How To: Plan with Paper and Technology!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Happy Wednesday, blogger friends!

I am a die-hard paper fanatic. Putting pen to paper is tried and true, a dependable way to plan your day and make sure you aren't losing anything, forgetting anything, and it can be really therapeutic to just sit down and write or draw it all out.

But, we live in a digital age. There are SO MANY digital planning websites, apps, and resources, and it makes paper planners sometimes seem obsolete or at the very least, archaic.

So, what do you do if you are a super busy person with a lot of moving parts in your life, deadlines, and things to do, but you love the feeling of putting pen to paper and getting all of the messy stuff sorted out? My solution is to use both a paper planner and a technological planner.

These are some of my tips for keeping two calendars - one in the cloud, one on the ground - to keep your life organized and ensure maximum productivity!

Step One: Put it in the Cloud
I use my digital calendar for three primary purposes: forward planning, on the go planning, and regular/repeated plans.

If I get a due date or an appointment that is more than a month in the future, I put it in my iCal and put a reminder on to make sure I remember it. That way, when I go to plan out my month, I can pop into my calendar and know what's happening at a glance.

Although I carry my planner everywhere I go, there are times and places where pulling out my Erin Condren planner just is not an option. If I'm with friends, at a stoplight, or out and about and need to reference a date or put something in my planner, I put it in my iCal and sync it all up!

For those things that happen regularly and you don't want to write them down week after week, setting up repeated events on your calendar is a really simple and easy way to make note of things that happen regularly. I use this mostly for class, work, and my internship.

Step Two: Write it All Down
I love using my paper planner for two, yet seemingly incongruent reasons: To sort out the messy stuff, and to make it all pretty.

I have a Leuchtturm1917 notebook that I carry around with me that I can use to just get everything down on paper. This means to-do lists, blog post ideas, random thoughts and lists, meeting notes, etc. This is where I do the messy stuff, the daily lists, the daily plans. If I am just struggling with putting everything I need to do together, I figure it out in this book.

I also have an Erin Condren Life Planner. This makes my crazy messy notebook nice and neat. I use stickers, washi, and other embellishments to make it beautiful (this particular Paris-themed set is from PopFizzPaper on Etsy!). In some ways, this is a creative release, as I get to use so many fun materials to make an otherwise boring planner something pretty! I don't always have the time, energy, or patience to make my planner pretty, but it is something I enjoy. If pretty planning isn't your thing... don't stress, it certainly isn't the only way to use a paper planner. I would recommend choosing a paper planner you find visually appealing, but also keeps function in the forefront of your use.

Step Three: Sync
At a minimum, you should sync your paper calendar and your digital calendar once a week. I tend to sync my calendars daily, or at least every other day as part of my evening routine. Make sure you put the time for events or due dates in both places, just in case you can't access your paper calendar on the go, or if you don't want to use your technology. It only takes about 15 minutes, and it's a great way to see what is coming up the next day, or even over the next week.

How do you plan best? Do you use a tech solution for planning, or are you old-school paper and pen (or pencil!)?

Have a great week!

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