5 Reasons I Still Use a Paper Planner
I have a smartphone that I absolutely adore. I use the calendar on it for appointments, for syncing my schedule with City Spouse’s; for remembering birthdays and anniversaries; etc. I love that I can set reminders for it to notify with enough time to get cards sent.
But there are still some things about a paper planner that any app in the world can’t replace.
- I can decorate and color code as I want to, not how the app tells me to. I have a system right now, but I’ve noticed that sometimes I just feel the urge to create a new category or color for an item. I have yet to change my basic color coding (pink is mine, blue for CS, green for meals and menu planning…) but sometimes you get that random item that doesn’t really fit into the regular categories. I love being able to randomly pick the color that the item signifies to me from my large collection of markers. (I have these, and love them.)
- Brainstorming. I need to use the entire word association idea in order to get out everything that I know I need or want to do. I don’t know if that’s a conditioning habit from how I was taught back in school or not… but I’ve found that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. (I still have the anagram from Biology to remember the classification of living things: Kings Play Chess On Flat Glass Stands= Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus Species. Like I said: If it ain’t broke… LOL)
- Sharing. Sure, there are family sharing options on Google Calendar, but have you ever been planning your day and all of a sudden someone adds an event to Google calendar without any notice… right in a slot that you already have something of your own going on??? My City Spouse does this a lot. I have a lot of my own things in my calendar, but for some reason if he needs to make an appointment, he fails to double-check my schedule first. Sometimes it’s not a huge deal (I really don’t need to hold his hand while he goes to the doctor or anything.) but sometimes it’s something that I am now obligated by, but have to change my own appointments to accommodate. If I have a paper planner out, he does tend to look over it first to make sure of what I’ve got going on for the week or month ahead (depends on what page is open) and then try to plan for that also. And I’ve learned to write all of our important appointments on the huge whiteboard calendar in the kitchen. LOL
- Goal setting. Maybe I’m one of the few people who does this in their planner, but I have a goal setting section in my planner that helps me make sure to do at least one big thing for myself each week. Okay, big to me could be something as simple as cooking at home every night or making sure that a specific task gets completed. It’s usually not little things, but an added in chore, like cleaning out the freezer or double-checking my pantry or freezer inventory sheets and updating them. I could do this on an app calendar, I suppose, but I need to actually write down some explanation of why it did or did not get accomplished and then plan for what I can do differently. I’m a very emotionally motivated person, and actually seeing and focusing on the feelings behind my goals and my progress toward them really makes a big difference in how successful I am at reaching them,
- Habit. No matter what, we are all creatures of habit. I like the bulkiness of my planner in my bag… it gives me a sense of security knowing that with just a peek, I can see everything I have going on and what I need to accomplish for the day. I live in a high train-traffic town, and even the quickest trip to the grocery can be derailed (ha, see what I did there?) by a train blocking my path. I love having my planner in my purse beside me, and being able to look it over and add/cross off things that I’ve done. Some of my best ideas have come to me while sitting there waiting on the darned trains. And sometimes I just yell at them, especially when it’s making me late for work. But the security of my planner and the sense of control I have in using it really helps me to stay organized and accomplish more of my goals.
What system of planning do you use? Do you prefer paper or digital? Do you have a Command Center in your home?
I’d love to hear how you all coordinate your schedules!