Paper planner vs. digital?
I have a paper page for every day since 1996. When I was living in Paris, I bought my first planner. There, it was called an agenda.
After the agenda, I transitioned to Filofax. It had a brown leather cover that I reused year after year, purchasing the pricy calendar inserts (and sometimes some accessories if I could afford them) at stationery stores. I bought my dad a Filofax, too. He kept it closed with a rubber band.
After I stopped being a student, I found the Filofax too heavy to carry. I tried a mini Filofax one year, but it was too small. So I reverted back to my original and chose not to bring it along with me. Faithfully, I filled in the details of each day — even after the fact. Just like to-do lists that begin with already-done tasks.
College Bookstore Planners
When I started my current job nearly ten years ago, I went back to academic planners. It felt good going to college bookstores. I bought 2018/2019 from the Harvard Coop after a campus tour for work. The planner came with little stickers, and I used up the sick and angry faces first. Sigh. I think I’ve since changed.
I made a bad decision in 2015 and left my good job for a bad one. Luckily my old job took me back after I realized what I had done. On the first day of that bad job, my new boss asked me what kind of calendar I used. I told him I used a paper planner. He said this:
Prepare for a seismic shift.
I often recall inconsequential dialogue from a truly random occasion. Some days, the lines play over and over in my head. The seismic shift is one of those lines. I see his face saying it, too.
It really was a terrible job.
I dutifully entered my meetings in Outlook, but I maintained my paper calendar throughout those unpleasant eight months.
These days, I use Passion Planner. I’m on my second iteration and third year. In 2019/2020, I used the medium soft cover. Last year, I upgraded to the spiral large. The big pages were delightful but only because of remote work. The planner was heavy! Too heavy to carry around. This year, I returned to the medium soft, and I bring it to the office every day.
The questions on the side of each week are a guilty pleasure. I add to my list of “good things that happened” as the days progress. And I rate each month from 0-10 after answering questions that encourage me to do more of or less of a certain activity. I miss the stickers, but you can buy those, too. It’s really a great product.
But leafing through my old agenda and Filofax with all of their brittle drugstore receipts, outdated maps, and old ID cards from when I still had collagen in my face — precious to me.
So how do you feel about paper planner vs. digital?
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