I began using a new tool to support my multi-faceted life a year ago. That tool is the Full Focus Planner. It has become my daily guide to remain focused on where I am going and to record where I have been. It is my swiss army knife from which to plan and steer life one day at a time.
The term Logbook, originally referred to a book for recording readings from the chip log used to estimate a ship’s speed through the water. The variety of todays logbook applications and the forms they take originate from this first and still used purpose.
The chip log’s first recorded use is in the 15th century. A piece of wood, with a knotted rope tied to it, was tossed into the water, then the knots were counted while using a sand glass to count time. Using this data, the speed of the ship could be determined. Math and physics remain the same but the tools available to accurately and quickly collected the data needed to do the desired measurement have certainly changed!
Today’s Versions and Applications
Water-going Vessels. Today the logbook has expanded in both use and content, yet the attachment to its roots remain. Anything having to do with ships still use logs. Commercial, military and those private vessels who share waterways with these enterprises keep logs. These days are needed for safety, insurance and resale purposes.
Aviation. Many methodologies and vocabulary carried over from the waterways into the sky ways and the logbook is no exception. Aviation uses logs in many of the ways as the water going world does.
- Pilots must keep logs of their flying activity as documentation of required currency
- Aircraft owners must keep logs of all maintenance done in excruciating detail.
Again, these are for legal, insurance and resale purposes with safety at the root of all this required logging business.
Air Traffic Control . Due to its ties to the sky ways, it is no surprise there are a variety of logs required in this world:
daily equipment maintenance
sign-in/sign-off of duty and each position worked
- and more….
Due to the potential of access by the public for legal purposes, there are strict guidelines as to what does and does not go into these documents.
Scuba Diving. I suppose due to its ties to waterways and the need for intentional safety has its own version of logs.
Over-The-Road Transport. Some of the lingo has transferred to the over the road world for truckers and other commercial road warriors, but in the United Kingdom they use the term logbook for all personal vehicle registration papers.
Logbooks record data, but if you read them carefully, they tell the stories of people:
- Where they went
- What they did
- What it took to get there
- The obstacles that arose and how they were dealt with
Logbooks And Daily Journals
In the past log books included not only the needed data to survive and stay safe but also personal notes of interest and details about the particular mission. For instance,
early whaling logs contained details on the whales they encountered including sketches of the species and kinds of whales encountered.
In addition, these logs contained events, issues with the crew, or other items of interest to those to whom the captain reported. In most cases these early logs read more like a personal journal than a rendition of a day on the job. But then in those days the two overlapped significantly, without the ever present legal issues of today.
I began keeping a calendar as a student. I do not remember deciding or being told to do it, but Mom kept a family calendar, one of those desk types. The routine stuff was not necessarily noted as we had a fairly structured week around church, school, and small town community activities. It was th
e one-off special events:
- school or church trips,
- Church and school programs
- Trips to see grandparents or people coming to visit us
that made the mom calendar cut. I do not recall ever looking at it but I suspect it was through her modeling the calendar habit that I picked it up.
Early Journals – The Locked Diary Grows-Up
As a teen, had a locked diary (I wonder where that is?) but it was not long-lived. Life was so ordinary, it was boring to record the same things each day! As the years have progressed my calendar and journal evolved on separate tracks and at different rates.
In the 80s my work at with the government allowed access to learn and use the Franklin-Covey system. I used that system for over 20 years. However, my notes and activities for my work as a federal civil servant, did not include personal items since these notes could have been subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Any personal thoughts and notes were kept in a personal journal.
The latter I began intermittently in the 70s when I became Spirit-filled as a believer. consistency grew into a daily practice by the mid-90s. Still it was separate from my planning tool which evolved into using MS Outlook when the Franklin-Covey digital version fell short around 2005. When I retired, I continued using MS Outlook and a separate paper journal. During this time of transition, I groped for a fresh structure for this new season of life.
Full Focus Planner- A New Tool For A New Season
Resources like Living Forward facilitated reworking the various mission statements, dreams, visions and goals I had outgrown. A kind of vision face lift. When the Full Focus Planner. came out I subscribed for a year. I use this needed tool to pull things into one place. My:
- annual goals derived out of my life plan
- weekly big three focus items to move me toward those goals
- daily routines defined
- big three focus tasks to move the Weekly big three along
- misc daily to-dos.
There is a rolling quarter calendar for the “big rock” future events and a monthly calendar layout for more detailed planning. Each week there is a review of the past week and planning for the next. The process also includes a quarterly review.
Digital Has A Place
I still use MS Office to park projects and tasks not yet ready for action and to time block, track repeating tasks, appointments and ideal work week activities. The Full Focus Planner is made to compliment whatever digital system you may use, you simply pull
out the items that to focus on that day. This avoids the distraction that goes with digital tools.
The Full Focus Planner has also been serving as my daily journal. I am much less compartmentalized these days. It was necessary for the work that I was in, but now that is not the case. This may change as I have ordered the just released Journal by Micheal Hyatt. I have been using his format already and I look forward to this tool as well.
A Life Story
I still have a pilot’s logbook to track my flying time as well as several logs for my airplane, as is required. But these days, my Full Focus Planner serves as my personal logbook to plan and record my life.
When one reads the log books of old, you learn a lot about that person: where they went, what activities they were involved in or oversaw. I have my father’s pilot log books. It tells me where and when he flew. From his other writings I can discern who he may have
visited. These are precious recordings of his life here on this earth.
These kinds of documents serve as a means of taking control of ones time by planning with intention, then as a record of what actually took place. It serves as a legacy to those who will come after, because your time on earth matters!
Check out the Full Focus Planner. It is an awesome life planning, management tool.
What will you put in your calendar, logbook and/or journal today? Please comment below and don’t forget to sign up for the email reminder!