How a Virtual Assistant Helps With Self-Care For Entrepreneurs

How a Virtual Assistant Helps With Self-Care For Entrepreneurs

Burnout is a real problem for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Your business can become your life and you want to work hard to make it a success. With a limited staffing budget, the onus falls on you to complete all the tasks necessary to get up and running and become a success. But this is not sustainable. You need to practise self-care to prevent burnout and, thankfully, a virtual assistant can help.

It's not the load that breaks you down it's the way you carry it - Lou Holtz Click To Tweet

What is Self-Care for Entrepreneurs?

Self-care is any activity that helps you remain well physically, mentally and emotionally. In terms of entrepreneurs, this means anything that helps take you away from your work for a time and reminds you that you are not a robot. You are a human who needs some balance in their life.

When you own your own business, you need to refresh and revitalise yourself for the good of your physical and mental health and also for the good of your business. If you look after yourself, you will be in a better position to contribute productively to your venture.

Examples of self-care include exercise, mindfulness activities, eating healthily, reducing stress triggers and more.


How a Virtual Assistant Helps Self-Care

There are many ways that a virtual assistant can help your self-care as an entrepreneur or small business owner.

How a Virtual Assistant Helps With Self-Care For Entrepreneurs Supportal

Reduce Stress

One of the major concerns for a small business owner when trying to build their business is staffing. The bigger the business gets, the more work there is and the more hands are needed to maintain productivity.

For someone who has been used to doing everything alone, the idea of employing someone or multiple staff and having other people relying on your business for their livelihood is extremely stressful. It is one thing to put your own living at risk by starting your own business, but to take on employees is an entirely separate issue.

Then there are the other expenses that come with employing people. Supplying equipment, paying holiday pay and sick pay, and even renting larger premises to accommodate them can all be concerning and stressful for the business owner.

Hiring a virtual assistant is the ultimate act of self-care because it instantly reduces this stress. You avoid a major stress trigger. They get the work done, but without the commitment of employing staff. They work remotely using their own equipment, they don’t claim sick pay or holiday pay, and you can hire them for as long or short a time as you like. If you have a month with a lower income for whatever reason, you can cut the hours they work, increasing them as soon as cash flows again. This is just not possible with employees.


Work-life Balance

It is very difficult to have any kind of work-life balance when you start your own business. However, being able to take time away from your desk and see your family and friends is essential for self-care.

Missing out on social occasions and school plays and the like can be detrimental to your mental health. The feeling of missing out mixes with the guilt that you might feel. However, being able to attend these events can give you just the boost that we all need.

Your business is important, but you are a person as well as a business owner and being able to concentrate on your personal life is made possible by a virtual assistant.

Your VA can take on all manner of tasks, from managing your social media to office admin to event management. You can pick those tasks that you dislike, that don’t require your expertise or where you understand you need someone with an expert skillset involved. This frees up your time to concentrate on your work-life balance.


Healthy Eating

Freeing up your time helps you eat better too. When we work flat out, we are more likely to crave junk food or simply have no time to cook anything healthy. Eating lunch whilst working means that you often fail to take your time, wolfing your food and getting indigestion or eating more than you need because your stomach has not had time to send the signal that it is full to your brain.

With the extra time gained by hiring a VA, you can give yourself more time in the morning to make a healthy packed lunch than grabbing something ultra-calorific from the shop on the way to the office. You can step away for half an hour to eat in a more considered and healthy manner. You can even leave work earlier and cook a proper meal from scratch rather than opting for an unhealthy frozen meal.


Provide a Sense of Community

It can be very lonely being an entrepreneur. By the nature of the role, you are striking out on your own and building your business from the bottom up. Whilst this is exciting and can be very rewarding, it is also something you do by yourself for the most part.

This can be tough for some people, particularly those who were used to working in offices with many other colleagues before they went solo.

A VA is not the same as a colleague in the office, but they add a sense of community to your small business. They are someone who works with you and is there to take tasks on and feedback on what they have done, as fellow office workers do.

This makes you feel less alone and more like a team member within your own organisation.


Sleep Better

If you are being honest, how many times have you struggled to sleep at night because you have been thinking about all the outstanding tasks on your list? It can be tough to switch off, but then having a poor night’s sleep just makes everything harder.

