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Circle of Time Planner

by Paul Williams  |  
January 11, 2008

Time management optimization... I'm always looking for different and effective ways to enhance time management. I've learned better managing what you have to do frees you up for what you want to do. I've bumped into a novel approach to day management that you may want to try out.

We're all familiar with daily planner pages that use a grid/table to track the day (8 am at the top / 5 pm at the bottom).

This novel version I've found, uses the clock dial to visually map time. It's basically a pie chart of your day.

[from the X17 website]

There is something about seeing my day presented on a wheel like this that makes me feel I have better control of my time. I like seeing the spacial relationship between projects/tasks.
I found this on the X17 website ( They produce planners and notebooks... But what makes their system unique is that they use a series of rubber bands to hold multiple mini-sections in one book. (detail below)

You can mix pages that are blank, pages that are lined, a calendar, and an address book in the same journal. And... one of the inserts you can buy uses this clock dial planner!
I looked all over the internet to see if this was a standard template I could find. No luck. So the folks here at the Idea Sandbox Institute have re-created it.
Below is a sample blank page.

[click to view larger]

Here I've filled it out similar to the way they do in the example from the X17 site.

[click to view larger]

How to Use It
  • Draw lines from the center to the hours you have appointments.
  • Shade in the inner portion of the dial for in-office events. Shade in the outer portion for out-of-office events.
  • Add meaningful names to your events just outside the marked time.
  • Curving arrows can indicate a block of time.

If anyone is familiar with this tool, please let me know. I'm deducing from the example from the website that this is in fact how to use this planner.
Download It
Click to download a: Scalable Vector PDF version or a JPG version. Print at the proper size for the planning system you use. These are half-letter sized. (5.5" wide x 8.5" tall or 014 x 21.5 cm)
The X17 site is in German and French, but it uses plenty of graphics so you can figure out what you're looking at. To view the inserts available on the X17 website, follow THIS LINK and and click on Recharges. There you'll see all that are available.

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Hi there!

I'm Paul Williams... guest writer on Daily Fix and founder of Idea Sandbox.

I'm a professional problem solver. Through brainstorm facilitation I help people create remarkable ideas to grow their business. As one client put it, “Idea Sandbox turns brains into idea machines.”

Prior to launching Idea Sandbox in 2005, I spent 15 years building marketing, branding, and customer-experience strategy for The Disney Company, the Aramark Corporation, and Starbucks Coffee Company.

I founded Idea Sandbox driven by my passion to help others create remarkable ideas. I blend the skills and lessons I have learned to build a sandbox---an idea sandbox.

You can reach me on Twitter via @IdeaSandbox.

Through Idea Sandbox, I have helped solve challenges, grow brands, think-up remarkable ideas, and create innovation for companies including: Starbucks Coffee Company, Starbucks Coffee International, Panera Bread Company, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Woodhouse Day Spas, The Microsoft Corporation, and Wells Fargo Mortgage.

I am a writer, speaker, columnist, and brainstormer living just outside Washington DC, in Alexandria, Virginia.

If you like what you've read here, you can find more of my thoughts at my Idea Sandbox blog.

I always welcome comments and reactions to what I've written. I'm on Twitter: @IdeaSandbox

Nice to meet you,


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  • by Mario Vellandi Fri Jan 11, 2008 via blog

    What I like about this is its macro-perspective, making the major goals of the day on a visual plane that we're familiar with (an analog clock). It also nicely forces people to categorize large time goals, instead of many minute tasks. This helps keep the mind attuned to accomplishing what's important for today. Thanks for sharing!

  • by Dusan Vrban Sat Jan 12, 2008 via blog

    Someon should make this for windows mobile to draw itself out of the calendar. I'm bad at drawing. :-) And yet I'm too dependend on digital calendar...

  • by J8 Internet Marketing | Jeroen Sun Jan 13, 2008 via blog

    I am gonna use this! This gives me more insight in my day than a regular digital calender i think. Very practical!

  • by Gavin Heaton Sun Jan 13, 2008 via blog

    Now this looks like it might just work for me. I might give it a go in the next few weeks and let you know how I go. Thanks!

  • by billthomasweb Sun Jan 13, 2008 via blog

    This will provide better visual memory of how my day looks time wise. In fact, I intend to draw this on my office whiteboard, and fill it in each day so I can see my day at a glance while working, or on the phone. Thanks for sharing. Great post.

  • by Mark Woods Sun Jan 13, 2008 via blog

    I like the concept. I would like to share another concept with you just launch last month by Day-Timer designed by Trapper Woods. You'll find a similar approach, looking at our time as boxes. Here is a video tutorial on it the concept.

  • by Paul Williams Mon Jan 14, 2008 via blog

    Yay! I'm glad you're finding this as interesting as I do. I agree with planning a week's worth of goals, but this is a neat way to manage your day. They say kids who learn to tell time using an analog vs. digital clock have a better sense of time because they see the distance between now and 3pm on the face of the clock. Please do let me know how this works for you. Leave your comments here, or contact me via

  • by Elaine Fogel Wed Jan 16, 2008 via blog

    A few years ago, I took a time management/project management workshop and the tools they suggested were similar. Since then, however, I've moved to electronic formats exclusively and have been looking for something that allows me to not only schedule my time but to easily docket my time for client work. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm open. Thanks!

  • by Frank Schilling Wed Jul 2, 2008 via blog

    now online! The X17/X47 Time Management Philosophy and the X47 chronicle.

  • by Pierre-Luc Bisaillon Mon Sep 8, 2008 via blog

    Hi, Very interesting. I am actually looking for a similar planner that has a blank page for each day, with a small circle in the middle - the idea is to divide by time, just like you have above, but there's lots more white space around (imagine the same image as above, but in the centre, with no text on the clock, and nothing at the bottom) I saw it reviewed in Men's Health, Maxim, or a similar magazine but can't find it again... maybe someone knows what the brand name is? Thanks! PL

  • by Kent Tue Oct 21, 2008 via blog

    Holy cow...I stumbled across this forum a month ago in search of the same planner Pierre-Luc described and have been coming back regularly to see if anyone found the name...turns out I found out myself and thought I might share the info...the planner was featured in Men's Journal magazine and can be found at

  • by Misty Mountain Projects Thu Sep 18, 2014 via web

    So I sign up for your newsletter and I still can't see the images on this site. I would sure like to review this before I have an avalanche of really unwanted email.

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