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The Best of Both Worlds

paper planner with electronic

paper planner with electronic

How to use a paper planner in combination with an electronic planner (iPhone, iPad, Android etc.)

I mentioned in a previous article that there are at least 5 ways a paper planner is better than an electronic one. Of course there are many ways digital is better than paper but for now let’s look at one example that makes them even better when used together.

I don’t think we have to go into the hundreds of things that an electronic device is amazing at – searching, sharing, connectivity, checking email, setting repeating events, copying and pasting, alarms and reminders etc., etc. on and on. But we need to be honest about one thing, no matter how committed you are to your gadget you still use paper! And in here lies a problem. Let’s look at a couple scenarios and then look at how paper and gadget can work together.

The Telephone

Let’s say you’re on the phone with a client, the client is speaking a mile a minute about what they need from you, obviously you’re making notes of some kind (unless you are relying on your memory, yikes!!). So the big question here is what are you making the notes on? In a lot of cases your planner is your phone so you’re certainly note making note on it! Even the most ardent techies still jot things down on paper, it’s just easier. The problem is what paper are you jotting the notes onto? A scratch pad? Sticky notes? Scraps of paper? And then what? Then you have to transcribe all these notes a second time into your gadget? What a waste of time! Or do you just make a nice neat pile of these scrappy notes and refer to them throughout the day to see if you’ve forgotten anything? Not only is that a waste of time, it’s a completely disorganized way to work. A better way is to have a planner that offers space to write all the important notes of the conversation directly into it. This way you write it once and it’s organized with all your other important information.

Email

Here’s another scenario. You turn on your device and check your email. The first email you open is a note from a client that says “Please send me a detailed estimate later today and call me at 956-242-6887 after you send it.” So there are two important things you need to remember 1) you need to spend an hour creating an estimate and 2) you need to email it and follow up with a phone call.

So how do you deal with this information? Are you actually going to take the time to exit your email program, launch your calendar app and create a new appointment and copy and paste the email into it? Maybe, but I doubt it. More likely you will a) rely on your memory (yikes again!) b) print the email and add it to the other pile of forgotten work c) Mark the email as unread and deal with it later or d) jot the information on a scrap of paper. The most organized option is to have a planner that offers space for this type of information. You simply jot down “estimate for John, call 956-242-6887” and you’re done! Now that important task is in the “real” world and not out of site out of mind. It’s in your planner for today which is opened or visible on your desk.

You can still keep all your appointments in your device with reminders set easily accessible from anywhere by you or your team, but your must do items and all the important information collected during the day is neat and tidy in your task planner sitting on your desk. Your planner acts as a nag, always in sight always in mind, and you’re always organized.

The takeaway from this article is that you DO use paper so just make sure the paper you are using keeps you organized and not scattered and flustered searching for things whether in the real world or the electronic one. The best paper for the job is a planner with dedicated space to capture this type of information. The old grid-style time planners just don’t cut it anymore. Times have changed and so should your planner. Check out the Daily Priority Pad as a great option for merging high tech with paper.

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5 Reasons a hardcopy paper day planner is better than an electronic one (iPad, iPhone, android, tablet, etc.)

paper-planner-vs-ipad

paper-planner-vs-ipad

Is an electronic planner as good as a paper planner?

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.

  1. Speed

  2. 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…

  3. The best tool for the job

  4. 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!

  5. Field of Vision

  6. 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!

  7. Memory

  8. 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.

  9. Custom fit

  10. 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.