With a virtual assistant to help you attack the to-do list, you get more done and you worry less about tomorrow’s new list because you know that you have help at hand to complete some of those tasks.

This means you can sleep more easily, with less preying on your mind.


Hire a Virtual Assistant Today

Hire a virtual assistant today to help you administer self-care. Supportal can take a range of different tasks off your hands, allowing you to look after yourself more easily and concentrate on you. We understand the stresses and strains and how important mental health is. We have supported the mental health charity Mind for the past six years and fully support self-care for entrepreneurs. Book a free consultation so we can discuss your needs today.



Email Management Tips and How to Organise Your Inbox

Email Management Tips and How to Organise Your Inbox

One of the most overwhelming aspects of working life is the constant battle against the email mountain. We get so many messages in our inboxes every day that it can feel like a full-time job just to read them, answer them and undertake any action points. Add to that the junk mail that clutters our inboxes and it is a wonder we get any work done. The good news is that it is possible to take control. We have created some tips for email management and information on how to organise your inbox. Keep reading to find out more.


Where to Start With Organising Your Inbox

If you are faced with that constant counter at the bottom of your screen, showing that you have hundreds, possibly thousands of unread emails, you need to organise your inbox before you can move onto the next stage of email management. This is where you need to get brutal:

Organise your emails by sender and search for those senders that you know you don’t need to keep emails from. It could be notifications from Facebook, mailing list messages from companies, reminders from the dentist or anything else. Highlight all of the emails from these unimportant senders and hit DELETE. You should have eaten into your unread emails in style now.

Now sort by date and check how old the earliest emails are. Think to yourself, ‘when was the last time I did anything with an email that was more than a year old?’ If you cannot remember, chances are you can delete anything older than a year without missing out on anything. Now change that to six months, then four months, then shorten the timeframe until you reach one that you feel you might revisit sometime soon.

Now go through the remaining emails and put those that you need to keep into folders. If you use GMail, you can tag them. Outlook provides categorizing, all of which make it easier to find those emails you actually need in the future.

Delete anything you do not need.

This is how you organise your inbox. Now you have defeated that dragon, you are ready for the tips for email management going forwards.

Email Management Tips and How to Organise Your Inbox Click To Tweet


Tips for Email Management


1)   Set Aside Time to Process Emails

Emails are not there to run your life. They are an aid to business, but they are not your job. It is easy to be partway through a task, spot an email notification and get pulled onto something else. This breaks your focus on the previous job and means that you are half-heartedly working on two tasks, rather than devoting your concentration to a single task at a time.

So, you should be aware of important messages that are time-critical, but anything else you should ignore until your designated processing time. Give yourself a window and anything you do not process in that time has to wait until the next day. This helps in your diary management efforts too.


2)   Prioritise Your Emails

Not all emails are created equally. Some are hugely important and some are definitely not. When you process your emails, you can get a good idea straight away of which camp each message falls into.

Tackle the most important first and then work down in your email management process. That way, it isn’t too much trouble if you run out of time to process an unimportant email because you have sorted those that really matter.


Email Management Tips and How to Organise Your Inbox Supportal


3)   Unsubscribe

We are all guilty of signing up for too many newsletters. Between influencers and your favourite retailers, your inbox can quickly fill up with mailouts. Part of email management is to stop the stream of distractions coming in, so set aside an hour or two for an unsubscribe session is time well spent. If you rarely read it, it doesn’t help your working life and it doesn’t offer any kind of joy, take yourself off that list.


4)   Use Email Rules

We love automation here. It is essential to every modern business to ensure we can work smarter and save ourselves time. This is why we also love email rules. With Gmail, Outlook and all sorts of other programs, you can set rules that automatically file emails into folders as they come in.

Set the rules to filter those with certain phrases in them, from certain senders or any other way of organising them. It all depends on what will help you in the future when you come to seek out the information they provide.

Keep all emails from each client in separate folders, or any messages that relate to a certain project. It is up to you how you organise your inbox, but take advantage of rules to stop your email from becoming a mountain again.


