It's always been a difficult question to answer.
Which one is better: A paper planner or a digital one? Both are organizational tools. Both have their own methods and principles of time management. Both teach the user specific methods to follow through in the process. Both have their claim to fame as the best organizational tool there is.
You may be one of those people struggling to find which one to use. You may have even tried both and have experienced the benefits of each system well enough to ask the question above. So how will you ever choose the right one to stick to?
To answer this question, we go old-fashioned (biased as that may seem). We believe that even as the world is fast relying on various digital platforms to manage our daily lives, a paper planner is still relevant and needed. Even more so now that millennials are rediscovering the beauty of paper planning.
Here's why we think paper planners will do the job better than any digital counterparts would at organizing:
- Your Brain Benefits More
The winning strategy with paper planning has always been the tactile approach. And there's a reason for that - a very mental one. The very act of writing information down on a piece of paper helps you remember it more and retain it longer as per studies.
This means that not only are you able to extract information on the paper planner more, you're also able to maximize from an important brain activity - memory retention. Pen and paper are excellent concentration tools as well because when you write things down, your brain focuses on the information.
You will benefit when you get into the habit of writing things down. The act itself (writing) helps us be detailed as we transfer on paper. Physically being able to extract thoughts down on paper enables us to see the details of what it is - and then add more into it later.
This is why we need all our goals written down. Planners are the perfect vessel for that. And since it is not dependent on technology, it can always be modified and controlled.
- Something Old in the Modern Age
Unlike the digital planners with all the notification methods, an old-fashioned paper planner gives you peace of mind. And it has no pressure on you should you miss an appointment or forget to do something on queue from your list. It does not disturb you unnecessarily with annoying sounds.
A paper planner forces you to sit a moment, have time for yourself in a corner somewhere with your own thoughts. Nothing is as peaceful as that.
Data protection is a big thing these days. Using digital planners, like in the case of apps on smartphones, makes you prone to data breaches. Digital monsters appear to be scarier in terms of dealing with the consequences. Not to mention, you'll always be dealing with the hefty costs to add more layers of protection on your smartphones or if there's an accident and it breaks on you.
Whereas, a paper planner is more practical - you literally only need a planner (it doesn't even have to be expensive) and a pen to use it. The upkeep is almost zero, unless you go for more customization, which is another great thing about it.
- Go for Customizing
Paper planners are more flexible in terms of customizing and making it your own. Another great thing about them is you'll have the option to make it more appealing. But the way you personalize also has a lot to do with your personal preference.It's a very visual process needing constant stream of ideas on designs, colors and what tools to use.
There's an entire movement online about personalizing planners. And they are dynamic with the community posting the most unique ideas online. Every piece of artwork is personal and a true expression of who they are.
- Your Terms, Your Rules
The true appeal to having a paper planner is the fact that you can plan and manage your time with no rules to follow but your own. You have the sole control of what goes inside the pages.
In essence, it becomes a reflection of your preferences, choices and your personality. You are basically writing about your life within the pages.
Another advantage it enjoys over a digital planner is the number of details you can add into a memory. Beyond the dates and time of the appointment, you can enjoy adding more mementos or photos in your planner.
The control is yours which makes it a more personal experience.
- No Strain On The Eyes
Probably an important factor to consider about using paper planners is the detrimental effect of using smartphones too much. Staring at artificial screens for prolonged periods of time can strain your eyes. With paper planners, there's no such thing to worry about.
Opinions can vary at this point. We admit that digital planners can have very modern advantages as well. If your answer to the first question above is, “It depends”. You'd be right but it's too objective as well. On that note, we can safely surmise that paper planners will have their place on store shelves for decades to come and they will be relevant because those who patronize them are not the old or the gadget-less either.