Skip to Content

5 Benefits of Planning on Paper

Sure, there's probably an app for that, but there's nothing like a beautiful paper planner to write your to-do lists in!

Planning? There’s an app for that! Planning out your daily routine, all the way down to the take out dinner you’re getting delivered, can be done on your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Using that calendar function may be a quick and easy option, but old-fashioned paper is still the way to go, even in 2015!

1. You’ll remember your schedule better.

Physically writing down your tasks makes them harder to forget. Seeing that project deadline, school assignment, or gym reminder, in your own lovely penmanship (that cannot be erased with the click of a button), might compel you to take notice and take charge!

2. The illusion of productivity.

Seeing a long list at the beginning of your week can be intimidating, so the sooner boxes begin to get checked off, the less stressed and more in-control you’ll feel. Crossing of completed items with a real pen just seems so satisfying, and it also lets you track your productivity for weeks, months, or even the whole year! Learning which days are more productive for you over the course of a month or two will help you more effectively plan days in the future.

3. Less distractions.

Consulting a tablet, smartphone, or other electronic device in class or a professional meeting is probably not the best idea. Checking your paper planner can be done quickly, and without the assumption that you might be tweeting instead of focusing on the topic of the hour.

On a similar note, checking that calendar app might bring the temptation to scroll through social media, emails, or text messages, and lead to procrastination. Using paper to plan can help keep you in the zone and lead to doing better work in less time than usual.

4. You can use fun colors.

Color coding is a wonderful thing. In your paper planner, you can get creative with brightly colored pens, highlighters, or reminder stickers. Color code work events, school assignments, volunteer hours, and fun nighttime activities.

Just glancing at your day will remind you of what  you need to prioritize, for example, seeing a lot of blue writing might mean you have research to do and papers to write, but seeing a lot of green might mean you get to spend the day volunteering for a cause that’s really important to you.

5. It’s relaxing.

Planning is actually quite relaxing. Thinking of all the things you need to do on a particular day or week can be overwhelming. Writing everything out, seeing different due dates and deadlines, and taking the time to prioritize your list in order of importance can make a very long list seem much more attainable. Getting that list shorter and shorter throughout the day or throughout the week gives a clear vision of your progress and how much is left to be done.

Planning on paper is definitely old-school, but I think it’s timeless success makes a case for itself. Using a calendar app to plan just doesn’t have the same level of engagement, and using paper can help you to prioritize and achieve your goals! Check out the planner section on your next trip to the bookstore, I promise you won’t regret it!

About the Author

Gina Lombardo

Gina graduated from Rutgers University last year with her BS in Nutrition, and will be returning to school in the fall to pursue a Masters Degree in Public Health. She is passionate about making healthy choices easy and accessible, sneaking feminist ideology into almost any conversation, and finding shoes on clearance. Eventually, she would love to work for a cooperative extension, help build healthier communities, and keep on writing!


Read previous post:
Time Management for the Busy Grad Student

Grad school is no joke. Twice as busy as undergrad, with twice as much responsibility. Take it from a fellow...

Close