5)   Use the Calendar to Track Email Replies

Some emails require just a single line reply. Others need a more in-depth approach. For those, you cannot dispense within seconds, set a reminder in your calendar with a deadline for when you need to reply. This means you don’t forget to take action.

An alternative is to add each important email to your project management software. You can create a task in apps like Asana with a due date to remind you to reply in good time.


Email Management Tips and How to Organise Your Inbox Click To Tweet


Need More Email Management Help?

If the thought of email management still fills you with cold dread, you can delegate your inbox duties to a virtual assistant. We can organise your inbox on your behalf and maintain your email organisation going forwards, so you know all the important information you need to know and don’t have to deal with the thousands of irrelevant messages that could otherwise build up.

Book a free consultation today to find out how we can help you.



Why Is Time Management Important when running a business?

Why Is Time Management Important when running a business?

Managing your time is important – we know, you hear that a lot, but it is 100% a fact. The question you really want to know the answer to is why exactly is time management important and how will these skills help you become a better business owner and grow your business. Let’s take a closer look at time management and what it means for you.


I know time management is Important but what is it exactly?

Managing your time well rarely comes down to just one thing. Good time management is often a result of different factors working together – making to-do lists, planning ahead and prioritising tasks.

Looking at what you need to achieve and how much time you have to achieve it is the first step to good time management. Based on this information, you can then create a plan of what you need to do. You can break this down into smaller and more manageable tasks which can help to improve your time management.


Why is time management important?

There are several reasons that time management is important, including:

  • Relieve work stress: Managing your time well often means that you have decreased stress on a day to day basis. Lack of time management often leads to increased pressure as a result of leaving tasks until the last minute.
  • Increase your performance: Time management is important if you want to get things done efficiently and to a good standard. You can increase your performance and impress your clients by planning ahead and allowing yourself more time to do the tasks which you know may be more challenging than others.
  • You can’t get it back: Time is precious, and you can’t get it back once it’s gone. This is important if there are things you need to do by a certain deadline – the more time you waste, the more time you could have spent on completing an important task.

Time management is a valuable, impressive and useful skill to have, and everybody can benefit from improving it. Start by making a list of the outstanding tasks that you have to complete and allocating a set amount of time to each one. You can then break down your working day to ensure they are completed, allowing a little extra time for you.


Signs That You Need Better Time Management

Some people seem like they were born with great time management skills. Others aren’t so good at organising their time well throughout the day. We’ll look at some of the most common signs that you need to improve your time management skills.


You consistently fail to meet deadlines

Sometimes this isn’t the most obvious sign, particularly if you don’t have any big important deadlines. Perhaps you forget to respond to an email by the date you promised you would, or maybe you had to finish that document overnight because you couldn’t finish it by the end of the day in the office. Look out for the smaller deadlines that you might be missing – this could be a key to discovering you need to improve your time management.


You’re always stressed

If other colleagues or friends notice you’re more stressed, or you just feel as though you never get to take a break, you could need to look at different ways of managing your time. This could be re-prioritising and looking at the ways you could make more of your time, but it could also involve delegating more tasks to others, like a virtual assistant.


You’re worried about getting more tasks

This could also link to feeling stressed all the time, but if you’re starting to feel worried about more work coming your way, think about what you can do to finish other tasks earlier and feel more confident about new projects. Trying to avoid taking on any new work could mean that you become overwhelmed by current projects and lose all enjoyment in your work altogether.


You’ve lost sight of the overall goal

If you seem to be constantly working on small tasks and losing sight of the overall goal, it could be time to think about how you’re managing your time and what you could be doing better. It’s always good to have the right level of work so you can maintain a stream of strategic thinking above all the day to day.


You’re running out of steam

Feeling like you’re all out of energy before you even get started? Whether you’re at work or at home, you should have enough time to relax so that you don’t feel run down every day. This is a common sign that you’re lacking good time management, so if this sounds familiar, take a step back to reconsider.


5 simple time management tips that can make your life easier


Struggling to manage your time can feel awful. Whether you’re finding it difficult to complete everything at the weekend, or you’re failing to meet deadlines at work, there are small ways you can manage your time more effectively and have an easier life. Here are some of the simple ways you can start managing your time better.


