When choosing a way to organize your life, it all boils down to personal choice. I’ve used both a planner and a digital calendar over the years and both can be effective if used to their full potential. Each one also has its best features and its downsides. Fortunately, you don’t have to choose which one to use: you can use both!
So, I will admit I currently use both at the same time. Both? Yes, both. I’m going to tell you how I do that but let’s first break down the benefits of each one (as I see it and experience it, anyway.)
Choose a Planner
We are going to start with my favorite and most used method…the planner. I’m a techie and love all things tech. However, some things are better with paper and pen, in my opinion, and this is one of them.
Tip: When you write it, you remember it!
I’ve gone through many planners trying to find the one that fits my organizational style and my busy schedule. After much trial and error, Passion Planner is my absolute favorite planner of all time. It’s the one I’ve stayed with the longest and the one I recommend the most. I will admit the size is what sold me. It’s perfect! It fits in my bag or purse but is big enough for me to write everything I need to write.
What I love most is the space for monthly and weekly scheduling and the personal and business sections, which help me stay on top of everything going on in my life. I love that it has a mapping section for goals, which helps me see what I need to do. It also has monthly reflections and a midyear check-in! They have thought of everything, including pages at the end to design and write out your ideas.
My Top Pick
I use a Passion Planner to keep track of my yearly goals, the ideas I come up with during brainstorming sessions, the books I want to read and have read, and projects I am working on. The list is endless, really. The biggest drawback of a planner is having to carry one more thing in my bag, but compared to all it offers me, it’s worth it!
Tip: No matter what planner I use, I love to write down ideas and things I need to do on post-it notes so I can move them around as I go.
I’m going to geek out on you a bit here and tell you I love to use stickers, inserts, and all kinds of planner accessories. I will add inspirational quotes that pertain to the events happening in my schedule. For my workouts, I just put a sticker of a water bottle or tennis shoes in the time slot instead of writing it out. I will even decorate my monthly calendar with seasonal stickers. *GEEKING OUT RIGHT NOW* This method allows me to utilize my creative side and I LOVE it.
If you’re creative too, check out my decals. They are great for putting on planners!
Significant tip: Frixion makes erasable pens and highlighters and they are the only writing utensils I use in my planner. No white-out in this girl’s planner anymore! I can easily make changes and keep it looking clean. I can also color code using both pens and/or highlighters.
Choose a Digital Calendar
Coming in a close second is the digital calendar…the biggest benefit here is you don’t need to carry it with you! If you use Google, you can access it from anywhere! My favorite thing about the digital calendar??? You can schedule reminders ahead of your appointment!
I’ve Been There
When my children were little, I lost track of time and forgot to pick up my daughter from school. (That was when it was only half days twice a week…) Driving up and seeing just her and the teacher sitting there waiting for me, I felt so guilty. Surely, I wasn’t the only parent who got busy and lost track of time!! Right????
When I started using Google Calendar, I was able to set a reminder to pick my daughter up a half hour before school ended. Best thing ever! No more Mom Guilt.
Moving appointments around is easy with a digital calendar. You can share appointments with others. There’s an option to have multiple calendars that show specific types of appointments and one master calendar with all your appointments in one. You can add notes to your appointments like phone numbers and critical information.
I’m guessing there are even more things you can do that I haven’t even tried yet since I lean more on my planner and don’t use a digital calendar for all its capabilities.
For me, the biggest drawback is itemizing my busy weekly schedule and having a list of my monthly and weekly projects. I like to have it laid out in front of me! I’m visual that way.
You Don’t Have to Choose
The Best of the Planner
So, how do I use both methods? My planner is my main method and I sprinkle in the digital benefits with my Google Calendar. Everything is in my planner. And when I say everything…I mean everything.
Goals and dreams.
Appointments, of course.
It’s more than just a planner for me. It holds pretty much everything and I feel lost without it.
I love that I can open it up and I can easily see my entire month in front of me. When I turn the pages, I can focus on weekly goals. Each month I have a reflection portion that helps me see what is working and what I need to work harder on. I’m not saying you can’t do that with a digital calendar but it’s different. It just is.
I like to fill my planner with accessories and inspirational quotes. It helps pump up my creative side! It just isn’t the same with a digital calendar.
The Best of the Digital Calendar
The digital calendar isn’t without its benefits. For me, the reminders are the absolute best thing about a digital calendar. A planner can’t send out reminders.
Every week, I have a video conference with my marketing team. I set up a recurring reminder to go off four days prior so if I have any questions to email ahead of time, I can. This way we are all ready to make the most of our meeting.
I also like the feature of adding guests to your appointments. If I have scheduled a meeting, I will send the appointment reminder to them, too. It’s great because I can make one entry and send it to many people. Great time saver!
It’s Up to You
I know that some of you will be Team Planner and some of you will be Team Digital Calendar. I want you to use what serves you best. All I am saying is that it doesn’t have to be one or the other. You don’t have to choose. Do what works best for you!
Let me know if my tips have helped you with your own planning. I’d love to hear what you do! It’s always a win when we can share our ideas!!
Live your best life!