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Going back to organizational basics : why paper planners may be a good fit for you

Regardless of how practical it is to have our agendas on the phone, why paper planners may be a good fit for you?

We all live a lifestyle that requires tools to organize our lives and remind us of our responsibilities. We also live in a world that conveniently offers a set of (not so comfortable, if you ask me) apps and programs in our cell phones or laptops, letting us have our whole lives with just one small device.

Regardless of how practical it is to have our agendas on the phone, I am here to tell why paper planners may be a good fit for you. I am, in no way, saying that everyone would be more comfortable with a paper planner, nevertheless, it is a tool that people have forgotten, thinking of it as obsolete. Meanwhile, people are also fighting with several organizational apps whose sole purpose is to make our lives easier by requiring us to learn and work through a complicated interphase.

I’ve always been the kind of person that writes down everything. I would carry color pens everywhere and would be writing things in different colors based on importance and urgency. I am weird that way. At some point during college, I was told (several times) that I should modernize and start using organizational apps, so I did. I hated it. I have to say that, although I am extremely organized, I was forgetting a bunch of tasks that I had to do and was wasting a lot of time figuring out how to get the app to do exactly what I wanted it to do. I reached a point in which I was using those apps as a way to waste time, which kind of defeats the purpose, don’t you think?

After a while, I just gave up and went back to an ordinary, old-fashioned, colorful agenda. I even got one that had a post-it stack on the cover. It was a revelation…everything went back to normal and my life regained its balance. Now, I know this would not be the case for everyone…some people are actually really good with technology and find no problem in using the apps as they come, feeling no need for personalization. For all this, I will give a few reasons why I believe paper planners are a better tool for productivity and organization than apps.

Handwriting promoted better memory

Yep, that’s right. Several studies show that those teachers that made us handwrite instead of just letting us type everything were right. Handwriting allows our brains to remember what we wrote easier than when we type the same information, either on a computer or a cellphone. Even though we may be recording more information than we can actually remember, by writing it by hand, our brains are aware of the task and it’s less likely you’ll skip over it.

Exactly what you need

In many cases, an app doesn’t have exactly what we are looking for, forcing us to either cope without it, or use several apps simultaneously. A paper agenda can be as personalized as you want (you can even write on top of other writing if you want, not that it’s a good idea, but it’s possible). By controlling everything about your planner, you can make sure that it works specifically for you and your needs.

It stays exactly where you left it

I don’t care how many times I hear that technology is reliable. It may be, but I’ve also suffered from my phone suddenly dying or information magically disappearing. I love that once I write something on my planner, it will stay there. That is not only reassuring but it also becomes something permanent meaning that once I write down that, I’ll just do it, no space for second thoughts.

No constant alarms

I know this is not an upside for some people but I actually enjoy not hearing ringtones and alarms all day reminding me of different things. I have sometimes of my day reserved for checking my agenda, and I also do it in the morning after breakfast so I can be prepared for the day ahead. Nevertheless, I find it easier to fulfill my tasks if I am not constantly reminded of tasks that I will have to do some other time.

If you haven’t found an organizational tool that matches what you want completely, remember to give paper journals a chance. You might find out that they are the exact thing for you, just as they are the right thing for me and many others. If using technology is your thing, then knock yourself out and keep using the tools that work for you, after all, what matters is finding the tool that makes us more productive and helps us manage the endless amount of responsibilities we have, right? …If you have any other idea regarding organizing your tasks, share it with us, we might like it

Tamar Tesone

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