Make a plan at the start of each day

Whether it’s a weekday or a weekend, and whether you have a list of twenty things or a list of one, it’s good to get into the habit of making a plan at the start of the day. If you have a colleague or team you work closely with, it could be a good idea to make it a routine habit. To avoid using up too much extra time by doing this, set a strict limit of five or ten minutes. Utilise your calendar so you know exactly how your day is going to look. Check out our diary management article covering everything you need to schedule for maximum productivity.


Be honest about how much work you can handle

Too many of us are worried that we’ll put our jobs in jeopardy by refusing to take on extra work. We’re worried about what other people might think, or whether it will make us look as though we can’t handle the job. However, it’s important to be honest with you – about how much you can handle but also about how much you’re capable of doing.


Keep an eye on the time

Can you believe it’s lunchtime already?!” Most of us have said or overheard something to this effect, showing just how common it is to lose track of time. Keeping an eye on the clock could be the key to helping you manage your time better and become more efficient.


Stop multitasking

While multitasking has been hailed as a great skill, and in many cases is very useful, sometimes it’s just not the right time for it. Multitasking could mean that you’re hardly ever focusing on just one task, which makes it much more likely that you’ll go off track or forget about something else entirely.


Recognise your distractions

Knowing what distracts you from your work is a great way to find out how you could make better use of your time. If you often get distracted by your phone, put it in a drawer or out of sight elsewhere. If other colleagues keep distracting you, don’t be afraid to say no or let them know that you’re working to a deadline.


The first step to better time management

We have created a 5 day course all-around time management available to you absolutely FREE. Here is what else you can expect:

Why Is Time Management Important when running a business? Supportal

Mastering your time – 25 Page E-Book

Get a better understanding of the importance of time management and how you can make the most of your time.

Mastering your time – Checklist
View or print this handy checklist so that you can check off each point. It is a summary of the entire guide but in actionable, bite-sized points so that you can successfully get through this mini-course.

4 D’s of Time Management
This guide will help you decide what action to take. This process will help increase productivity and will help you manage your time better.

What to Delegate – Worksheet
This worksheet will help you to start thinking about what to delegate. In the meantime, you can find out everything you need to know about outsourcing to a virtual assistant.

5 Bonus Time Management Tips
These will be sent daily via email sent daily, so keep an eye out.




10 Engaging Instagram Caption Ideas

10 Engaging Instagram Caption Ideas

Consistency is the key to building your Insta presence, so you can’t rest on your laurels. You need to have top class material ready to go. But it is not always that easy. When you are running a business, time to sit and think about how best to engage your social audience is a luxury. That is why we have developed these Instagram caption ideas that you can check in with for instant content suggestions.

Bookmark this page and make sure you visit every time you come to schedule your business Instagram posts.


10 Examples of Instagram Caption Ideas


Post a How-To

People follow you because you know what you are talking about. You are an expert in your field. Imparting your knowledge to your eager followers is one of the most important Instagram caption ideas.

Solve a problem for a follower who is already interested in your niche, look benevolent and wise, and encourage likes, comments and saves, all of which tell Insta that this post is one that should be shown high up in your followers’ feeds.

Check out our Canva clean and simple Instagram post templates. We’ve created the image template for you, you just need to add a couple of personal touches to make it yours. These are perfect for illustrating a ‘how to’ post.


Share a Quote

As well as presenting your own wisdom, sometimes it is good to profile someone else’s too. A quote from a respected figure with a pithy, memorable, and relatable statement that is relevant to your business can do wonders for your account. People love to share them. The more shares you receive, the better that looks in Insta’s algorithm and the more potential customers view your content.

As Instagram can be a place where credits are not always properly attributed, make sure the image for your caption features the quote, the name of the person who made it and your branding and even website address. That way, if people screenshot it or save it to their camera roll, you still get your company name out there.

There are a number of sites from which you can source quotations, including BrainyQuote.


Celebrate a National Day

There are national and international days to celebrate anything and everything. From World Teachers’ Day to Talk Like a Pirate Day, each has its own following and, crucially, hashtag. People will be searching for that on the day, so create your relevant Instagram caption to capture some of the search traffic during that 24-hour period (or even longer given the different time zones). It makes you seem topical and relevant to those who see your post and allows new people who don’t follow you yet to find out about what you do.

