weekend, the merging of personal and professional diaries is becoming very common. This ensures that you don’t book a call with a client when you’re meant to be at the dentist, having dinner with friends or spending time with the kids.

The problem with diary management is that it takes so much time, which results in many businesspeople either double-booking slots, forgetting to put time aside for breaks, or even neglecting to turn up at an important meeting. Luckily, a virtual personal assistant is here to prevent this from ever happening to you.

Plan everything in advance

Though spontaneity can be great fun in your personal life, your work diary should be structured, meticulous and always up to date. There will of course be the odd last-minute meeting or unscheduled activity that pops up, but having a detailed and accessible calendar will help you to decide whether or not these things can be factored in without messing up your wider schedule.

Don’t forget the colour coding

Most people use online calendars these days, with Google Calendar, Apple’s iCloud Calendar and the Outlook version being especially popular. They may be very different from the traditional pocket-sized calendars filled with indecipherable scrawls and ink blots, but what they share in common with them is the ability to colour code your events.

Colour coding is a truly excellent feature, as it offers a foolproof way to categorise certain types of activity, such as blue for meetings and green for tasks. If you’re a stickler for detail, you can go one step further and create a system of colour coding that takes into account whether an activity is via phone call, video meeting or face to face. As an added bonus, you can reserve a particular colour for extremely important events, such as presentations, deadlines and business travel.

When will you get time for a breather?

We’re all guilty of putting in a few too many hours here and there, which usually means missing out on breaks and lunches. The important thing to bear in mind here is that taking a breather allows us to hydrate, get some fresh air, refuel our bodies with food, give our eyes a break from screens, and also take part in a little socialising, even if it’s just having a quick chat with a colleague in the staff room. This can work wonders for focus, mood and productivity, so make sure to include breaks no matter how busy your schedule becomes.

Include all of the details

Digital calendars allow you to include quite a bit of detail, which can really help you to keep on track, not to mention avoid embarrassing scenarios where you turn up to a meeting unprepared. The most basic details are the name or nature of the event or meeting, its location, and of course the time it’s taking place. However, you can also include the full names of the other attendees, the topics that will be covered, anything you need to take with you, and either a phone number or video link if it’s being held digitally.

You don’t have to do it all yourself

When you consider all of the above recommendations, it becomes clear how much time the comprehensive organising of a week actually requires. That’s why hiring a personal virtual assistant brings such a strong return on investment. Not only can they manage your diary, but they can also combine this service with email management and appointment setting to ensure that everything is diarised and accessible from anywhere.

Get it in your diary!

To find out more about how a virtual personal assistant can help you to save time and money through personalised services such as diary management, get in touch with Niki Bardsley at or call 07707 830394.