Paper vs digital planner is a debate that has stormed the planner community, sharing positive and negative aspects of each style of planning.
The paper planner industry is vast with many brands offering a variety of planners that suit everyone’s needs. Paper planning is something that I have been doing for years through my bullet journaling and my other paper planner. I bought a paper planner which I have hardly used due to COVID and my current pain levels. I haven’t been making plans; therefore, it has stayed pretty empty. Learning how to start a paper planner effectively can dramatically improve your performance.
Here are 11 reasons and benefits of using a paper planner:
1. You Will Be More Organised And Productive
Having a paper planner system such as a bullet journal allows you to write down all your tasks, appointments and reminders that will all be in one place. Dedicating a day to plan for the week ahead means that you go into a new week knowing exactly what you need to do, so you will be more productive with your time and better organisation will improve your performance.
2. You Will Complete Tasks Faster
If you have all your plans and tasks written in one place ahead of time, it is going to mean that you complete the tasks quicker. You will not be wasting time working out what tasks you need to do that day or week. You can use the time to actually complete the tasks and goals you want to achieve. Using your planner as reference when working on tasks can be really beneficial in keeping you focused on the tasks at hand.
3. Helps To Manage Your Time
When you use a paper planner to write down all your tasks and appointments, placing tasks on certain days of the week to work towards your deadlines helps you to manage you time. Managing your time avoids work overload that causes stress and the tendency to procrastinate. You can add your deadlines to the tasks, which will help you to stay on track and focused. Learning how you can manage your time can make you far more organised and productive, which will lead to success.
4. You Will Declutter Your Task List And See Your Priorities
Writing down your tasks for each day can help you actually declutter your task list. If the next day, you head to your planner and you have to migrate a task or multiple tasks over, it makes you think about whether or not a task is really that important to complete in a particular week. Analysing your task list enables you to be able to note the most vital ones in your paper planner. This highlights your priorities and leads to better time management and productivity.
5. You Are Less Likely To Forget Something Important
When you write something by hand, all that complex sensory information increases the chances of the knowledge being remembered. As you write by hand, your brain is forced to process information in a different way that helps you to store that information in your memory. This is why you should use a paper planner. Not forgetting tasks is the key to not missing deadlines, a real benefit of using a paper planner in college.
Having Fibromyalgia can cause ‘brain fog’, where you have times of forgetfulness, or you lose your concentration, hence why I have found a paper planner absolutely essential. It has allowed me to remember important medical appointments and other important information written down, so that I do not forget.
6. It Will Reduce Stress
Have you ever had that frustrating feeling that you have forgotten something important, but you cannot remember what it is? Writing down all important information in your planner will help to reduce stress and anxiety about having to remember and hold everything in your head!
Using a paper planner enables you to plan your time and knowing that you have a plan can help to relieve stress especially if you have busy weeks ahead. Approaching busy weeks less stressed can improve your concentration and performance.
7. You Get To Buy New Stationery
This reason is probably the biggest reason why I like to use a paper planner! I am a huge stationery fan! There are so many different paper planners that have a variety of features, designs, colours and layouts which are suitable for everyone. Bullet journaling is a style of planner that you can tailor to you needs because you can design the spreads how you want them to look which then helps you to be more organised. There are so many different bullet journals available at a range of prices to suit everyone’s taste and budget.
In order for you to be consistent with any form of planner, you have to like the planner you are using. You want to love reaching for your planner and writing on the pages. This will mean you will be consistent with your form of planning which will boost your organisation, productivity and success.
8. They Are More Creative
Digital planners can sometimes be really formal apart from possibly changing the colours, columns or font. However, with a paper planner, you have white pages that you can inspire you to explore your creativity. You can write, draw things or use planner stickers. It can make the planning less of a chore, make it fun and can motivate you more.
Bullet journaling can be a really creative form of planning, especially if you want to make it artistic and try various themes. You can use washi tapes, planner themed stickers, stickers and paints as well as scrapbooking different designs. It is a blank canvas for you to make it your own. Having that space to be creative can help your mental health as well as being a good source of motivation.
9. Motivates You To Be Tech Free
This world is so fast paced and heavily digital, it can be overwhelming. When you are using a paper planner, you are away from technology. Social media means that we are so involved I looking at what others are sharing. By taking the time to sit back and focus on yourself, you can have that ‘me time’. Many see creative planning as a form of self-care. Reducing your tech time can help to reduce stress and anxiety, allow you to feel present, focus on gratitude and appreciate the small things in life.
10. There Are Less Distractions
When you use a planner app, you can find yourself moving over to another app, or answering notifications that can lead to procrastination; you are wasting time and being productive.
When you are using your paper planner, you are focused on planning in your weekly tasks and goals and are far more likely to be productive and remember what you need to achieve.
11. A Place For Records
As you use your paper planner, you are recording your appointments and important information; this can be extremely helpful when you need to schedule the same appointments. For example, you can flip back to your last dental check-up, or find information about your last period (if you track them). It can also be fun to read back at the end of the year about all the tasks and goals that you have achieved and all the memories you have made with your loved ones during the past year.
Here are some of the best paper planners on the market right now:
- Dingbats Pro B5 Dot Grid Notebook
- Happy Planner
- Busy B Planners
- Stationery Island Bullet Journal
- Yop & Tom Dotted Journals
- Archer & Olive
- Leuchtturm1917 Planners and Bullet Journals
These are just some of the reasons why you should be using a paper planner in your life. There are many people who combine paper AND digital planners to keep themselves organised. You have to find the right style of planner for you to boost your productivity.
Do you use a paper planner? How do you plan your week? I’d love to hear in the comments.