Why Using a Paper Planner May Still Be Right For You
No one would argue that tech is in, and that paper is in the past. Even for me as a former English teacher, I’ve pared down my gargantuan library and do my best to survive on Kindle more than anything else.
Louise Smith (best known as the “first lady of NASCAR”) famously said, “You can’t reach for anything new if your hands are still full of yesterday’s junk.” While this is clearly a metaphor for the emotional ties and distractions that may get in the way of reaching for the next new thing, it also speaks to the physical clutter that pollutes our office spaces, our cars, and our work areas.
Once we’ve gotten rid of all the physical clutter, however, there may still be an argument to be made for a paper planner—a daily organizer to get you through your daily activities. Writer Kristin Wong states that the physical act of writing something down “forces you to slow down and approach your planning with more mindfulness.” That, in itself, is a great reason to have a paper planner.
Sure, it’s true that your mobile phone can do just about everything. You’ve got an app for notes, another for dictation, two more for sending emails and texts, and even an app for lead gen. Nevertheless, there are some definite benefits to adding Wong’s “mindfulness” component to your business.
There are many reasons that people use paper planners, even in a tech-dominated world. If you are considering adding a paper planner to your bag of tricks, the first step is to figure out what you are going to use it for. Here are four features to consider:
- Daily Schedule. Many people like to note their daily, weekly, and hourly schedule in a planner. Consider your personal needs and the format that will work best for you for the long term.
- Note-taking. Along with noting daily activities, you may want a planner with space to take notes or write down thoughts, keep a to-do list, or jot down takeaways from a meeting or conference.
- Journaling. If you plan to use your planner as a journal or mind-map, look for a planner that provides you with pages (lined or blank) where you can sketch or maintain a diary or log your thoughts.
- Goal setting. Do you ever write down your goals? A paper planner can be a great place to keep a simple to-do list, a bucket list, or to note your personal or professional goals.
After you’ve considered these features and which ones are important to you, then it will be much easier to make a selection.
Antoine de Saint Exupery said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” If you honestly believe that a paper planner is the right way to go, make buying one part of your plan. If it is just a wish, and you don’t give it the necessary consideration, it will probably be like that outfit you bought in Vegas, just something that sits in your closet that you never use.
When you are deliberate and consistent in your business (not only in the planner you select, but also in your daily activities), you’ll see your business grow. Why not consider adding a paper planner and the mindfulness that comes with it to your business this year?