Wondering if you should make the switch from paper planner to digital planner? I bet I can change your mind by the end of this post. Read on for 7 reasons why digital is wayyyyyy better than paper.
I've ALWAYS been a planner girl. I carried around a little spiral-bound notebook every day of my life in high school and college. I would have been lost without it. In my twenties I found myself getting away from paper planners and relying more on built-in tools on my computer and phone, like my calendar, Notes app, and Reminders.
But something was missing. Sorely missing. I felt like I could never get ahead, like I was always playing catch-up somehow. I tried going back to paper planners but it wasn't the same. With all the ease and convenience of digital, combining paper + digital always seemed like I was doing double the work with half the reward.
Enter: digital planners.
I discovered digital planning in mid 2022 and I have to say… what the fuck, you guys? How come nobody told me about this sooner?!
Digital planning solves everything for my ADHD brain.. It's accessible. It's convenient. It's un-loseable. It combines the best of paper and digital.
Don't get me wrong, I still rely heavily on my iPhone calendar and notifications, but going fully digital with my daily, weekly, and monthly schedules has been a dream. I've made it my mission to upgrade you to the digital side. If you're still stuck using paper planners, or if you already loveeeee digital planners and just want to pat yourself on the back for making good life choices, here's 10 reasons why they're the shiz:
- You can take them with you anywhere. As much as I hate to admit it, in this modern era, I rarely leave the house without my phone. One thing I hated about paper planners is they were huge and inconvenient to carry around. Now I plan everything out my iPad and I have easy access to it on my iPhone wherever I go. I can't tell you how many times my ADHD brain planned out my entire day only to leave the house for the whole day and not stick to the plan because, well, the plan's at home so I forgot. Now I don't have that problem!
- It's all-in-one. My digital planner also acts as a notebook, journal, calendar, to-do list, personal assistant, and chauffeur. Okay, I'm kidding about the chauffeur part, but it's pretty comprehensive! I used to have separate notebooks for all those things, but now it's literally all in one spot. With dividers and labels and graphics, oh my! The amount of money I'm saving on post-its, woah, Nelly! And again, no need to carry around a million things.
- Speaking of notebooks, did you know taking notes longhand is better for learning than typing and allows you to retain more information? Yup, that's what the smarties found as evidenced by this 2014 study by Pam Mueller (Princeton) and Daniel Oppenheimer (UCLA). Soooo my dears, if you're a student or someone who works in a job that requires you to take notes, or hey, if you're like me and just love to learn for the fun of it , you ought to be taking notes by hand instead of typing.
- You can type or write longhand in a single document. Digital notebooks give you access to this life hack along with the aforementioned convenience! I highly recommend the combo of iPad (Apple | Amazon), Apple Pencil (Best Buy | Amazon), and GoodNotes or Notability for the best experience.
- Storage. You can easily store an unlimited number of files, organize them, insert images and sketches, add a wide array of templates, and easily search for a specific page or set of notes.
- ADHD-Friendly. As someone who relies heavily on graphic organizers and visual aides, when I discovered digital planning I felt like Tom Hanks in Castaway when he created fire.
Remember when teachers used to give you graphic organizers in school and they made life so much easier? If you have ADHD, you definitely know what I'm talking about. You'd be scrambling to think of what to write about but then, oh wait, there's a box here that says “Topic Sentence” and another one that says “First Argument” and all of a sudden things are crystal clear. When you use digital planners, you can download inexpensive organizers for everyday life. I'm talking daily, weekly, and monthly graphic organizers. Book review organizers. Podcast organizers. Goal-setting organizers. The options are endless.
- Customizable. I don't know how to adequately express how much this has improved my organization, creativity, and life. Back when I used regular ole' notebooks I had one option for paper: lined or graph or dotted. Because us neurodivergent folks may thrive on simple lined paper one day, but the next day we may feel an urgent need to map out your ideas on graph paper or doodle on dotted paper or brain dump on a totally blank page! Digital planners and notebooks solve this issue and more.
- It's as much a planner as it is a digital scrapbook. Think about how many times a day you screenshot or copy something you want to remember later, only for it to never grace your eyes ever again. I'm pretty sure half of my 25,000+ photos in my camera roll are screenshots. With digital planners and notebooks, you can easily screenshot, copy, paste, and edit your page. You can add stickers and links. That access alone makes it 12,046 times better than paper.
I rest my case. Have I sold you on digital planners yet?!