In our most recent blog post, we took a look at how The Arena App stacks up against some of the other ways people plan their work. We compared Arena with keeping all of your projects in your head, in a paper planner, on your calendar, and on sticky notes. For our next series of blog posts, we’re going to learn more about the people who use these methods, and how The Arena App could help them. In this blog, we’ll meet Meredith, who loves her paper planner.

Meet our User

Meredith is a business owner, consultant, manager, wife, mother, dog owner, volunteer, scrapbooker, organizer, crafter, and traveler. Given that list, it’s no surprise that she thinks about both organization and time management in a thoughtful, strategic way. One perk of the paper planner that is especially appealing to Meredith is that you can easily color-coordinate different activities using different pens to denote work activities from volunteer commitments, and child appointments from business ones. She also really likes using washi tape and stickers to make the week look more fun. Her project lists and assorted to-do lists are often crammed into the available Notes columns along the sides of the planner with the usual circles, arrows, and stars all of us use to emphasize that something really, really must get done.

Meredith sets up her week on Sunday afternoon during naptime. Often, though, by Monday at lunchtime her carefully entered appointments, teleconference calls, and plans have been hijacked by a customer request. This is where the paper planner really doesn’t hold up; it’s not as flexible as she needs it to be and it didn’t hold up to all the shifts and changes of real life. And, she admitted, using a weekly-view paper planner made it tricky to identify the three biggest items to accomplish each day. She liked the visual of where and how she was spending her time (e.g., her calendar) but it didn’t really help her get her work done. And, she hated re-writing incomplete projects week after week after week — what a waste of time!

Switching to Arena

The Arena App helps Meredith prioritize each day; big things are big and small things are small. She really loves the color coding for projects that are Must (red), Should (orange), or Could (yellow). And, the killer feature for her is the Calendar view. She sets up her day each morning so she can see her work overlayed on her calendar. She plans her day and works her plan. And, if things don’t go according to plan, she can easily shift them around no rewriting needed. That is so satisfying!