Time is very important and it can be utilised in a very efficient way by maintaining a diary system. The efficient planning and organisation of your own time and other people’s is, therefore, one of the most important activities that you can get involved with.

The most common type of manual diary system in use in offices  is the bound book in which appointments are recorded. Information such as time, duration, date, venue, attendees, chair, visitors are required to make diary entries.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.

Keeping the diary up to date when changes have been agreed is extremely important. You have to make sure that you have deleted any cancelled appointments. It is both annoying and embarrassing to arrive for an appointment only to be told that it has been cancelled, as well as being a waste of time.

A diary which is not kept completely up to date will have all sorts of confusion. It will make people lose confidence and becomes time wasting.

There may be questions of security and confidentiality involved when communicating amendments to arrangements. There may be negotiations taking place which could impact on the future of the organisation. If you are aware of these as a result of arranging meetings, it is important that you do not make this information available.

The efficiency of the whole organisation may be said to depend on the correct upkeep of the diary systems in use. Although it may seem, on the face of it, a very minor role, it would be very difficult if each member of staff had to remember what appointments they had and where they were meant to be at any given time.

A diary can be used for various purposes. One books personal or confidential appointments, appointments for meetings, discussions and other information in their diary. There can also be entries related to other people’s confidential information which are sensitive and personal. So each diary entry has to have settings like “private” for private information, and made sure that only appropriate people see any entries made, otherwise there will be a breach in confidentiality. We do not want someone to see ours or anybody else’s confidential information. Examples are an occupational health appointment, a formal review, a disciplinary meeting, rehabilitation or safeguarding meeting etc… So access to information by people has to be maintained and monitored.

The core – and perhaps unexpected – thing that books do for us is simplify. It sounds odd, because we think of literature as sophisticated. But there are powerful ways in which books organise, and clarify our concerns – and in this sense simplify.

We need simplification because our minds get checkmated by the complexity of our lives. The writer, on rare but hugely significant occasions, puts into words feelings that had long eluded us, they know us better than we know ourselves. They seem to be narrating our own stories, but with a clarity we could never achieve.

When it comes to security issues, if the calendar or diary was not protected, anybody will have access to information in the diary, and they can even edit or delete important information. When people are given access to calendars, they are given certain levels of permission when considering access rights and editing rights. Also the diary should be open only to people who require that particular information and closed from everybody else.

So in order for the organisation or department to function and operate properly, confidentiality procedures and security procedures need to be followed.