Why Does This Geek Girl Use a Paper Planner?

paper planner

If you’ve been reading my blog or following me on social media for any length of time, you know that I’m a lover of technology.  From my online tech services to reading my books on a Kindle, I love tech and tech gadgets.

So why did I recently purchase a paper planner to keep track of my schedule?

I’ve been using calendars in Outlook, Google calendar and on my iPhone for years.  The first thing I do when a new meeting, event or appointment is scheduled is add it to my Calendar in Outlook. From there it syncs to both my iCloud calendar and my Google Calendar.  I’ve had the habit for years.  Although it’s great to have access to my calendar no matter where I am or what device I happen to be using, in reality the online calendar thing wasn’t working for me.

What do I mean?  I just admitted all of my schedule items were there and I could access them didn’t I?  I did.  Just because I can access them, doesn’t mean I do.  I don’t. Or rather, I don’t as much as I need to.

In the middle of a busy work day, my online calendar is tucked away. My screen is filled with Photoshop, Word, my Outlook Inbox, browser windows, Adobe Acrobat, etc., usually a combination of several of them. With my Inbox open, the Calendar feature of Outlook isn’t visible.  I could bring up a browser page with Google Calendar, but it would soon be buried behind my latest website build.

Recently I’ve read a few articles on how having your calendar visible helps keep you focused, on task and more productive. I decided that perhaps it was time for this Geek Girl to go ‘old school’ and try a ::gasp:: paper planner.

I’ve been using it for about a month now and guess what?  It works. I’m sure part of it is because I have to physically write down my goals, to-do lists, events, meetings and appointments.  I believe the bigger reason is that it stays within view (and within reach) all day long.  Right there in my face reminding me of what I need to do, every time I glance away from the computer screen.

Have I abandoned my online calendaring?  Not a chance. In fact my new appointments, etc. go into that calendar first. Each evening, while I’m relaxing a bit, I pull up any new appointments on my phone and add write them into my paper planner.  I also add notes about how my day might have gone, what new ideas I might have for both my business and my creative endeavors and my personal schedule that includes days that I take care of my granddaughter.

While online calendaring wasn’t doing everything it could for me, I know that purely relying on the paper planner would be a fail too.  I’m not the type to tuck my planner in my purse, heck, I don’t even carry a ‘real’ purse half the time, just my wristlet that holds my license, cards, and my phone.  The combination of the two, however, is something that I’ve found works at keeping me focused and productive.  For me it’s worth the small amount of time it adds to my day.

What works for you?  Are you a paper planner or an online calendar person?  Do you also use both?  Share your methods with me in the comments.


Tina Marie Hilton provides online technology services to forward thinking businesses. She writes on her Tips from T.Marie business blog to share insight and information with other small businesses and entrepreneurs. It also makes her feel like that certificate in creative writing isn't going to waste completely.