Smartphone apps and desktop programs that are used to track your life can be found within seconds by a few quick strokes on a keyboard or a couple of swipes on a smart phone screen.
These apps can send handy reminder notifications, don’t have limits on space, can sync with contacts, and even sometimes sync with other apps in clever ways.
But are they better than a traditional paper planner like an agenda book or calendar? In my opinion, I don’t think they are. Check out my thoughts on Why You Should Use a Paper Planner to Get Organized! I also have a gorgeous printable 2018 calendar available at the end of this post!
At the beginning of the year I shared my word for the year. This year the word that was placed on my heart is FOCUS. You will hear me talk about that word a lot this year as I try to show you tools I am using to help me focus.
One of those is my beautiful planner! I love it and it is helping me to focus on prioritizing on what is truly important. So with all that said….
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Why You Should Use a Paper Planner to Get Organized
1. Paper Planners are Easier to Set Up
One of the main reasons I like to use a paper planner to get organized is the ease of its use. Even if you’re tech savvy and don’t have any problems navigating apps and programs, digital planners still have a bit of a learning curve.
Every app has a different way of working and a different navigation flow to find the tools you need. On top of that, many apps include space for a lot of detail that you actually don’t need such as location, notes, attachments, etc.
But because those detail slots are there, you may feel like you need to spend time filling in that non-essential information. Lastly, setting up the “before event” reminders in an app takes time. What events do you need to be reminded of?
Do you need a 30 minute or 1 hour reminder? Do you need to be reminded of the event 1 day prior or 2 days prior? Don’t forget to check your calendar to ensure it’s not a conflict on time. There are too many decisions and details.
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A paper planner is simpler. You just write in the event/appointment and the time. In most cases, you don’t need to write down a location because you know where the event is.
If you need to add notes you can do so in a few words, like “Bring cupcakes.” And just because you’re writing on paper doesn’t mean you can’t have reminders!
If you feel the need for reminders, you can just jot them in on a date ahead of time in a few words, like “Recital next Sat.”
2. Paper Planners are Less Annoying
Do you ever get annoyed by all the reminder emails and reminder chimes that come with using a reminder app/program? I do! When I’m setting up my digital planners, it always seems like a good idea to set up at least a few reminders before the events.
But I realized that once I have a couple of events set up with reminders, I start getting reminders all the time! This becomes increasingly annoying.
And even worse, it desensitizes me to the alerts and I soon stop looking or paying attention to them. Which usually ends up with me forgetting an appointment!
That’s why I feel that one of the best benefits of using a paper planner to get organized is the fact that it doesn’t constantly send me the notifications. If you have a monthly calendar you can get a reminder at a glance, and if you have a multi-page agenda, you can just do a quick flip through in the morning or evening.
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3. Writing May Help You Remember Better
If you have a really busy life and like to make a detailed plan of what you’re going to do, you may think that a digital planner is better for your situation.
But studies continually show that writing things down by hand actually allows you to think and process better, and as a result may make it more likely that you follow through on your plans.
Some people also feel that they’re more likely to remember appointments on their own if they write the events on their calendar by hand instead of typing them. There’s just a mind-body connection with handwriting that doesn’t exist in the same way with typing.
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4. Paper Planners Work Everywhere
It doesn’t matter what handy apps you have if your phone is out of power! And some apps can’t be updated if you don’t have an active internet connection. Some apps can’t be synced with other devices, which might put you in another bind.
But a paper planner can work anywhere! I don’t have to worry about what’s going on with my phone. I can just pull out my planner to check it or add things whenever I like.
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5. Paper Planners Can Be Fun
Thanks to the creation of beautiful planners like Erin Condren’s Life Planner and planner stickers, planners are now highly customizable in a way that planner apps just can’t match. Creating a beautiful planner can be fun and even relaxing.
Planners can become even more fun if you add in a social aspect by becoming a part of the planner community – a group of like-minded planner-loving people who can be found on virtually any social media platform.
So those are my top 5 reasons why I feel it’s best to use a paper planner to get organized. But choosing what type of planner to use is a personal decision.
Which type works best for you will depend on your tech skills, what you need to plan, how you want to plan it, and how you want to be reminded. It doesn’t hurt to try both types and see what works best for you!
Get a calendar/reminder app for your smart phone/computer and also print out my printable 2018 calendar below. Then compare the two and see which you like best!
Have you ever used a digital planner/reminder app? Did you like it more than or less than paper planning?