Reader question: digital vs paper?

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We recently received this message from a reader:

I have had conversations/debates with folks in regards to paper vs digital schedule systems… some say most everyone is using digital scheduling these days… I don’t agree, but what are the percentages of users of digital vs paper? Any idea?

We don’t have any statistics on how many people use digital vs paper, but I know many people combine the two.

Many people use an electronic planning system at work or among family members so they can share schedules and plan meetings, and use a paper planner for their own personal use. Other people use a paper planner along with alarms and/ or apps on their phone.

Then of course there are people at each end of the spectrum: paper-only or digital-only.

Where do you fall on the digital vs paper spectrum?

8 thoughts on “Reader question: digital vs paper?

  1. I mainly use paper planners for my work and personal use. I adore the bullet journal system and I have a filofax to organize my blog posts. Keeping this on paper means that it doesn’t get lost in the online shuffle and it gives me an excuse to use my fountain pens. However, I belong to several magazines that use google calendar to coordinate their post calendars, so I use those as needed.

  2. I may not be typical because I have a lot more tasks than appointments. I use Outlook on my computer at work, and a Space 24 for everything personal plus a few business items if they are unusual appointments. I supplement with my Clairefontaine notebooks. I will NEVER quit using a paper planner. I need to be able to actually see everything at once as well as having the tactile sensation of the paper in my hands. I tried a Palm Pilot several years ago and just hated it. I felt like everything was hidden and I had no control over it. And now, I have a smartphone just out of necessity but due to privacy and identity theft issues, I put as little personal information in it as I possibly can. I don’t believe for a minute that everyone has gone digital. Maybe the ones who have are just more verbal about it, and those of us who still love paper tend more toward introversion.

    • Hi Marty! I’m like you, I have way more tasks than appointments too. I use a paper planner for my appointments and the bullet journal method for my tasks. It works out well for me. 🙂

  3. I think there is a big gender difference. When ring-bound paper planners/ organisers were at their height of popularity a few years ago, it was men who had to have the latest product, whereas women generally preferred traditional diaries and notebooks. Us men have since gone through all the different gadgets and devices (Palm, Psion, Blueberry etc) and very few men (myself included) rely on a paper system these days. We may still have a notebook, but are to be found synchronising our apps, watches, tablets and smart phones! 90% digital to 10% analogue would be a typical male balance.

    I know a lot of women who have remained loyal to paper – not for everything but certainly not gadget driven. I know it drives my wife mad. She’ll ask me if the ringing noise is my iPhone reminding me that I need to go to the toilet!

  4. I keep a paper planner because that’s how I think best. But I also put everything on my Google calendar because a couple of my friends like to schedule get-togethers using Google calendar, so that way they can see right away when I’m available. It’s a little more work, but I never quite adapted my own time management methods to be 100% digital, so I just find this easiest. 🙂

  5. I use both! Each has a need, a purpose, a value. Nice that both exist so that thoughts can be captured at most any time. I use fountain pens in journals for morning pages exercises, but generally journal sporadically in Day One. Also don’t write in only one journal, which adds to the confusion, but for me, it’s about capturing my thoughts on that day at that time. Less concerned about everything in one place, and in order.

  6. I’m 90% paper and 10% digital. My schedule, calendar, notes, projects and reference information are stored in my planner. Recipes are kept on Pinterest, any appointments that I need an audio reminder in addition to being written in my planner go into my Outlook and I keep notebooks for my business, hub’s business and household stuff in OneNote with sections for each category (which I have access to via the 1N app on my phone). Basically, if it’s something I need to refer to on a regular basis it goes in my planner. If not, it gets put into 1N

  7. I have both. I’ll always have both.
    I can’t give up paper. I’ve a collection of fountain pens so I adore writing in a personal calendar/ journal.
    I love digital too! Quick notes for later, one place for everything that doesn’t weigh me down like paper.

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