Planners: Digital vs. Paper

If you are a busy person, working a day job in addition to playing music, you need to stay organized. The way many people stay organized is with a planner. A common planner system is the paper planner.

With the advancement of technology, there has also been an increase in the number of digital planners. From Google Calendar to iCal, you can keep track of appointments on all of your devices.

Hannah B Flute | Planners: Digital vs Paper

In this post, I am going to compare and contrast these two methods of organization to help you decide which is right for you. After all, the new year is a great time to switch things up.

Digital: Pros

The biggest pro to digital planners is that they are always with you. You can sync your calendar to your phone, computer, and tablet. All you need is internet access.

Another great thing about digital planners is that you pay for them once. Or not at all. Many great calendar and list apps are free, and you can use them year after year.

Digital planners are also easier to edit. You don’t have to worry about using whiteout to erase events. You can simply hit delete and have a clean looking calendar.

The fourth benefit to digital planners and calendars is that you save on paper. There is so much waste in our landfill, and a digital planner can help cut down on that waste. Paper planners aren’t easily recycled, and they just take up space.

Digital: Cons

One problem you run into with a digital planner is that it’s digital. You need internet and a working device to use it. If you don’t have an internet connection, or your phone dies, you can’t check your calendar.

Another con to digital planners is that they can be limiting. You have to stick to how the planner or calendar is laid out. Paper planners offer more customization than digital.

A huge con, for some, is also the fact that you might need multiple apps and programs to do your planning. You will need a calendar and probably a to do list. Most digital calendars don’t have a to do list as part of the program.

The last big con is that all these calendars and apps take up space on your devices. If you backup your information to your device, all of those appointments and to do lists can really eat up space.

Paper: Pros

The best thing about a paper planner is that you don’t have to rely on wifi or a charged device to access it. You can check your planner even in a power outage.

Another awesome thing about paper planners is that they have become customizable. You can request certain layouts, depending on the planner. You can also use whatever colors and pens you want. It’s up to you.

Using a paper planner also allows you to use your phone and computer for other things. You can store more photos and apps on your phone. That space won’t be taken up by a calendar.

If you are a shopper like me, you will also really like the tradition of buying a new planner each year. The cost can add up, but it’s fun to go and pick the color scheme and layout of your next planner.

Paper: Cons

Possibly the biggest con to a paper planner is that it takes up physical space. In your bag. On your desk. It takes up space. Depending on your planner, it may not even fit in some bags or places.

Next is the cost. You have to buy a new planner each year. That cost can add up over time. If you buy a twenty dollar planner each year, that’s $100 after five years. It may seem small, but those purchases can affect your finances after awhile.

Paper planners can also be difficult to edit. If an event gets canceled or you realize you don’t need to do something on your to do list, you have to erase it. That’s no problem when you use pencil, but pen is hard to get rid of.

Another downfall of paper planners is that they create extra waste. Depending on the binding, paper planners can be hard to dispose of. You may not be able to recycle them. If you keep them, they will just take up even more space than when you were using them.


Do you use a digital or paper planner? Are you still deciding? Let me know in the comments! And be sure to subscribe so you can access an infographic comparing digital and paper planners!


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