One great resource to use to find out all about the national days coming up, so you can plan your posts, is Days of the Year. They even list the relevant hashtags you can use in your posts too.


Ask Followers to Fill in the Blanks

Likes are great, but comments are even better for showing Instagram that you make engaging content worthy of being seen by the widest possible audience. One way to encourage comments is to ask followers to fill in the blanks in a statement. People just can’t resist adding their thoughts when you leave a tantalizing opportunity.

You could create a Canva image with the phrase “The best item on a full English breakfast is ___________” and then see what people suggest, for example. The idea is to spark debate amongst your followers, who will all be convinced that their opinion is correct, and others are misguided. You can have a lot of fun with this in the comments.


Show Behind the Scenes

It’s a well-used phrase, but ‘people buy from people’. Yes, your brand and branding are important, but it is worthwhile reminding followers that there is a human being behind the business.

Connect with followers by sharing a funny, inspiring, unusual, or interesting story about your life and they will instantly feel more able to relate to you and what you are doing. This is key when it comes to making spending decisions. If they feel that connection, they could well be more inclined to use your organisation.

When scheduling your social media, make sure you let your fans glimpse behind the curtain once in a while.


Profile Your Inspiration

Every idea came from a moment of inspiration and your followers will be keen to see what inspires you to do what you do. Whether it is the person in your field who you look up to, a mood board of concepts that informed a product or merely the problem that you needed to solve that led to the creation of your business.

Show this off in an Insta image and use some storytelling in your caption to capture the attention of your fans and take them on a journey through your thought processes. This is another great way of making that emotional connection between customer and company.



People love to give their opinions, so encourage that to help instigate more engagement in your comments. For example, asking whether they prefer TV shows or films is a simple one, as is asking whether followers prefer staying in or going out.

Offering opposing options guides people to take a side and defend their decision in an explanation in your comment section.

You could even have fun with this and try a ‘would you rather’ type post. These are more creative situations with two equally good or equally bad outcomes, which requires followers to really think about their answers and justify them. One example would be ‘would you rather have to sing everything you wanted to say or dance all of your movements?’ Try making the question relevant to your niche to keep things on brand.


Take Part in a Challenge

There are a host of challenges out there on Instagram. These are often month-long events where there is a prompt every day for a different post. For example, one day the prompt might be ‘tidy’, the next day ‘fun’, the next day ‘mysterious’, and so on. Your challenge is to find something that fits the prompt but also remains in the voice of your account.

The great thing is that it encourages you to post every day, which is great for engagement, challenges often have hashtags, so new people will find your posts, and you can turn them into an opportunity to show off a product or service that you want to sell.

You could even begin your own challenge and be a leader in the field!


Make an Announcement

Don’t be afraid to shout about your successes. People want to hear about them. They love hearing about good news, so share away!

It could be a major new project going live, a milestone that you have passed as a business or perhaps a post about your business charity efforts, Instagram is the place to do it. Instagram caption ideas don’t always have to be about other people, sometimes you should make yourself the star of the show.


Share Before and After Shots

Instagram is ideal for displaying transformations. It could be a home renovation, a haircut, Stacey Solomon’s Tap to Tidy efforts or anything else where there is a stark difference between the before and after shots. People love them and are keen to see what your business does in order to create that change.

It helps people envisage how they can change their lives and situation by using your company and that takes them one step closer to becoming a customer.


Turn These Instagram Caption Ideas into Reality

Turn these ten ideas into reality right now, by using our Instagram templates from Canva. There are 97 templates to work with in order to illustrate the captions that will engage your followers.


You can also try our done-for-you captions and graphics package, where all you need to do is copy and paste the captions we have generated into your Instagram app. These are available on a pay-as-you-go basis, depending on how many you need for your social media. Download them today.


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Diary Management – What You Need To Schedule

Diary Management – What You Need To Schedule

Diary management is the act of organising and maintaining a schedule. This can be in the form of a physical Diary, an online Calendar, or even just a list of tasks to be completed. Good diary management is a key skill for anyone in a busy role, as it helps to ensure that deadlines are met, appointments are attended, and tasks are completed efficiently. There are a number of different diary management systems that you can use, depending on your needs. The most important thing is to find a system that works for you and that you will be able to stick to. With a little bit of planning and organisation, good diary management can help to make your work life far simpler and more efficient.


