Certainly, the first rule: each day, check the day's stuff, do it and be done with it!
But, on the occasion that I have to hunt for something that I put in by date and I can't remember the date, I waste a lot of time! I have to hunt through as many as 43 "folders". And, then for some of the dates, there is a big stack to look through. Any ideas on how not to lose things in a tickler? A lot of the things I put in are what I would call "possibles" , notices of exhibtions and plays that I might want to go to, in fact I really will go to one of maybe 10 that are avialable in a 2 week period. The problem is I don't know where else to put them. If I lived in a big city I would see a lot of advertising about these with dates and time and that would cue me but here it is just my newspaper clippings and flyers that come in the mail.
Also, I don't know what to do with what I call "ranges". I have to do certain things within a range of dates but I don't know exactly what date I will do them and and thus don't know when I will need to retrieve the item. For example, renewing the drivers license which you can do up to six weeks before expiration, if I put the form in the tickler for the first day I can do it, I will be moving it about quite a bit. And, most important I need to keep this as a calendar item and make it a next action starting on "opening day". I think maybe the second rule is that if it does not have a corresponding "hard" date on the calendar, maybe it does not belong in the tickler.
So, I guess part of the problem is whether the tickler are being used to hold objects that "cueing devices" or "date-related reference", or if it shoud, function just as date-labelled pigeon hole?
For example, my opera tickets are for the whole season, so I need to enter the dates in the calendar and then put the tickets in by date (pigeon hole). But what do I do with the information about the history of that opera that I want to read sometime before I go to the opera (casual read and review file?)and a list of dates about optional things that are related such as an exhibit, a lecture, a tour, and all these have reservation deadlines-- what should I do with this?