Paper vs Digital: How To Choose The Right Organizational Tool
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I’ve been wavering back and forth between paper planners and digital calendars for most of my adult life, because there are definite advantages to both. Perhaps you’re in the same boat. And your clients may ask for guidance in choosing the best calendar for them, especially at this time of year. So, when Max Lukominskyi of Evopaper emailed me about his company’s paper planner that connects to digital calendars, I knew it was something we needed to learn more about.
The contemporary world makes everyone feel busy and rushed.
According to Social Indicators Research (2013), today, over 35% of people ‘always feel rushed’ in contrast to just 24% in 1965.
And it’s no wonder why.
With such a great amount of opportunities to take, places to go, and things to do, most people prove to struggle to keep their lives in order easily.
Moreover, it’s not always easy to find the right tools to manage the time. Because there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
Some people prefer the old-school offline task lists. Meanwhile, others are keen on using more sophisticated online tools.
It’s very individual and totally depends on the objectives, working style, the pace of life, and personal preferences.
Let’s briefly look at the advantages of each approach to see which one to use based on the goals and tasks.
Digital Productivity Tools and Calendars
Digital calendars and similar productivity apps are all the rage nowadays. The popularity of the digital calendar is also well-warranted due to its many merits.
The main attribute that makes the digital tools so powerful is the fact that it is always with you. Nowadays, many people carry their laptops and mobile devices on them at all times. Not only that, but the digital calendar is equipped with many useful features like the alarm and invites.
For instance, the digital calendars allow users to schedule tasks efficiently, by specifying not only the start time and the end time, but also the location of an event. Other details that can be captured include the names of the individuals involved and their contact information. With a digital calendar, a user can write down every relevant detail in an organized, easy-to-read manner to make sure he doesn’t miss anything.
To sum up, if someone needs to be reminded of the upcoming events and like to use and integrate a few different services to get the things done, they should consider employing the digital solutions.
Paper Planners, Notebooks, and Journals
Many people prefer to use paper planners due to the countless benefits of the physical act of writing down an appointment or a reminder. These people are convinced that using a pen to jot in a notepad helps them remember their appointments, reminders, and items on their to-do lists easily.
Moreover, many studies have shown that while writing things down, people tend to perceive, process and digest the information better.
In fact, it does make sense. The process of writing helps prioritize the important things better and indeed organize them in the most convenient way, both in mind and on a paper.
If someone looks for the opportunity to create a system that works best for them and values the possibility to personalize the things, paper notebooks are going to be a great tool. Again, this depends on how much one believes that longhand feels more creative and individual.
Ultimately…Why It Makes Sense To Use Both
When it comes to the digital vs. physical debate, there is no obvious winner.
The choice one makes should depend on the lifestyle and one’s unique needs. However, at the end of the day, one should use both tools to enjoy the best of both worlds and achieve the unsurpassed level of organization and productivity.
However, people tend to really struggle with how to connect what they plan in the planner with the schedule in online calendars like Google or Apple calendar.
The decision to use both tools at the same time is going to lead to constant switching back and forth that will result in the lack of convenience.
Imagine if one could plan his day and manage the time using both paper planner and digital calendars without loss of efficiency.
Fortunately, there is a solution.
Meet Slice Planner – paper planner connected to digital calendars. When you need to combine simple time management with the convenient note-taking and stay synced across all your digital devices, Slice Planner has you covered.
This is not just a planner. It’s a hybrid paper-digital planning system that helps people to organize the events in a very visual way using a radial clock face diagram so the schedule looks intuitive.
Meanwhile, the Slice Planner app bridges the gap between physical and digital, so a user can manage his or her busy life and get things done effortlessly.
CMO at Evopaper. Visual thinker, entrepreneur, and productivity geek.
This is fascinating. I’ve never heard of Slice Planner, but it sounds like an interesting way of combining the best of both worlds. I can totally relate to the pull between digital and paper. I was always a staunch paper planner user until I made the switch. It took a lot of getting used to and rethinking how I was using my “system” to support my needs. However, once I made the switch, I didn’t want to go back. However, where I do straddle the digital/paper realm is with my action items. I use a combination of a digital and paper tools to help keep me on track. And as you so clearly pointed out, the time/action management process is highly individualized.
I’ve also never heard of the Slice planner – interesting. I am a paper gal, since I do a lot of my scheduling on my phone and don’t enjoy toggling back and forth. I also enjoy the freedom of being able to work on my calendar/tasks at any time, regardless of wifi access. That said, if I had a family calendar to coordinate with tweens/teens, I think I would go digital.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this, Janet. I am going to check it out. I too, have two planners and have been looking for something that integrates a little better. My calendar right now has issues with Outlook, and it is shifting my appointments 1 hour for some reason. I am going to seriously think about this and share it with my husband too. He is also looking for a more streamlined way to organize his time.
See, I knew you would find this interesting! If any of you decide to give it a try, I’d love to hear what you think.
This sounds really cool! I hope someone tries it and reports back. Here are the problems I foresee: 1) I thought it might have OCR, but the Amazon description says you still have to type in the titles of the events, 2) It would be great if I were planning an entire day from scratch (today, tomorrow, or a future day)…. but, by the time I get to any given day, my schedule is already pre-populated with recurring activities and/or things I’ve decided in the past to do that day. Just thinking it through… it might still be great for a) planning one’s Ideal Schedule (assuming there’s a way to repeat it, and override it as needed), and b) planning out of the ordinary days, like events or travel.
Wow, you’ve really done some exploring! I’m so happy with my current system that I can’t see myself trying it, but I would love to hear some real life stories from people I know who have used it.
WOW, eye opening concept, not totally sold yet as I am reading folks with issues. I but Im a gadget girl and love new technology!!
It will be interesting to see if it takes off. We use a lot of technology today that we would’ve thought was science fiction as recently as 10-20 years ago!