Life Hacks: Why you Need a Paper Planner

  1. Life Hacks: Don’t point out your faults. Obviously.
  2. Life-Hack: Miracle Mood-Booster
  3. Life Hacks: Why you Need a Paper Planner
  4. Life Hack: An Ounce of Preparation
  5. Life Hack: Everything is created twice

I have a wonderfully organized mother. When we were in school, and she had four children involved in band, 4-H, school sports and music lessons, she never missed a beat, and often kept all the other mothers organizaed as well. Everything I know about organization I learned at my mother’s knee.

Her greatest tool was her day-planner, affectionately known as “The Bible.” And in spite of how much I love my Google Calendar, I still use one today.

Here’s why YOU should keep a physical day-planner

I know you like to  keep an online calendar, and that is GREAT. However, you likely also use it often from your phone, and the tiny screen keeps it from being as useful as a physical planner is.

Here’s what I keep in mine:

  • Birthdays and anniversaries (which are always checked a week ahead of time)
  • Pertinent shoe and clothing sizes for the people you might be purchasing clothing for (kids and spouses)
  • A  list of people to buy Xmas gifts for (write down the people you don’t remember until Dec 1. And write it down when you get an idea for someone). This lets you buy stuff when you see a deal, and spreads the expenses over the year. Just mark sure to mark it down after you’ve bought something.
  • Events that you might go to. The book sale in November. The State Fair. The bake sale next Saturday. When Les Miserables will be in town. Which weekend the family reunion is on. And while you’re at it, right down your family member’s events, because even if you don’t have to drive them, it’s always nice to be able to say, have a good time on your white-water rafting trip! (My mom still does this for us). This is particularly good for stuff that’s on a range of several days, but you’re not committed to any particular date.
  • Addresses, directions, and phone numbers. Believe it or not, there are still places where your phone will fail you, or even (gasp) run out of battery. Putting your driving directions down in the day planner means you won’t lose that crucial slip of paper when you’re driving 120 kph trying to figure out which exit to turn at.
  • Ideas. Unless you are also in the habit of carrying a little notepad, there are things you’re going to want to write down, and you;ll have nothing to write on.
  • Recurring, odd-ball chores and bills that are too far apart to truly be called “routine”. Like insurance, membership fees, ordering propane in June when it’s cheap.
  • Groceries and errand lists. Yes, I know I can do this on my phone. I’m old fashioned that way.

I use a 8×5 planner, one week to a page, but you can use anything at all. You can even geek out at I always write in pen, but pencil is probably a better idea (There tend to be a lot of scribble-outs in my book).

But, but … What about GCal?

In case you’re wondering, your online calendar is perfect for all the stuff you need to do at your computer, and office related stuff in general. I never put my client calls down in my day planner, for example, simply because I don’t need that information duplicated. And once I know I definitely need that information, it goes into my online calendar, so I don’t book on-top of it.

But, when I bump into a friend and they invite me to dinner, it’s much easier to flip open my day planner and scan for an available evening than it is to carefully flip through two dozen days on Gcal.

And to top it all off, you’ll look (and be) super-organized. It’s not hard at all.

So? Did I convince you?


6 thoughts on “Life Hacks: Why you Need a Paper Planner”

      1. @Shanna Mann I AM, but you start talking “Bible” proportions and my bag and my back can’t handle it… it sounded like you were talking about those 3-ring binder deals, which I used to use, but no more- we’re down to 7″ leather editions now, baby!

        1. @MargaretTLT They have three ring 7″ers too. That’s what I used. Room for a pen, a note pad, and a couple pages of reference material.  My moms is only the size of a cheque book (but she has tiny, beautiful handwriting. Why couldn’t that have been hereditary?)

  1. .smile.  I keep all that information in my phone, believe it or not.  I won’t carry something big and bulky, and I won’t update it…So into the phone it goes!  What I use paper for is planning-the-whole-big-picture-year out.  That I can spread all over the living room floor. 🙂

    1. @LeelaSinha I really like paper for temporary stuff, like directions, addresses, things like that. But now that I’ve gotten an upgraded phone network? Yeah, it’s all gone into the phone.  
      I pretty much just use the paper planner for tracking mileage. I’ve come a long way in the last year!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *