There’s nothing so wonderful as a blank slate, a new start, a few well-intentioned resolutions. I am EXCITED for the year ahead! This is the year I help YOU get organized and find more time for the things you love. For me, life can’t happen without planning. And planning can’t happen without the right tools. So this seems like a perfect for a review of paper and digital planning tools.
Digital or Paper?
We live in the digital age and therefore, I have many clients who assume they must use digital planning tools. Then they wonder why they can’t seem to keep their lives on track. Some people simply work better with a paper planner. Others work better with digital tools. Which are you?
You will probably work best with digital planning tools if you:
- use many different devices (phone, computer, tablet) and need the ability to move between these
- often share information with other people or communicate with a team
- like to transfer information between apps
- enjoy that digital tools are usually less expensive than paper
- are on the go and need your information with you wherever you are
On the other hand, you may be best suited to a paper planner if you:
- find that writing things helps you remember better
- you love the idea drawing in your planner and using stickers etc.
- need to look at your planner side by side something else
- you want a fully customizable planner
Choose what’s best for you and a tool you know you will stick with. That’s what ultimately will be the best tool for you.
Digital Planning Tools
Currently, I use the digital calendar from Google (Calengoo). I love Calengoo because I can:
- access it on my phone when I’m out and about.
- also access it on my computer.
- color code events by family member
- share my calendar
- print it out
In addition to a digital calendar, I think everyone should have a list app. We all have random thoughts and ideas pop into our heads. Trust me, the human mind cannot remember them all. A list app captures it all.
I use the Wunderlist app. I have lists for:
- garden tasks
- Netfix shows recommended by friends
- beauty items I’d like to try and more
- client measurements so I can purchase the right products for them
- shopping lists
- grocery list
The possibilities are endless.
Some features I really enjoy about Wunderlist are:
- ability to alphabetize list items
- share lists
- assign tasks on a list
- easy to use
- clean design
Other great list apps include:
Todoist (great for productivity enthusiasts)
Asana (master of workflow management)
Any.do (great for building better habits)
Remember the Milk (list lovers start here!)
My Ultimate Favorite: Evernote
I’ve recently started using Evernote for my business. Features I love.
- I can keep lists of articles to read about blogging, quotes I’d like to share etc.
- Evernote allows you to pull things from the web
- I can take a picture and add it to my list
- a ridiculous amount more
This one app is so incredibly powerful there are books out there about how to use it to it’s full extent. I’ve got this Evernote book on order. Prefer to write things out? Evernote even has a notebook with smart stickers that will back up your written work digitally. (PERFECT for students.) Mind blown!
Paper Planner Reviews
There are SO many cute planners out there! Recently I’ve found there’s a trend towards going back to paper planners. This is because science has proved that the act of writing things down helps us remember them better.
I actually use both a digital and paper planner. This is how:
- I put all my appointments in my phone (or on the Calengoo program when I’m at home)
- During my planning time each week I write my appointments in my paper planner
- I use the space to write in other to do’s ideas, keep track of my water and exercise etc.
The planner I’m using this year is the Primed Planner. While it’s technically created for clinicians, I find it perfect for me as a small business owner.
I created a list on Amazon of paper planners that I love. Check it out !
Sarah at Mama’s Got It Together does a review of three types of planners-binder, pre-bound, and the Staples Arc system-and gives tips which might be best for you.
Other Apps to Make Your Life Easier
While we’re planning to make our lives easier, here are a few apps I think are just great:
- Full Contact Card Reader-take a picture of a business card and have it on hand anywhere. The app even magically updates you on changes your contacts have made!
- Key Ring-you no longer have to keep all those store loyalty cards. Just scan them into your phone. It even alerts you to nearby sales and coupons!
- Pocket-Come across something cool you want to read or watch but don’t have the time? Just save it to the Pocket app-which can be synced across your devices. Add tags so you can choose a time to watch ALL the cute cat videos you have saved. Brilliant!
- Gyft-store your gift cards on your phone. You’ll always have them at the ready and won’t lose them!
Whether digital or paper, find a system that works for you. A well planned life is a calm, happy life!
Other Powerful Planning Posts
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