Diary Management Tips from Some of Our Top PAs

Posted on Thursday, September 9, 2021 by A Top London PANo comments

At our PA recruitment agency, we know just how important diary management is for those doing PA jobs in London. We chatted to some of our best candidates to get the inside scoop on how they manage their diaries effectively. Read on to find out more.

Top diary management tips

  • Set reminders

    Zoe tells us, “My number one piece of advice is to set reminders. It’s no use putting things in the diary if you then forget them! I use push notifications and alarms, and it really helps to ensure that nothing gets missed.”

  • Use colour

    “I use Google Calendar and have five diaries synced with my own. It can be crazy!” says Amit. “So, I colour code everything. Each synced diary has a unique colour, and then different things within my own diary have different colours too. I know the colours instinctively so it can really help me make sense of things.”

  • RSVP immediately

    An invitation comes in and then it languishes in the inbox. Marcus explains how he deals with this: “As soon as possible, I find out whether my boss wishes to attend.  If he does, I reply and diarise it immediately, and make all necessary arrangements as soon as I can.”

  • Add notes to diary entries

    “To me, the diary is the hub for everything else,” says Vicki. “I don’t just input the schedule entry but I’ll add notes, or even document links, if specific things are needed for that meeting.”

  • Communicate effectively

    Rebecca responds, “I often think where people fall down with diary management is not realising how much communication is still needed. I talk to my principal, remind them of what’s coming up, and chat about what’s on their schedule.”

  • Note the time zones

    “Too many scheduling mistakes are time zone mistakes,” says Mirela. “I make sure I include time zone differences within the team calendar so that everyone can see how that impacts others.”

  • Shift things onto the to-do list

    “When something gets put in the diary, I automatically add any associated tasks to my to-do list,” says Pete. “This means that events are planned well in advance, because they aren’t just waiting until I happen to glance weeks later in the diary.”

  • Be kind with time

    “I always make sure my boss genuinely has enough time for meetings, enough time for travel connections, and enough time to actually sit and do blocks of work,” says Amy. “So many PAs diarise so much that their boss can’t actually fit it all in. I always try to think about what actually needs to be done in real life, not just virtually in the confines of a calendar! This gives room for flexibility too.”

  • Give enough detail

    “Diary entries are often meaningless because they don’t include enough detail. This may mean that team members ignore the entry, thinking it isn’t relevant to them,” says Emily. “It’s important to put things like room numbers, delegates, and any other extra useful information, to ensure that the right people pay attention.”

What are your top tips for diary management? Are you an excellent PA ready to take the next step in your career? Get in touch on 020 7870 7177.


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