Productivity Tips

7 Signs You Need a Paper Planner

7 Signs You Need a Paper Planner - header

Learning how to get organized isn’t a one-time thing. As our lives change, so do our organizational needs. If you’ve been feeling a bit frazzled lately or noticed a decline in your job performance or general wellness, it may be time to reevaluate how well you set goals, meet commitments, and stay on track with your responsibilities.

While there are lots of digital organizational tools available, they may not be working if you’re feeling consistently overwhelmed. Investing in a paper planner is a quick and easy way to get back on track. Here are seven signs it’s time to start using a paper planner:

1. You feel tied to your phone.

Using a mobile app as your daily schedule planner has its advantages, but it can also keep you tethered to a frequent source of distraction: your phone. Relying on your phone for all your organizational needs makes you dependent on electronic alarms and reminders. If your phone malfunctions, loses battery power, or is tied to multiple work and personal email accounts, it’s easy to miss reminders or make mistakes when trying to log appointments under different accounts.

2. You’re experiencing a lot of stress.

Trouble sleeping, recurring headaches, and irritability are all symptoms of stress. So are muscle tension, digestive issues, and exhaustion. If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate everything on your plate and how you manage it. If things are slipping through the cracks and you regularly feel overwhelmed, your busy schedule is likely contributing to your stress.

3. Your work performance has declined.

If you’ve been missing deadlines, arriving late to meetings or missing them entirely, and making sloppy mistakes, it’s a sign that you aren’t balancing your workload as well as you once did. Declining job performance can have a lasting impact on your career, professional relationships, and financial health, so it’s important to address your organizational needs sooner rather than later.

4. You’re missing activities and appointments.

Youre missing activities and appointments

Missed appointments and events inconvenience you and other people. Whether you forgot to attend a book club meeting that you already RSVP’d to or find yourself paying your doctor yet another missed appointment fee, missing scheduled events can be frustrating and expensive.

5. Your relationships are taking a back seat.

All relationships require work, which means staying in touch, keeping commitments, and showing up for each other. This is easier said than done. To maintain strong relationships, you have to actively make time for each other, which is impossible without a strong organizational system in place.

6. You feel stuck in a rut.

If you’re having trouble setting goals or taking action to achieve your goals, a paper planner can help. If you’re simply dreaming up your goals but never writing them down, you’re less likely to achieve them. By writing down your goals — and the steps you must take to achieve them — your brain is already taking steps to work through the goal.

7. You’re selling yourself short.

You may feel like you can’t seem to get anything done, and if that’s the case, then why bother? This is known as a psychological effect called the self-fulfilling prophecy. Rather than letting a negative view of yourself dictate your day-to-day, consider whether you simply need an extra tool or two — such as a paper planner — to get things done. No one can be expected to take care of everything without a bit of help here and there.

How a Paper Planner Can Help

How a paper planner can help

If you identify with one or more items on the list above, it’s time to change your approach to how you manage your responsibilities, both work and personal. Here’s how using a paper planner can make a huge difference in how you stay organized and in how you feel each day:

  • 1. Significant evidence suggests that writing by hand is better for memory, goal-setting, and stress. By writing down appointments and to-do lists in a paper planner, you’re using more brain power, which keeps your mind sharp and improves your memory in the long term. Writing things down has even been shown to calm the brain, so you may find using a paper planner not only productive but also therapeutic.
  • 2. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you set a task or goal for yourself that will require a lot of time and energy. Luckily, there are planners designed specifically to help with goal-setting and accountability. They can help you set and track your goals while also breaking down tasks in a way you can easily manage. By working through a specific plan to achieve your goal, you’ll feel more motivated and likely to accomplish it.
  • 3. A weekly or daily paper planner provides you with a central hub that you can use to record all of your appointments, tasks, commitments, and goals. But if you’ve been using a mobile app or digital calendar for a while now, you may be hesitant to transition to a paper planner entirely. Luckily, it’s easy to use both! Check out our tips for using a digital and a paper planner together to get the most out of each.

Types of Paper Planners

Types of paper planners

If you’re wondering where to begin when choosing a planner, consider the issues that you want to address with your planner:

  • 1. If you’re reluctant to give up your digital planner because you don’t want to carry around a thick paper planner, don’t worry. Several options can meet your needs, including a Softbound LifePlanner™, an A5 size planner, or a PetitePlanner.
  • 2. Looking for a comprehensive “hub” planner? Our Daily LifePlanner™ Duo allows you to do it all in a two-volume set. Track your daily activities, set goals, and create to-do lists — this daily schedule planner can accommodate just about any lifestyle!
  • 3. Are you task-focused? Need some help with goal setting? Our guided journals and notebooks allow you to focus on a specific area of your life, including wellness, spiritual practices, and budgeting.
  • 4. If your kids are keeping you busy, try our family organization planners. These allow you to track activities for everyone in your family. Using these with your kids also reinforces helpful organizational habits at a young age.

The right tools can equip and empower you to get organized, manage your time, and achieve your goals. If you relate to any of the signs above, consider investing in a paper planner today for a more productive and fulfilling tomorrow. You may also enjoy How to Start Planning.