Most people who plan their day fall into one of two camps. They are either full on paper planner users – or full on digital planner users. Both are missing out on the best aspects of both types of planners! You should use both paper and digital planners for the best results. Both paper and digital are great – but not at the same things and not for the same reasons.
Paper planner good stuff:
- Physically writing things out helps you to organize your thoughts because you will think about what you want to write and in what order.
- Writing things out by hand helps commit them to memory because you are engaging more of your brain power
- When you write things out it helps you to visualize the demands on your time.
- Written words can’t be closed out and forgotten
- Can be customized to suit any need – really, there is no limit to what you can do.
And some not so good stuff about using paper planners:
- Can be more easily lost than your phone – meaning the info will not be protected from curious eyes
- Doesn’t have audible or visual reminders
- Another thing you have to carry around with you during the day
- Not backed up somewhere if they’re lost – meaning if it’s lost it’s gone – hope the memory thing worked!
Digital planner good stuff:
- Entering things helps you to organize your thoughts
- Digital is super convenient because it can be carried with you on your phone
- Easily customizable reminders and notifications
- Different aspects of your day are easily connected with apps that make your life simple
- Most apps automatically backup somewhere – usually nothing is truly lost if you lose your device
And some not so good stuff about using digital planners:
- Notifications and reminders can be easily silenced – and forgotten
- Phone batteries can be drained unexpectedly
- Apps can be buggy
- You’re limited to the features of the app and no one app does everything
- Digital devices can be hacked
With all these pros and cons to both there is a simple solution.
Use both paper and digital planners for the best results.
This way you get the best aspects of each and don’t have as much risk of losing track of your day, week, and month when things go wrong (because at some point, in some way, things will go wrong).
Now, some people will tell me it as a waste of time to use both – and if you’re doing the same things with both you’re right. The trick is to use each for what they are best for. This is how I do just that.
I use the paper planner for:
- To Do list
- Meal planning – Grocery lists
- Shopping lists (or really, any list at all)
- Simple calendar functions – like time blocking my day
- Brainstorming – and generally collecting my thoughts
I use the digital planner for:
- Appointments at specific times and locations – especially if I need to drive to a location. There is nothing more simple than setting an appointment in my Google calendar and entering the address. Then when the reminder to leave for the appointment comes up I simply click on the location address and I have almost instant navigation to where I need to be. This is a super useful tool if you (like me) live in a new city and don’t know where anything is.
- Tracking information over longer periods of time – things like medical info, fitness info, etc. Paper records for this type of info can easily be used, but the paper is going to become worn and the details could be lost over time. I don’t particularly care for things to look ragged and crumpled so this is a real deal breaker for me.
So, while both paper and digital can be good enough options – you should use both paper and digital planners for the best results. For more tips and info on how I run all aspects of my life, including two businesses, using both paper and digital planners sign up to receive our monthly newsletter.
Now that you know how I use both paper and digital planners for the best results I want to hear about what you do – and why?
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