Today’s digital age surrounds us with endless choices when it comes to organizing and planning our lives. With new apps, syncing calendars and pop-up reminders before every event, it’s easy to depend on our screens to organize our days. But a growing trend in the planner industry reveals a some good reasons still remain for pen and paper.
Here are just a few:
1. It takes more time.
I know this feels counterintuitive, but planning takes time. It shouldn’t be harried or rushed. Your day’s plans cannot be simply thrown into a phone with reminders, bells and alarms. Creating and organizing our week demands attention, and a written planner requires us to sit and reflect, organize and look ahead.
The simple task of writing down a week’s agenda asks a bit more from us, and in turn, rewards us with clarity in our commitments, attention to detail and reinforcement for our memory.
2. For the sake of beauty and creativity.
A planner is a place for self-expression. If you look at popular hashtags #planneraddicts and #onmydesk, you will find the planner industry provides not only a place for organization, but a place to journal, color-code and doodle. Pages are filled with inspiration, and a planner becomes a source of pride to carry around.
Those hashtags display an array of options; some planners created from simple journals, others guided and goal-orientated. Think of a planner in your bag as a personal artistic expression of how you spend your time.
3. The power of picking up a pen.
I read this interesting article called “Laptops Are Great, But Not During a Lecture or a Meeting” by Susan Dynarski, where she concluded that university students learn best when taking notes with pen and paper, as opposed to using a laptop. Although not directly related, as a planner enthusiast, I can relate to the various research that shows students are less distracted and synthesize information better when using the simple pen and paper.
I agree with Sarah Light, creator of Sol Planner, when she said that “goals are achieved when written on paper; the act of writing helps us absorb and process information and put those plans into action. We are held accountable to our written word.” There is great power in writing plans down!
Think of a planner in your bag as a personal artistic expression of how you spend your time.
4. Increased phone freedom.
I recently purchased a watch because, quite frequently, I look at my phone for the time. But every time I pull out my phone for time reference, I continue down the rabbit hole. I check my inbox, my text messages and before you know it, I’m knee-deep in my Instagram photos of 2013, walking down memory lane.
So as I switch from my phone’s calendar to a paper planner, I anticipate breaking another chain from my phone. This is liberating and I would venture to say, time-saving. My strive for (affordable) watches and a paper planner won’t streamline my life digitally, but it feels simpler, more beautiful and freeing.
As you approach the new year, are you considering buying or making a paper planner? What are ways you can add beauty to your routines, a touch of creativity to your time management? There is nothing wrong with the digital processes we use, but don’t underestimate what this year could hold for you in using the timeless pen and paper too.
Are you a fan of the paper planner? How do you make it work for you?
Images via Katie Kopan