Although I run an online business, I’m still a little old school. This means I like to have a paper planner in addition to my online calendar. The reasoning is simple – I move really fast and sometimes I just need a place to jot notes down very quickly.
Of course, your need for a online paper planner depends on you. I have a friend who refuses to use one and does all of his scheduling online. I just so happen to like putting pen to paper. If you happen to be the same way, here is how to combine a paper planner with an online calendar.
Know the role of each calendar.
My online calendar is for scheduling consultations, podcasts, and blocking out time for meetings and tasks. It also keeps my team in the loop of what is going on. In other words, this is to digitize appointments, streamline processes and keep people in the loop.
My planner is more about jotting down notes, reminders, planning ahead and personal stuff. That means it’s more for me than it is for anyone else. For example, I’m pretty sure that if I hadn’t jotted down a reminder to call my dentist, that it wouldn’t have happened. For some reason, putting personal stuff in an online calendar never works for me.
Know what works best for you.
The key to combining an online calendar with a planner is to know what works for you and what doesn’t. For example, I know it’s useless to put personal stuff on my online calendar unless my team needs to know I’m going to be out of the office.
Furthermore, as I mentioned, I like to write stuff down. It feels good. Research also shows that the act of physically writing something down is linked to improved memory recall due to certain processes in the brain. That’s why putting reminders to call my dentist in an online calendar never worked for me – because I always forgot.
Whether it’s ideas, reminders, or notes having to do with running my business, I need a place where I can easily find all of my notes. I also need it for memory recall and renewed commitment.
Use data from your online calendar to inform your planner.
Here is where some online calendars far surpass paper planners: They gather data for you. For example, some online calendars collect data on the most important tasks, how long they take, etc. They can also automatically re-arrange your schedule when things change. A paper planner can’t do these things.
However, you can use the data from your online calendar to help you organize your planner. For example, since I know how much time a specific task is going to take, then I know where to put it in my planner as I plan out the week ahead.
I personally believe the debate between online calendars and paper planners is useless. There is room for both in your life depending on what works best for you.
Amanda is a best-selling author of "Make Money Your Honey", a book that helps freelancers and business owners understand their relationship with money and how to make it more productive. She's driven by helping others live the most productive and fruitful way possible.