Why I Ditched My Paper Planner
My paper planners and I go way back. We formed extremely tight bonds and I relied on them for almost everything. I wouldn’t have caught dead without my planner - especially in college. I’m pretty sure I wouldn't have graduated without that thing. Plus, having a planner meant I had special pens, with a different color for each type of class, activity, or event.
Every time I visited TJ Maxx or a similar store, I would linger in the stationary aisle - admiring all of the crisp, new planners, thinking about which ones I would buy if I didn’t already have one (and if it was actually January instead of July). And when the time would come to buy a new one, I would be ecstatic - examining every planner until I found THE ONE.
I required my planners to have sections for each day, and also for monthly overviews. They also needed to be attractive and with an engaging or inspiring cover. Bookmarks and straps to keep the books closed were also a plus. Sometimes I even got one with the months delineated with little tabs!
But once I graduated from college, I didn’t have to keep track of specific assignments, and events and activities became much more sporadic. I also found myself scheduling events and having to remember them until I got home to my planner so I could write them down. I didn't carry my planner everywhere because of my specific system that required all of my pens. So often I would have to enter events into my phone to remember them anyway!
I also was annoyed by the fact that my paper planner wasn’t searchable. If I needed to find my last visit to the dentist on my calendar, I had to try and remember the approximate date before going back and scouring the pages. I needed something more effective that would save me time and effort.
Another reason I felt ready to move on from a paper planner was because of another passion of mine - decluttering. As an organizer, I have dealt first hand with the items and memories that people have accumulated over a lifetime. Even though I am still young, I have dozens of journals that I have filled - and almost as many planners. While I love the beautiful books and the writing that they contain, having them continue to multiply over the years was something I knew I couldn’t handle. I decided I didn't want to spend my life lugging around boxes and tubs of journals that I may or may not ever go through again. But I also didn't want to toss them!
I knew that I needed to make a change. Once I was able to redefine myself as a girl without a beautiful platter I was able to view my situation objectively. Since I had recently switched over to journaling online (thanks to Google Docs!), I decided to go the digital route with my planner too.
Once I decided to make a switch, I actually ended up making the change earlier than I had planned. Since I still had a 2018 planner, I was going to finish the year with that - and then tackle the change in the new year. But I was tired of writing out appointments, having to wait until I got home to check my calendar, and make notes of things on my phone just to have to transfer them into my planner later. So - I plunged.
I decided that the smartest move would be to Google Calendar, and I love it! The program syncs with my email and automatically adds events when I schedule them. I am also able to see both my work and personal calendars together. Even better - it is still somewhat color coded! Events and reminders are different colors, and so are my different calendars. So I still get my jolt of color pleasure when I open the app.
I understand that you may be a person who loves their paper planner. You may have countless planners - I say, more power to you! If you have found one that helps you keep track of your schedule, to-do lists, and goals, and that is great! You may keep it in your bullet journal, and do extensive doodles and drawings as you write out your daily or weekly schedule, all I can say is - good for you! Keep whatever type of planner will help you stay on top of your tasks and responsibilities!
I have made the choice to move to a digital planner because that is what works best for me at this time in my life. And if you are struggling to make the leap, let me tell you, it is scary but it is also totally worth it! And if for some reason you end up hating it, you can always switch back. But you won’t know until you try.
Until next time,