“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning and focused effort.”
Planning is essential to organization and productivity. It is a very valuable tool that allows you to maximize your time, achieve more, and reduce your stress for the future.
There are two main planning formats: paper planning and digital planning. Paper planning involves using a physical agenda or a paper planner, whereas digital planning involves recording your plans into a tech item like your phone or tablet.
There is no best or perfect way to plan, just a system that works for you. To help you decide on the right format of planning for you, here is a comparison of both:
Paper planning can be a wonderful option for you if you prefer writing over typing. Writing in a physical planner helps you to remember things better, and provides a ritual for you to boost your creativity. Its customization options are endless, being that you can design your planner with many different sizes, accessories, and add-ons to your liking. In addition, a paper planner isn’t connected to technology, so you will always have access to it in the event you cannot connect to the internet. This also makes it a better distraction-free option compared to a digital planner where you have easy access to other apps.
The downside to paper planning, however, is that it is a physical product. It’s much harder to modify its information and not as easy to transport. A paper planner needs to be replaced once used and can be lost or stolen. Transferring information from one page or planner to the other takes a lot longer because it is handwritten. Modifying inserts or pages in your planner also isn’t as easy as editing in a digital format. Paper planning may not be a good fit for you if you prefer to plan quickly or on the go.
Digital or virtual planning may be the option for you if you need to modify and add things quickly. In addition, digital planning allows you to collaborate with others and sync your planner with other apps so you can view your information in multiple places. It’s also convenient to travel with since it doesn’t take up as much space as a paper planner, and can easily be accessed from your phone or tablet.
The disadvantage to a digital planner, however, is that you do not have an actual physical copy of your work. If your internet or connection fails, or your tech dies, you may not be able to access your planner when you need it. There is also the possibility of your information being hacked or leaked over the cloud. Writing in a physical planner is much more secure since it’s only viewable to you.
Deciding on a format can be difficult- especially if we like the qualities of both! If you feel like this is you, there is also a third option, and that is to use a combination of the two. Using both planning formats can meet your needs in multiple areas of your life. For example, you could use a paper planner for your personal tasks, and a digital planner for work so you may collaborate with others. Apps like Asana and ClickUp are great for sharing and completing tasks with your team or coworkers. You can also quickly jot down your thoughts and tasks in a notes app on your phone, then transfer it to your paper planner or digital planner later.
Think about your lifestyle to see which format would best suit each area, and feel free to change this as needed. Finding the right planning system can take some trial and error, but is definitely worth investing the time in. Once you get into a solid planning routine, staying organized and productive will be much easier, leaving you to focus on bigger things like taking action and finally achieving your goals.