5 Science-Backed Reasons Why Paper Planners Are Better Than Digital Planners and Calendars
Regardless of your profession or lifestyle, it is important to have a system in place for organizing and prioritizing your tasks and events. This can be done through a variety of methods, such as using a digital calendar, posting notes on your fridge, or keeping a paper planner.
Even though thee is a rise in using digital devices the market for paper planners, agendas, and productivity journals still remains strong, with more and more people opting to use paper planners daily.
Here are the advantages of using a paper planner over a digital one.
Using a paper planner has several benefits that can help you better plan, organize, and prioritize your tasks and events. Despite the increasing popularity of digital planners and the trend towards digital organization, the paper planner industry remains strong. People continue to be interested in using paper planners on a daily basis.
1. You're less distracted
One advantage often cited for digital planners over paper planners is the ability to set notifications and reminders. While it can be convenient to have these alerts on your phone, which is always with you, it's important to consider the number of notifications we receive on a daily basis and how often we simply ignore them. In the age of constant notifications, we may become desensitized to their content and dismiss them without really paying attention. Excessive screen time can also have negative impacts on the brain, and the idea of journaling on a phone may contribute to this problem. It's easy to get carried away by notifications and end up spending hours browsing social media or other online content, which may not be a productive use of time.
Taking a few minutes to plan out your day on paper can give your eyes a break and allow you to clear your head from the constant influx of information from email and social media. If you want to improve your focus and reduce screen time, switching to a paper planner for journaling, brainstorming, organizing tasks and events, or writing poetry can be a great way to give your brain a break. There are many benefits to writing things down on paper, so it's worth considering as a method for staying organized and focused.
2. You remember things better
Writing things down can improve memory retention and focus. This is because the physical act of writing activates activate certain brain cells at the base of the brain, resulting in an increase in focus. Studies, such as one conducted by the Dominican University of California, have found that people who write down their goals, share them with others, and maintain accountability for their progress are 33% more likely to achieve those goals compared to those who just keep their goals in their heads. The screen, on the other hand, acts as a barrier that distances us from the writing process. The process of hand-writing involves forming and connecting letters, which is more engaging for the brain compared to typing, which only involves pressing keys. Additionally, typing has become more of a muscle memory task for many people who can do it without looking.
3. You’re more motivated
Writing by hand requires more effort and helps to be more concise and focused. On the other hand, typing is faster, but it can lead to less careful thought and longer, less organized notes. If you're considering using a paper planner or a digital app, compare your notes to see if one method leads to neater, more organized notes. Writing helps clarify thoughts and allows for mindful reflection on tasks and goals. Abbreviating events and points in to-do lists can save time, but it's important to be precise when thinking about long-term goals. The language we use in writing can impact our thoughts, so carefully wording and writing down goals can help them stay in our minds. Using a planner that you access daily can make it easier to keep track of your goals.
4. Reduced stress
Writing down your plans has far more benefits than simply having a more organized life. Surprisingly, but one of the world’s top digital technological countries – Japan – has a thriving culture of the good old paper agenda.
There are many studies that show the link between writing things down by hand and mindfulness. In stress therapy, it's often advised to keep a journal because of the activity’s healing properties.
writing helps you sort out whatever mess of thoughts you have in your mind into words.
And exactly because of the effort it takes, you get to become more selective with words. That makes you better at defining your feelings, attitudes, and goals. As you register them, it’s easier to deal with them appropriately.
5. It’s a Physical Thing
One reason to use a physical planner is that writing down your plans and goals can increase your commitment to them. When you use an app, it can be easy to forget about it among all the other digital distractions on your phone, tablet, or computer. However, a physical planner placed prominently on your desk serves as a constant reminder to use it and helps you stay focused on your goals. Additionally, people tend to feel more connected to physical items because they can touch and interact with them, making it easier to stay committed to using them.
If you’re thinking about switching to a paper planner, here are our tips:
1. Evaluate Your Needs
Think of what fits your typical day. If you’re busy enough to sometimes forget plans in your schedule, then go for a simple dated daily planner. If you like to make long to-do lists, seeif the planner has enough space for that. If you like to use yourplanner for short-term and long-term planning, habit tracking, and improving your productivity, then DO IT, combine that into one catch all planner.
2. Decide how much money you want to spend
Set your budget limits. Decide if you really get value for $40, $60, or even $80 price.
3. Develop A System
Think of what you want to journal, track, measure, and put down in writing. For example, use symbols or colorful stickers to mark habits, and highlighters or colorful markers for labeling or prioritizing, but don’t over-complicate it!
4. Transfer The Data
If you’re already using a digital planning system, carefully check all your apps and calendars that you track stuff with and transfer to your new planner. Check your recurring tasks and add those in the future areas of your planner. Of course, if you’ve found it easy to stick to a productivity or habit-tracking app of choice, you may as well use a paper and a digital combination for separate areas. You do you!
5. Try A One-Monthly Challenge To Use It Daily
Take a month to test out your paper planner and see how using it daily works for you. Set up a reminder in the mornings or evenings and try to take it up as a habit.
When it comes to your productivity, it’s important to adopt habits, systems, and tools that work for you.
If you like to keep some things digital, and some on paper, there’s nothing stopping you from that. Whatever works for you is what you need to stick to. Some people might find that paper planners are inefficient for their lifestyle, however, in the era of all things digital, there is strong evidence that writing on paper might be one of the easiest steps toward a healthy and productive life.
Overall, using a paper planner can be an effective way to stay organized and on top of your tasks and events, while also providing additional benefits such as improved memory retention, enhanced creative thinking, increased focus and concentration, a greater sense of accomplishment, and better stress management.