The age old debate…should we go the old school paper route, or should we be taking advantage of what’s at our disposal and go digital?
Well, to be frank, there’s no right or wrong. Bear with me. I know that many people have said this, and then end up going back and forth between the two trying to find “planner peace”. Honestly speaking, I have gone back and forth between both and have been so frustrated when something doesn’t match up perfectly to what I’m looking for, but I’ve come to realize it’s because there is no perfect planning method.
As we grow older and change from school life to a career, and even develop our careers, our planning needs will change. In school, we have a very structured life with a time table and also deadlines for projects, tests and homework. In your career, things are very different because every job and every role is different. You can be a Restaurant Manager where you have weekly reports to do, but also have to plan two or three months ahead for big dates. You can be a Project Manager, manging multiple, well, projects at the same time with overlapping deadlines. You can be a Consultant, an Artist or even an Engineer. Your needs are going to be different from the person next to you.
So, again, paper or digital?
I have always found that paper sticks in my memory better because I tend to write slower than I type, and it allows me to slow down and think about what i’m jotting down. There are many layouts of planners now out there – daily, weekly, monthly, ring bound, leather bound, individual sheets, etc. Your options are endless. And it’s flexible! You can always switch to a different system. The downside? You can’t make plans at 2 AM when you’re drunk in a bar and expect yourself to remember to put it in your planner later. You also may not always want to lug the planner around with you, or even worse, you may forget to bring it. All of a sudden, your well planned out day is gone and you may not remember all the things you have to get done.
The great thing about digial planners and to do lists is that it’s always with you. Granted, if you are not a phone or computer person, then this may not apply to you, but in this day and age, many apps are cross platform and are also accessible on a computer so it’s nice to get a full week or month overview, but also to be able to zero in on one day. You can have multiple calendars (bye bye color coding on a paper planner!) and can even have access to other people’s planners. It’s versatile, and it’s convenient on the go. I have a tendency to plan my life on the go when I’m in the middle of my commute, or when i’m waiting around for my meetings or for friends. The downside? Well, if you don’t vibe well with the layout of an app, or you don’t like certain functions, it can be quite hard to commit to the app. Also, if your battery dies, or your account gets hacked, or the cloud stops syncing, things can fall apart.
I personally still am drawn to a physical planner but I have finally found a system that works best for me on digital platforms. I will go deeper into this on a different post some day, but I have no doubts that my planning method will change again over the next few months / years when my life and career path changes.
So, how should you pick a planner? I always suggest trying things before going all in. A lot of paper planners now have printables for you to try, and Pinterest is a great resource for different printables that you can use. For apps, there are free versions as well as premium versions a lot of the time. You can give the free app a go and watch YouTube videos for a preview of what the premium version is like and what it can offer. Test things for at least two months to give yourself time to adapt and try things. After two months, if you find that it’s not working, you can try a new app, but never delete your original list until you have found somthing that works 100%. That way, you can always revert back to the original list if you decide you need to, and you have a master list that you can refer to when moving onto a new app.
One of my favorite channels to watch is Keep Productive. It’s given me great insight to a lot of different platforms and apps, and also gives me better insight into tools I wasn’t utilizing fully. Check them out!
So what about you guys? Do you guys prefer paper or digital planning?
Currently watching: FRIENDS.