When it comes to planning, the question always comes up: digital or paper?
There are so many gorgeous paper planners and digital task managers and calendars that it can often become overwhelming to try and sort through it all.
Every time you see a pretty Instagram post with a shiny new planner displayed, or hear about the latest app, it can be tempting to think THIS time it’s going to work for me.
The sad truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all silver bullet for planning or task management that will deliver organizational bliss in one quick swipe.
In fact, I often tell clients that the best system is the one that you actually use.
Another way of saying this: it is not the tools that you use to manage your tasks that make your system work. The system you create is what makes your tools and task manager work.
When You Are Deciding Between Digital and Paper, There Are a Few Things to Consider
First, who are you and how to do you work best? Do you get a pleasure rush from physically crossing out a task? Are you a visual person that likes everything neat and organized?
Does actually writing things down on paper help you remember better? Does paper of any kind make you cringe?
These are important things to note because trying to squeeze yourself into a system that doesn’t fit who you are and how you work is never going to produce the results that you desire. It is the recipe for continuous frustrations, guilt for not using your system, and stress.
Do you love to write bubbly, pretty, cursive task lists? Or would you rather not have to carry additional things with you?
How important is it that your notes and tasks are backed up and easy to find should something go wrong? Are you adept at using technology?
"It isn’t about finding the best task management tool or the perfect planner. It is about finding the best system or tool for you."
Hopefully you are more clear about how to decide what is best for you.
Your next step is to experiment.
Notice what works and what doesn’t. Are you tracking all that you need to? Are you getting things out of your head on a regular basis? Does this system feel good?
At the end of the month, tweak your system based on what you noticed, or select a new task manager and start over. This is how you slowly and intentionally build a system that is customized to your life – one that will actually last.
Two Last Words of Warning
- Give your system time and consistent use. Don’t spend hours or days putting together a system only to leave it and go back to a disorganized heap. Intentionally put your system to work. You can modify as needed, but to modify things successfully, you need to know what works and what doesn’t work. So work your system for a month first, then modify what actually doesn’t work well for you.
- Don’t try to mix paper and digital. You will forget what goes where and where you put what. Pick one system and use it.
Leave a comment below and let us know which you prefer, digital or paper!
/krēāˈtivədē/ /kuh n-suhl-tnt/
Noun: An energetic native Floridian with a passion for smart, authentic, imaginative, effective marketing strategies and original ideas.
Synonyms: Netflix Junkie, Cockapoo mom, crazy aunt, world traveler, foodie.
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