1.1 What’s the purpose of using a diary system?
Time is very important in a private agency like this one. It is essential time is managed for each employee. Therefore the role of efficiently planning and organising your own work schedule, and other people’s, is one of the most valuable activities you can be involved with.
A diary system may be maintained manually or electronically. It is one of the major resources within the office, without which, none of us would know where we should be or what we should be doing at any given time.
1.2 What are the different types of diary system?
Diary systems can be grouped into two types: Manual and Electronic.
Manual systems: The most common type of manual diary system used in offices is the book in which appointments are recorded. These may be:
- 1 day/page
- 2 days/page
- 1 week view
- 2 week view
When selecting the most appropriate type of manual diary to use, you will need to consider how many entries you are likely to make in any one day.
Another completely different manual system is a wall planner. These are usually laminated charts which have a space per day covering the whole of the year.
Electronic systems: Electronic diaries can be maintained on a personal computer, a laptop, a palmtop or an electronic organiser. They have a number of advantages over manual systems:
- Highlighting conflict between appointments.
- Regular events only need to be entered once.
- Much less paper is used.
- Can be password protected.
- Multiple access available.
- On screen reminder of appointments.
- Database compatibility.
- Electronic contact.
1.3 Why should you obtain relevant information about requested diary entries and changes?
Requests for changes may seem to be relatively minor tasks, but these may have a knock-on effect which could have major implications. Delaying an appointment could cause the person attending to be late for, or even miss, other meetings for later in the day. It is important, therefore, to check the effects that a requested change will have before agreeing to it.
All relevant information has to be obtained because you have to make sure that everyone attending the meeting or any appointment has convenience and are given all the details, so that there is no error at any time.
2.1 What types of information is needed for diary entries?
Information such as time, duration, date, venue, attendees, chair, visitors are required to make diary entries.
2.2/2.3 How do you prioritise requests and what is the purpose of doing so?
It is essential that you prioritise actions that you need to take in the event of receiving a number of requests or changes to arrangements at the same time. Obviously the changes are probably best dealt with in chronological order. Also everyone involved with the meeting have to be contacted and made sure it is convenient for everyone before requests or changes are confirmed. Changes that affect appointments on the day that you receive the changes, will need dealing with, before changes to appointments or meetings in the future.
2.4 Why should you try to balance the needs of all those involved?
Every person involved in the appointment or meeting has to be given sufficient time for planning, travelling and for other needs so that the meeting goes smoothly without any problems for anyone. For a meeting to be successful, all of those involved have to be present and be given sufficient preparation time.
2.5 Why should you communicate changes to those affected?
Changes have to be communicated on time, plus, if you are responsible for other people’s diaries it is vital that you communicate any changes to them in good time to enable them to prepare for any meetings or travel involved. It is also important to leave sufficient time in the day for them to deal with routine matters and sufficient traveling time between appointments if necessary.
Others who are affected by the changes will most likely have other appointments in