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There is a big debate in the world of planners: is a paper planner better than digital?
Some people swear by their digital calendars and to-do lists, while others prefer the tactile experience of writing out their plans by hand.
There are pros and cons to both methods, but which one is really better for you?
In this blog post, we will explore the differences between paper and digital planning, and help you decide which is better for your needs!
Is a Paper Planner Better Than Digital?
Unfortunately there is no simple answer to this question. It depends on your preferences and habits and what works best for one person might not work for others.
Some people find that they’re more productive with a physical paper planner, because they can see everything at a glance and it’s easier to make changes on the fly. Others prefer digital planners because they can access them anywhere and they’re able to set reminders and alarms.
The best way to find out which type of planner works better for you is to try both out and see which one helps you be more productive.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each method to help you make a decision!
Reasons To Use A Paper Planner:
- You can physically see all your plans in one place – This can be helpful if you have a lot of different things going on and you need to be able to see everything at a glance. This helps you to visualise the year and how your plans fit into the bigger picture.
- The act of writing can help you remember information better – Some studies have shown that the act of writing can help you remember information better than typing it out. If you’re worried about forgetting something, writing it down might help!
- You can easily make changes – If something comes up or you need to reschedule something, it’s easy to make changes on the fly with a paper planner. Just grab a pen and make the change! Digital planners can be cumbersome to add new tasks or events to.
- More space to plan out each day – With a digital planner, you’re limited to the size of your screen. With a paper planner, you have an entire page (or more) to write out your plans for each day. This can be helpful if you like to plan out each day in detail.
- Fewer distractions – Digital planners can be full of distractions, like email notifications, social media notifications, and more. With a paper planner, you’re less likely to get distracted from your task at hand.
- There is a certain satisfaction that comes with crossing tasks off a list – Some people find it satisfying to physically cross tasks off a list as they complete them. This can help motivate you to keep working on your goals!
- You can decorate and personalise your planner to make it unique to you – With a paper planner, you can decorate the cover, pages, and more to make it your own. This is a fun way to express your personality and can help you remember the tasks on each colourful page.
- You can easily make changes and add notes – If you need to make changes or add notes, it’s easy to do with a paper planner. Just grab a pen and jot down what you need!
Reasons To Use A Digital Planner:
- You can access your planner from anywhere – If you have a digital planner, you can log in and access it from anywhere. This is helpful if you need to make changes while you’re on the go.
- You can set reminders and alarms – With a digital planner, you can set reminders and alarms for upcoming tasks. This is helpful if you have a busy schedule and need help remembering what’s coming up next.
- Synchronise with other devices – If you have a digital planner, you can synchronise it with other devices. This is helpful if you need to access your planner on multiple devices, or if you want to share your schedule with someone else.
- Paper planners can be difficult to carry around if you have a lot of appointments or tasks and if you lose your paper planner, all your information is gone.
- You can add attachments – With a digital planner, you can add attachments like files, images, and more. This is helpful if you need to keep track of additional information for a task or to journal about your day.
- You can share your planner with others – With a digital planner, you can easily share your schedule with others. This is helpful if you need to coordinate plans with family, friends, or colleagues.
- You can set alarms and reminders – With a digital planner, you can set alarms and reminders for upcoming tasks. This is helpful if you have a busy schedule and need help remembering what’s coming up next.
- Digital planners often come with other features such as task lists and weather forecasts – This is helpful if you want a one-stop shop for all your planning needs and can add a nice touch to your journal by recording the weather and other events of the day.
If you can’t decide between a paper planner and a digital planner, there are hybrid options available! Some digital planners combine the best of both worlds, giving you the ability to write out your plans and decorate your pages, while also having the convenience of digital features.
Apps like Goodnotes and Notability let you import PDFs of paper planners, so you can have the best of both worlds! These planners usually have clickable links and emulate the physical experience of writing and flipping through pages. They also include the ability to decorate your pages with highlighters and stickers so it can be a good creative outlet.
If you are a die hard paper planner fan, then these apps do have some important drawbacks:
- To get close to the same paper planner experience, you would need to purchase a tablet and stylus which is much more expensive than the paper planner you’re hoping to replace.
- If you already own a suitable tablet then you will still probably want to purchase a template. Although these apps come with various types of paper, if you want to emulate a diary or planner then you will need to purchase this separately.
- The feel of a stylus on a tablet screen is not the same as the feeling of a pen or pencil on paper. You can purchase screen protectors that feel more like paper but this is an extra expense and writing on a table still may not be for everyone.
- Can be difficult to navigate. One of the benefits of a paper planner is that you can flip through the pages and it’s easy to see the bigger picture. This can be difficult with a digital planner and navigation can be clunky.
Check out our digital garden planner for an example of a hybrid planner.
So, what’s the verdict? Is a paper planner really better than a digital one? Well, as with most things, it depends on your needs and preferences. Some people find that they can be more productive and stay more organised with a physical planner, while others prefer the convenience of having everything at their fingertips with a digital planner. There are also hybrid options available that combine the best of both worlds. Whichever you choose, make sure it is something that works for you and helps you to stay organised! Thanks for reading!