There are endless reasons why someone might choose paper over digital planning. Maybe one of the most appealing reasons, though, is because of a new trend that’s on the rise. This trend involves turning paper planning into almost pieces of art. If you are an artist, (or maybe you’re not but you like to dabble in arts and crafts anyway) this trend could be just the right fit. But, there are always two sides to a piece of washi tape. (If you don’t get that reference, keep reading.) So, let’s get into it.
It’s possible you have been using a digital planner ever since the first iPhone came out. And you have no idea why someone would choose to use a paper planner over a digital one. Well, let me fill you in on some of the pros of paper planning.
Digital planning, digital writing, digital printing, digital anything is everywhere you look. What is more curious, or what appears to be more curious, is paper. Moleskine (remember that name for later if you don’t already know what it is) CEO Arrigo Berni stated, “Yes…we live in an increasingly digital world, but we ‘still have a need for physical experience, for emotional experiences that digital devices and technology’ don’t always provide” (NPR). (Maybe that’s why therapists tell you to work out your frustration through writing it down, huh?)
Paper planners give you a good excuse to rest your eyes from computer screens. They give you the ability to work your brain in a different way. They allow you to “check out”, if you will, for a little bit. Today, there are constant beeps, alerts, and dings from your phone and computer. It can be a relief to disconnect and check your planner when YOU want to.
It can also help to have something physical in front of you. In T. Marie Hilton’s blog post, she commented on the same thing. She wrote that during “a busy work day, my online calendar is tucked away. My screen is filled with Photoshop, Word, my Outlook Inbox,” etc. She mentioned having a paper planner was helpful because it was within reach. That it was helpful because it was not lost in endless websites and applications running. Even better, paper planners and notebooks have no battery life. Most of the time, they only need to be “upgraded” once per year.
The last pro I will talk about is freedom. (Conveniently enough, this leads me into the real point of this blog.) Paper planners give you so many more options than you have with digital ones. When you want to brainstorm (and most planners these days have a place where you can jot down notes), writing allows your creativity to flow. I do believe that every business can prosper from adding in some extra creativity to its processes.
You can make them pretty with washi tape and stickers. (For those of you who don’t know what washi tape is, let me explain. Washi tape is a beautiful piece of tape that comes in countless designs used to decorate pieces of paper. It’s kind of all the rage right now. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a box full of washi tape myself.) Or you can keep them messy. You can make them long or short. You can doodle with gel pens and felt markers or just stick to words with black and blue pens. Your pen and a notebook (and washi tape, stamps, stickers, markers, ribbon, etc. if you so choose) are the only tools you need in those instances. The rest of the “world” is, how they say it, your oyster.
Being an artist myself, I can see how people are drawn to this creative type of planning. I flock to anything “pretty” when it comes to office supplies. To me, it just makes less enjoyable things more pleasant. When most of our days are filled with meetings, emails, errands, and chores, it can be a relief to sit back and make all those mundane tasks look pretty on a piece of paper.
On the opposite end of that beautiful piece of washi tape, there is a sticky side. A side that seems overwhelming to some people. The thought of trying to find time to get out all your craft supplies (which if you’re like me, can be a daunting thing to think about cleaning up) and make a book look pretty might appear pointless. Or it feels overwhelming because there are so many planner options available and you don’t know where to start looking.
And you’re right. There are oodles of planners out there, each offering a different way of planning. Some of my personal favorites are Ban.do, Erin Condren, and Kate Spade. (She has already put together planners. She also has agendas where, if you want to, you can print and build your own papers.) I also love Rifle Paper Co., and a little more on the simple side, Moleskine. (Remember the quote from the beginning of this blog?)
If the task of finding a planner seems too great at first, try and break it down. I read in a blog, once, if you’re having trouble with this, the best thing to do is write down everything you need in a planner. You can start looking from that list. Still can’t find one you like? You can always buy the outside cover and build your own!
As far as decorating your planners go, well, that’s 110% up to you. If it doesn’t give you fulfillment in some type of way, maybe skip the washi tape and felt markers. But, if it does relax you and make you feel pumped for the next week ahead, then craft your little heart away! If you ever need inspiration, just go on Pinterest, Youtube, or Instagram. Search for #planneraddict, #plannercommunity, or #plannerlife. There are millions of people out there who might tip you off to something that will work perfectly for you and your planner life.
Remember, paper planners are there to make your life easier, not more stressful. So, find what works for YOU and keep on doing that.