Do you love planning your life and work tasks with a traditional, paper planner?
We know. There’s nothing quite like the scent of fresh paper, cute stickers, and new pens to plan your day with.
Getting creative with paper planners and organizers is fun, but is it practical? No.
What if there was a way to still plan creatively in the digital age?
There is. The answer lies in the use of digital planners and organizers.
These days, we can do pretty much anything with our cell phones and tablets. This includes sending an email, taking notes during meetings, and quickly saving ideas. We can also sync our work and personal calendars so that all of our information is in one place.
With all of these benefits, it just doesn’t make sense to carry an organizer, too.
Keep reading as we reveal the benefits of digital planning and how to incorporate digital planners and organizers into your life.
Why Use Digital Planners and Organizers?
Using a digital planner can combine many of your tasks into one. For example, if you don’t like using your calendar that is connected to your phone or email account, you would benefit from having your lists and calendar in one place.
When you decide to switch to digital planning, the opportunities are endless.
No Extra Luggage
Like we discussed earlier, we can do just about anything on our cell phones. It’s a tool that we will always have with us, just in case.
Why not take advantage of the technology that is accessible on your cell phone? At least then you would know you will never be caught without your planner.
Many of us use organizers to keep track of items we need to buy from home or weekly grocery lists. Those of us with kids know what a feat it is to leave the house organized on a Saturday morning.
If you forget your paper planner, you’re left writing your list from memory or forfeiting the shopping trip altogether.
With this information on your cell phone or tablet, you can slip either easily into your bag and know with confidence that you have everything you need
Save a little extra room in your bag and adopt technology that is accessible by all of your mobile devices.
For many of us, our planners are our lifeline. We spend time decorating them, doodling in them, and writing thoughts and to-dos in the margins.
Why are we putting so much of our lives into a book we can leave at the grocery store? Not to mention all of the terrifying things that could happen if a small child or dog were to get ahold of it.
When you go digital, you are ensuring that your documents, notes, and lists are saved in the cloud. Even if something happens to your device, your organizer is safe. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a back-up plan for peace of mind?
Are your current planning habits ruining the environment?
Making paper requires hundreds of millions of trees. Deforestation upsets an already fragile ecosystem consisting of trees, plants, and animals. These all work together to give us the oxygen we need to survive, not to mention the beauty of the natural forests.
When trees are farmed in large quantities, everything that lives in the forest suffers. Animals, plants, and other trees are either killed or forced to find another place to thrive.
It’s not just the plants and animals that suffer. People can be harmed by deforestation, too. Families living near these devastated forests often experience negative effects from erosion, water pollution, and flooding.
Making the move to digital planning will help you feel good about making an effort to go green for Mother Nature.
How to Combine Paper and Digital Planning Tools
In order to be productive, you should keep your to-do lists, calendar, and notes all in one place. If you currently have each of these things in a different format and sprawled across your desk, you may not know where to start.
We all have different needs and choose to work in different ways so one technique won’t work for everyone.
Start with Your Calendar
It’s often easiest to begin your transition to digital planning with a calendar app. There are several calendar apps available, but the most popular are the Google Calendar and iCal apps that integrate with mobile devices.
Search the Apple App Store or the Google Play store and you will find thousands of options.
Digital calendars are beneficial because you don’t have to put all of your events and important dates on one. You can create separate calendars (one for work and one for birthdays, for example), and then overlay them on top of each other if you want to see them all at once.
You can toggle the calendars that are not as important or you are not as interested in on and off.
It’s helpful to assign a color to each calendar so that you know at a glance which category an event belongs to.
If you aren’t immediately comfortable with it, you don’t have to jump into a digital calendar all at once. Start copying events from your handwritten calendar. Eventually, it will become second nature to log them into your device because it’s quicker and more convenient.
Start Using Digital Note Tools
If you brainstorm or take a lot of notes at work, a note-taking app will be especially beneficial to you.
Your phone already comes with a note app, or you can try Google Docs first to test the waters.
Having your lists and notes easily accessible to you will change how you plan and make you more productive.
Certain apps, like Evernote, let you scan-in old handwritten notes and file them however you like. You can also tag documents and comment on them when necessary. Bonus: some of these apps make your handwriting searchable. If you are someone who takes a lot of handwritten notes, imagine how that could change your life!
Apps to Try When You’re Ready
So, now you know how digital planning can be beneficial and how you can start to integrate it into your life.
If you’re ready to move past Google Docs or the native applications on your cell phone or tablet, let’s take a look at some of the most popular digital planning tools.
GoodNotes is an app with features that claim to turn your iPad into your planner.
If you like to handwrite notes, GoodNotes is a good option for you because you can write with a stylus directly into the app. You can even import PDFs and other documents and then take notes on top of those when reviewing them on your own or in meetings.
Not only does GoodNotes store your notes, but it can also store all of your other documents as well. You can make an unlimited number of notebooks for any purpose. And everything you add to GoodNotes is searchable, making it easy to find your information.
The most enticing feature of GoodNotes for those of us who adore paper planning is the ability to import planner pages. This makes your digital planner customizable to you. Many popular bloggers and artists have created actual “planners” for you to use as a calendar, write to-do lists in, and keep track of other information.
This keeps planning a fun past time and prevents you from missing out on all of the doodling and stickering you can do with your paper organizer.
If you don’t have an Apple device, don’t fear. There are note taking and organizing apps available to you, too.
OneNote is a digital notebook that lets you gather notes and lists into one location. The cloud sync allows you to work on your notes and documents from anywhere, at any time.
It doesn’t have many of the cool features that GoodNotes offers, however. There is no opportunity to import custom planners. Someone who is more creative may not be happy with the boring interface.
GoodNotes and Microsoft OneNote are just two options. Like we said before, there are literally thousands of free and paid versions of apps like these.
Do your research and you are guaranteed to find something you love.
Time to Start Planning
As people continue to schedule and overbook themselves, it can be hard to keep appointments, lists, and ideas straight.
If you feel exhausted by attempting to keep up with the people around you, you will benefit from researching digital planners and organizers.
Don’t plan in the stone age. Contact us for additional resources if you’re still lost and don’t know where to start.