Okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve been doing daily planning on paper. Dan-dan-daaaaaaan!
Why so low-tech, you may ask, when I usually use digital tools? And that is a good question indeed.
The digital tools I use
I use a digital list tool (currently Microsoft To Do) to keep track of my lists, for instance:
And I also use Trello to keep track of my workflow or of big projects such as clutter clearing and renovations:
These are all super useful, and I will not stop using them. But there’s also a different use for paper planning…
Daily planning on paper
Some months ago, I felt the need to do a brain dump on paper. I’d wake up in the morning and have all kinds of thoughts swimming through my mind:
“I’m working on my website today.”
“And I need to do a load of laundry.”
“Oh, and I should start the beef in the instant pot.”
“And I need to order throat spray for William.”
“I really shouldn’t forget to…”
And on an on. Since I’ve been working at home, this has become even more of an issue because everything happens in the same space, and I can potentially do all these tasks at any time in the day. After a while of this, I knew I needed a change.
I bought pretty daily planning paper and began to write down all my tasks for the day on there.
I created a little ritual where I’d sit down after breakfast with my calendar and my to-do list and plan the day out on paper. Then, as I completed each task throughout the day, I’d check it off. It ended up being very pretty.
Why not do it digitally?
Now, you may point out that you can do this easily in any online list tool, and you’d be correct. For instance, Microsoft To Do has a nice ‘My Day’ function that I could have used.
But I had this strange need to do this on paper. I wanted to be able to walk past my desk throughout the day and glance at my list and check off items.
I’m also trying to spend less time on my phone. Every time I checked my list on my phone meant that I was holding my phone in my hand and could easily check my messages, email, etc. I’m making an active effort to do this less often, so it made sense that I’d avoid my phone when possible.
I also love planning on paper. I wish I could use a paper agenda with its beautiful pictures and fancy paper, but it is so much less convenient than an online calendar that I doubt I’ll ever go back to it, alas. But the daily planning on paper actually offers me some benefits and feels slightly decadent.
Do I do this every day?
I did do it every day at first but not anymore. Sometimes it feels repetitive, and then I don’t do it. If the day is mostly a work day, I have my work tasks on Trello, and I’m spending most of my day on the computer anyway, so I have no use for a paper version.
But on a day when I’m mostly doing housework and activities with William (Thursday and Sunday for me), I don’t spend much time on my phone or computer. In those cases, I use my daily planning, and it allows for a lot of flexibility. This past Sunday, for instance, it looked like this:
After a while, William found it, and then it had ‘drawings’ all over it. He really enjoys drawing on my fancy planning paper:
Anyway, we both had fun, so it was good!
Do you prefer to plan your day using digital tools or paper?