It is a more complicated and controversial topic than you might think. Planning and organization are vital if anything beyond immediate tasks is going to get done, and the digital planner or calendar has certainly made its mark since becoming widespread. But has it replaced the paper planner?
Certainly not, and some of the most assiduous planners will swear that the physical object always wins out. But then again, just as many will swear that computer technology has revolutionized planning and, at the very least, you should have both a paper and a digital planner.
So, the only consensus is that there isn’t really a consensus. But there is also no problem. This is because everyone is different and people plan in different ways. The most important thing for successful planning is consistency, but the second most important thing is to identify the type of planning – and the type of planner – that is right for you.
And planners – both digital and paper – can vary a lot, with many tailored for specific people with specific needs. For example, planner experts at next Level Daily even produce planners and a habit tracker specifically for those with ADHD – a condition that makes organization, concentration, and planning even more difficult.
Moreover, depending on how good a planner you actually are, the planner you use can pick up the slack. A very organized person might well require a less detailed planner; somebody with difficulties in this area might use one that allows for planning down to the hour.
Both digital and paper planners can offer this though, so how do you really tell which one is right for you?
Choosing the Right Planner
We’ve outlined above the diversity of different planners and all the things both digital and paper can offer. So, what is the real difference (beyond the obvious)? how do you choose, or should you even use both?
Many people do use both, and one type of planner can very certainly supplement the other. Better then to identify the relative advantages and disadvantages of each. The rest depends on you.
Advantages of Digital Planners
Greater Editing Capacity
This is one of the major advantages of digital planners. When you need to make a change on a paper planner, you’ll find yourself scoring something out and squeezing something else in close to it. Do that enough, and things can get very confusing and messy. This is not a problem with digital planners – and plans can change all the time.
They are Free
Technically, not all of them are free, but the best and most used ones are. Think of Google calendars – widely used, effective, and free.
Collaborate With Others
Theoretically, a physical poster-style planner could be used by multiple people, but the power of collaborating with others instantly is perhaps the greatest advantage of digital planners. This is what the internet has given to planning.
Advantages of Paper Planners
Writing something down that cannot be immediately deleted and instantly forgotten is a terrific way to remember something. With a paper planner, you do this every day.
You should endeavor to plan consistently and diligently. This is arguably easier with paper planners on account of their physical presence. The planner lying open on your desk when you get out of bed will invite you to use it. A closed laptop will not.
In the end, paper planners have certainly not been replaced, and they likely never will be. That speaks to their value. But digital planners are undoubtedly valuable too. As mentioned, there’s really no consensus. Choose what’s right for you – but do so intelligently.