In 2013, I reluctantly switched over from using a paper planner to relying solely on an electronic calendar for managing my schedule. My rational mind fully understands, and appreciates, all the many perks and conveniences I get by using an electronic calendar. But another part of me, over 3+ years later, still misses many things about the paper planner. I even know several people who use paper planners and refuse to go digital. Or maybe they have a hybrid system.
In terms of ease, both types of planners rank highly. In terms of convenience and benefits, the electronic planner scores more points than its paper counterpart, so many more points that I had to really sit and think about why I still miss the paper one so much.
People who are serious about keeping paper planners will tell you that the style and brand you select is a highly personal matter. I always preferred one that offered me a weekly two-page view with Monday as the first day.
The Quo Vadis Sapa was a favorite of mine. The size was perfect and had ample space for my appointments and notes. I loved the details offered at a glance telling me which day/week it was with respect to the month and year (e.g. week 37/52 or day 256/365). Holidays appeared as tiny, unobtrusive notes, whereas in an electronic calendar, they’re the same size as any other appointment. I also enjoyed ripping off the perforated corners to easily access the current week.
Equally valuable was the ability to toggle between the one-year and weekly views. I used to track some things on an annual basis, which is no longer possible with the electronic calendar.
Even with all of the options, features, bells and whistles offered by electronic planners, I still can’t get some of the most basic, simple things that I loved so much with a paper planner, such as the yearly view. It’s strange because with the electronic planner I can easily change my view from daily to weekly to monthly. But then if the day contains too much information, or too many holidays, I’m limited by the screen space to see everything at a glance.
The ironic thing is that in almost every aspect, the electronic planner is more flexible, offering more and better options for managing my schedule. And yet, I sometimes still yearn for pen and paper.