Is an electronic planner as good as a paper planner? Here are 5 Reasons a Paper Planner is better than an Electronic One
In the age of the gadget there’s really no limit to what your device can do. And though it can do a lot there’s a lot it doesn’t do well. And that brings us to the title of this article – is your device a good planning tool? Here are 5 reasons how a paper planner is better than your device.
Bet you weren’t expecting that one!
But think about it, I can flip my planner open to today’s date before you even get your device out of its case. Not to mention you have to turn it on, enter a password, find the app, launch it etc. And before you’ve done all this I have already scheduled my appointment and closed my planner. A paper planner is designed to do one thing, plan. And it does it very well! Which brings us to the next point…
2. The best tool for the job
You can use the handle of a screwdriver to bang in a nail, but why would you?
When you open your planner it’s for one purpose only, to plan. You are either looking at the week and making mental assessments of what’s coming up, what’s important, what’s left to do or you are scheduling upcoming events and tasks. The short story, you’re planning. When you turn on your device you are bombarded with distractions, email notifications, Facebook alerts and a hundred other possible ways to get lost in the digital abyss. One false move and you are lost for an hour falling further and further down the rabbit hole! If you want to bang in a nail, use a hammer!
3. Field of Vision
Seeing a plan in full gives you a clear idea of how you will get from A to B.
Have you ever Googled an address and clicked on the map only to be shown the exact location as an intersection on a map?! You then spend the next few seconds zooming out and out and out… ah that’s where it is! When you look at a planner on a device (and I don’t care if it’s a 6.6 x 9.4 inch iPad screen) you never seem to get the whole picture. You’re always swiping, pinching and scrolling to try and get the best view. Not so with a paper planner. You open it, and you have a complete view of your week complete with your tasks, priorities and schedule. A good paper planner will open up to the equivalent of a 15” computer monitor!
A good memory is more effective than a bad one!
It’s well accepted and backed by research that writing things down helps commit them to memory. And being able to mentally envision your schedule and tasks helps keep them in mind. You may argue that typing them into a device achieves the same thing; but in fact this is not true. Pam Mueller of Princeton University and Daniel Oppenheimer of UCLA studied college students in classrooms where some used laptops and others traditional notebooks for taking class notes, and guess what they discovered? Yep, the note-takers scored higher on the test, understood and recalled more.
5. Custom fit
Planning is 90% personality
Although every planner comes off the printing press identical the similarities stop when it reaches your hand. The way you use sticky notes and color coding, the highlighting and personal notes all reflect you and you as an individual. Your planner becomes a creative footprint of who you are as a person and how you plan to get where you’re going – your way. And the best planning system is one that you adapt yourself to work for you. A paper planner gives you the flexibility to mold it into your own personal planning system without the limitations of some app programmed by computer experts rather than designed by planning professionals.
Jason, your insightful blog post certainly got the conversation going when I shared it on my Facebook fan page. Interestingly, most people agree that paper planners are better than electronic – with one strong objection. Check it out if you have a chance: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10153372903073192&id=131622763191
Thanks for the “share” Hellen! A lot of good comments on your post.
Using a Montblanc mechanical pencil with my own handwriting in a Quo Vadis agenda has been part of my personality for more than… 5 years already!? Nice article.
Nice points. It is pretty cool that you discussed once again the eternal dilemma between paper planners and digital calendars.
However, I would argue that it is over. You may find it interesting that there is a solution that allows you to connect your paper planner to the digital calendar you use. http://sliceplanner.com/. Quite ambitious. It is worth attention though
Anyway, thank for the great piece.