Paper vs. Digital Planner: Which Is Better?

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Having a huge workload can be physically and mentally demanding. If you get stressed easily before completing your tasks in a given timeframe, you are not alone. You do not have to suffer to complete your tasks when you plan your tasks well.

There are multiple types of task planners, but we can classify them into paper and digital planners.

Which is better between a paper and a digital planner?

Both paper and digital planners are beneficial to you according to your current lifestyle and situation. Paper and digital planners both have their advantages, so you should consider each of them before choosing the right planner for you.

In this article, we will give you a side-by-side comparison of paper and digital planners so you can pick the best option for you.

Businessman Using Calendar Program On Laptop And Writing Notes To Planner

Which Is Best Between Paper and Digital Planners?

It is mostly based on your lifestyle. Some people prefer the modern way of doing things while others want to stick to the proven way. Here are some reasons why you may want to choose a paper or digital planner:

  • How Often You Plan: If you plan a lot of the time, you should use a digital planner. Since your phone is mostly always with you, you can easily reach and edit your digital planners.
  • Challenge Yourself to Remember Things Better: Something cool about paper planners is that writing things down can help you to remember them.
  • Environmentally Conscious: Are you conscious about the environment? Use a digital planner so that you can help save the trees.
  • Decorate Your Room or Office with Notes: With post-it stickers, you can decorate your workspace with your to-do list so that you can quickly see what you need to do wherever you look.
  • Save Money: If you are using a paper planner, you may have to buy it again when the timeframe is completed. You can save money by using a digital planner as you only pay for it once.
  • Limit Use of Smart Device: Do you have trouble using your phone to do something productive? Use a paper planner as you can easily get distracted by using your phone.
  • Have a Lot of Repetitive Tasks: Do you find yourself doing a lot of repetitive tasks? Use a digital planner so that you can easily copy and paste.

Remember that the right choice for you is based on your lifestyle. Let us discuss the advantages of paper and digital planners in detail.

Why You Should Use a Paper Planner

Paper planners are popular as you do not need any modern technology to plan. Even though you have to buy them occasionally, they are worth every penny. Here are some reasons why you should use paper planners:

open calendar planner with modern office stationery

1. Better Memory Retention

There is a relationship between thinking and writing. The more you write, the more you will remember what you wrote (because you thought of it yourself before writing it down). This is why you remember better when you take notes of what you read instead of just reading alone.

Another reason why you may remember things better with paper planners is that it is easy and quick to skim the entire page in a digital planner, but you mostly have to read your handwriting carefully, so you remember the details when you plan with a paper planner.

2. Better Understanding

When you write, you write based on what you thought yourself, so you understand better when you read it. If you have ever used a digital planner before, you’ll agree that they are sometimes difficult to grasp especially when using them for the first time.

Also, other apps may distract you and you will not quickly understand what you are reading. Using a paper planner is just an easy and basic way to plan and understand what you have planned.

3. Healthy Habit

Writing is a healthy habit that everyone can do. Aside from planning and memory retention, there are many benefits of writing including the ability to express yourself as well as becoming more accountable.

You can use paper planners to start this healthy habit.

Woman writing nutrition plan diet menu and fitness workout routine

4. Less Stress

Did you know that writing relieves stress? Sometimes, all you need for your mental health is to express yourself.

Also, you do not need to constantly look at a bright screen when planning with a paper planner. An excess amount of screen light can cause stress.

5. Stickers Everywhere

How’d you like to see your to-do list wherever you go? You can be more productive when you always see your plans (especially the most important task on your to-do list).

All you have to do is post some stickers on places that you visit regularly. If you visit the refrigerator often, writing some of your plans there can make you a bit more productive.

Why You Should Use a Digital Planner

Whether you are using a smartphone or a laptop, you can use a digital planner to become more productive and ensure that you complete your tasks in a given timeframe. Here are some reasons why you should use a digital planner:

Woman checking planner app

1. Saves You Money

If you are using a paper planner, you will need to buy it again after the planning period because it is not an unlimited purchase. You’ll even need to buy post-it notes if they make you more productive.

Many digital planners are free, but even if you have to pay for a particular one, it is usually a one-time payment after which you do not need to pay for it anymore. This means that in the long run, you save money when you use a digital planner.

2. Easy to Edit and Rearrange

No one is perfect. Even after making a seemingly perfect schedule, you will occasionally find yourself making corrections to the plan. It is very easy to edit digital planners because you can simply delete a text and write a new one.

Even though you can strike out a written text in a paper planner, it will not look organized like an edited digital planner.

3. Quick Reminders

Something special about digital planners is that they can remind you of tasks that you need to complete on a particular day. You can set a custom notification that can remind you to do certain things.

If you have a repetitive task such as developing a habit, the quick notification of digital planners can help you stay productive without having to always remember everything.

Female dealing with stress of deadline for work

4. Collaboration

You can easily share some parts (or all) of your digital to-do list with someone else. If you have a mentor who is far away, you both can create and edit your to-do list easily with a digital planner.

It is just much easier to collaborate with others when you use a digital planner.

5. Portability

Your smartphone is always with you and easy to hold, so your planner can always be with you wherever you go. You do not need to carry any extra book or paper (i.e. weight) with you when walking or traveling. A digital planner does not add any extra weight or burden, so it is very portable.

Which between a paper and a digital planner will you use after considering their advantages? The good news is that you do not have to choose. Have you ever considered using both?

Why You Might Want to Use Both Paper and Digital Planners

Some people would rather buy two items than choose one between the both of them. If you are like that, you may not be wrong about using both paper and digital planners. Here are some reasons why you may want to use both:

1. Emergency Planning

If you choose to use a paper planner, you may find yourself taking notes with your phone sometimes (especially when you are not with your planner). Since you are always with your phone, you will be able to use your phone to plan sometimes even if you choose paper planning.

2. Traveling

Are you a researcher or tourist who is traveling to a remote location? If you are traveling to a place without network reception or power to charge your devices, you will need to travel with some books to note down your activities and more for the next day.

Travel Planning scattered stuff on wooden backround

3. Planning with Confidential Details

Do you want to write down a very confidential detail in your plans without the risk of someone spying on your plans? You should use a paper planner. A paper planner is the most trusted way to plan confidentially.

4. Synchronization

What if you annotated your to-do list on your laptop, but you currently only have your phone? You can easily access that to-do list with your phone. If you need to access your schedule with ease, you’ll need a digital planner.

5. Flexibility

Your schedule will be more flexible when you use both a paper and digital planner. Use a paper planner for some tasks (such as tasks with deadlines) and use a digital planner for others (especially the repetitive ones).

As you can see, it is a good idea to use both a paper and a digital planner.

Final Thoughts

Paper and digital planners are essential as they help you to become more productive and ease your stress. With proper planning, you can become the best version of yourself.

The best planner to use between a paper and digital planner depends on your lifestyle and what suits you the most. Consider using both for the best result.


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