Why diary management is important

A work diary is essential for ensuring you complete every task at hand. If the information on forthcoming events is up-to-date in your Outlook or Google calendar, you know exactly what you have to do and when. A well-managed diary displays everything in one place, making it hugely preferable to trying to keep track of deadlines on a stack of post-it notes. We are much better at digesting the blocked-out timeframes than we are at reading through reams of texts. Your diary is not only a central resource for you but also for your teams too. They can see when you’re busy, when you’re free, when you’re on leave and when you have a major deadline lurking around the corner. This means they can plan their time accordingly so they are free when you are if they need to catch up.

In today’s busy world, diary management is an essential skill for anyone who wants to be successful.


Improves your customer services reputation

Sharing your diary also means you can improve your customer service. If a potential client calls when you are out of the office, a team member can confidently book a convenient time for a meeting between you and the customer, providing a slick and impressive operation.


Make the most of the time & prioritise

Diary management can help you to make the most efficient use of your time. By carefully planning your day, you can ensure that you have enough time to complete all of your tasks. It also helps you to prioritise your tasks and make sure that the most important items are given the appropriate amount of attention. Finally, diary management can help you to keep track of deadlines and ensure that you are meeting all of your commitments.


Create a healthier work-life balance

Diary management is one of the most important tools you can use to create work-life balance. By keeping track of your commitments, and scheduling time for yourself, you can ensure that you have enough time for both work and play. Diary management can help you to avoid overbooking yourself, and leaving yourself feeling overwhelmed. It can also help you to identify areas where you need more support, such as childcare or housekeeping. By taking the time to manage your diary, you can ensure that you have the time you need to live a balanced life.


What to schedule in your work diary

Multiple possible dates

Good diary management means keeping appointments updated as soon as you discover the details. If a client offers multiple possible dates for a meeting, book the time out for each option. This means no one can double book you after you have responded to the customer with the dates that work for you. Once a final date is set, you can delete other options, freeing up your diary.


Include preparation time

Take time every week to review the entries on your calendar for the next seven days. You may have booked the time in for a meeting, phone call or job interview, but have you allowed time for the necessary prep work? If you have any action items, allow yourself time before the event to complete them and ensure you are prepared. Without this time in your diary, you could find yourself overrun with other jobs and go into events feeling like you are not as ready as you could be. It is also a good idea to take a moment to perform a quick review of your calendar every morning to ensure that the items you felt were priorities are still the most important tasks on your plate.


Add appointment locations

If the diary is well managed, you can utilise all manner of efficiency-boosting tactics. For example, if you have a meeting in a particular town already booked in, you can schedule appointments with nearby clients on the same day to prevent unnecessary travel. If your diary is not up-to-date, you might miss this quick win.


Your diary is not accurate without travel times

If you do travel for appointments, remember to bear this in mind when you block out the time. Always add your travelling time before and after the meeting or event. If you’re based in London but are attending a conference in Manchester at 2pm, your colleagues and clients need to know that you will not be available in the capital after 11am. If your diary is badly managed and only has you down as busy from 2pm, you could find yourself being committed to being in two places at the same time.   Always add your travelling time before and after the meeting or event. Click To Tweet


Schedule follow-up meetings

Scheduling a follow-up meeting as soon as you finish an initial appointment with a client helps you focus on delivering the action points. Invite all of the attendees so everyone can start planning their time in order to be able to update the group by that date. This helps keep the momentum going with the work that you discuss and allows you to organise your diary in the most effective manner.


Block out time to check your emails

Block out a chunk of time to spend working through your emails. This allows you to be free to get stuck into your other tasks without distractions at all other times. That ping that comes with a new mail can instantly break your train of thought when you are trying to concentrate on other jobs and you can easily forget where you were going if you stop, head to your email app, and read and reply to the message in the middle of a task. With a set time for dealing with emails, this diary management tip allows you to plough through them in one go and be free to dedicate yourself wholly to the important jobs of the day beyond that.

