Tammi was one of the winners of our 30 day challenge for scheduling app users to try using a paper planner for a month to see what they think. She chose a Minister weekly planner (which is also available as the July to July Academic Minister weekly planner). Here is what she had to say about it:
I received my planner on February 6th and started using it right away. I chose to use the planner for work since that is a large portion of my calendar usage. My digital calendar has gotten a bit out of control so I was looking forward to trying something new. While it’s nice to have an application that will ding, chime, and remind me, I found that writing my schedule on paper and keeping it open on my desk really helped me with some of the stress over my workload.
The Minister paper planner was the one I chose to try out. I was looking for something that would allow me to see my whole week at once. The vertical columns for each day let me compare the workload on one day vs. another. This has made it much easier for me to schedule meetings and appointments without looking at my calendar, comparing it to the schedule, and then making sure there wasn’t anything in my email that hadn’t transferred to my digital calendar. With the planner always open on my desk, so I just put everything in there as it comes in. For some reason, I’m much better at doing this than putting the events in my digital calendar. With my digital calendar and applications, I could only see the details of my day by selecting each day. With the paper planner, I can see details of the whole week. It has saved me time and my sanity!
I really enjoy the sections along the right-hand page for callbacks, emails, notes, and other important memos. Historically I have jotted down quick notes on scrap paper. They either pile up and eventually get tossed out, or they get transferred to my calendar. With the sections available for each week, I find my notes are much more organized. I no longer have to research what a memo was for or try to recall the context because all of my notes are now associated with the week in which they occurred.
The Monthly pages are great for jotting down future meetings and deadlines and aid in seeing the entire month at a glance. For the office, I have used the monthly calendar to track numbers pertaining to work performance. I’ve been using it to record current and previous years performance, so each day when I input data I can see if we are underperforming or right on track. The Minister also includes a removable address book. It’s convenient to keep contact information for those that you don’t necessarily need in your phone. All of my frequent and important contacts are stored in my devices and backed up to many different services. I don’t really see myself changing that habit since it saves time and is very convenient. I have found the address book useful though by using it to hold business cards for contacts I don’t need frequently. This keeps my digital contact list from getting too large and allows me to have an easy reference for those contacts always available.
The size of the Minister is a bit larger than I would have preferred. I find that A5 size notebooks are a bit easier to carry around since they fit better inside my day bag. For desktop use, this size is perfect. The planner is not bulky or heavy, it just has a bit larger of a footprint than I prefer. The cover is really nice. I was surprised at how soft it was. I hate to say that I expected a flimsy plastic type of sleeve that would crack or tear after only a few months. The cover is very soft and sturdy, I could see putting a refill in it next year instead of buying a whole new planner and cover.
Overall, I am very happy with my choice to take the 30 Day Paper Planner Challenge with Quo Vadis and fell that it has changed quite a bit of my daily habits. I look forward to being more efficient and less overwhelmed through better planning!
Thank you Quo Vadis for the challenge and the opportunity to try out one of your planners!
Thank you so much for sharing with us how you are using your Minister weekly planner Tammi! I’m glad it is working so well for you.
For more information on the Minister weekly planner, including extra features and where to buy, click here. If you want the Academic Minister, click here.