Diary Management - What You Need To Schedule Supportal


Create outlook reminders, always be prepared

Use the ‘Reminders’ function to stay ahead of deadlines. Discovering you have to complete a major report in a week’s time is far preferable to only remembering it needs to be in an hour before the cut-off time.


Add personal date reminders

You can also add in personal birthday and anniversary information, as these are the sorts of dates that can easily slip your mind when you are concentrating on making a success of your business. To manage the diary effectively, you can separate these items from the pressing work engagements, as well as distinguishing between meetings, courses, deadlines and other items by colour coding them. In need of some inspiration.


Only schedule necessary meetings

It is easy to fall into the habit of always scheduling a string of meetings for each project you work on, but when you look at your diary, do you really have time to block out time for meetings on every single topic? The fact is that meetings are not always helpful. Sometimes they achieve great results, but sometimes you could have reached the same conclusion just by collaborating on a Google Doc. Ask yourself whether a meeting is really the best, most effective and efficient course of action to get the job done. Often diary management is about what not to schedule as well as what to schedule.


Schedule your peak productivity times

Every person has a different optimum time in the day when they are at their most productive. Some people know that it is just before dawn, while others find themselves energised after lunchtime snacks and drinks! If you know what time of day works best for getting things done at record speed without distractions from meetings or other obligations, schedule it and avoid meetings during this time. This is time to get ‘stuff’ done.


Track where your time is going 

You know what they say “time is money”. Save yourself some valuable minutes by using a time tracking tool! There are a few out there that will serve you well, we have personally used Clockify and Toggl. Using these digital tools helps manage and analyse your productivity. They let you see when and where all of those little distractions happen and where your time is going, which in turn helps improve your focus!


Good diary management starts with colour codes

Colour code using automatic conditional formatting

Conditional Formatting automatically colour codes your Outlook calendar items based on certain words you use, helping you to manage your diary. If you have Outlook 2007 or earlier, it’s called Automatic Formatting. Here’s how you use Conditional Formatting:

  1. From the Calendar window, use the ‘View’ tab and choose the ‘View Settings’ button in the group marked ‘Current View’. From there, choose ‘Conditional Formatting.
  2. Press ‘Add’ in order to create a new category of appointments.
  3. Pick a name for the category (eg. ‘Meeting’, ‘Training Course’ etc.)
  4. Select a colour for the category.
  5. Press ‘Condition’.
  6. On the ‘Appointments and Meetings’ tab enter the word you intend to use in the entry that will trigger the colour change. This will also probably be ‘Meeting’, ‘Training Course’ etc.
  7. Press ‘OK’.
  8. Repeat the process for each different category you wish to colour code.

Manually colour code outlook calendar items

You can also colour code your outlook items manually, as you input them into your diary.

Here’s how it works:

  1. From the Calendar view, right-click on an appointment.
  2. Hover over ‘Categorise’ until a choice of colours appears to the right.
  3. Select the colour you wish to use for the type of appointment.


FREEBIE: To help you implement our tips we have created a PDF giving you the steps you need to colour code your calendar with ease.

Diary Management - What You Need To Schedule Supportal


Get assistance with your diary management

Diary management can be a time-consuming and frustrating task, especially if you’re trying to do it yourself. By outsourcing your diary management to a professional service, you can free up your time to focus on more important things. A good diary management service will keep track of your appointments, meetings, and deadlines, and will make sure that you’re always where you need to be. They’ll also handle rescheduling and cancellations, so you don’t have to worry about it. In addition, a professional service can provide valuable insights into your schedule, and can offer suggestions on how to improve your time management. If you’re struggling to keep on top of your Diary Management, outsourcing it to a professional service is a great solution.


Delegate your diary management to Supportal

When you’re juggling a million different tasks, it’s easy to forget about the management of your calendar. But this can result in missed appointments and lost time! That is why having an expert handle all aspects from start to end will make sure that nothing slips through the cracks.

Supportal can manage your diary on your behalf. Make sure you always hit deadlines, you know when team members are free, and that your calendar is easy to digest at all times. Contact us to find out how we can help make your business as efficient as possible through effective diary management.

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