Over the years I’ve switched from pen and paper to digital for planning some things:
- Annual overview (especially for blog & shop stuff)
The common theme – I prefer to use digital planning if it saves time, is easy to use and for planning things that are subject to change often.
If there’s something I need to refer to often e.g. weekly planner, password log etc. I want that in front of me, within reach on paper, on my desk. I don’t want another tab / app on my computer.
Just a few of the reasons I switched from pen and paper to Microsoft Excel (digital):
- Formulas automatically calculate – much quicker than manually adding things up with a calculator
- I can track ALL of my finances in the one place (income, expenses, debt, savings, investments), rather than scattered across multiple pages (previously I was using a monthly calendar, bill tracker, savings tracker etc.)
- Don’t need to re-write the same things each month
I did an entire post on my budgeting spreadsheets (and more reasons why it’s way better than paper) in this post.
2. Annual overview
I also use Excel for this. I originally used a printable in a similar format to a habit tracker, but I constantly update it throughout the year so it was just easier to use Excel.
If I’ve changed my mind and no longer want to proceed with a goal, need to add a new one, or change the timeline of an existing goal, I can quickly cut and paste, insert new things, delete old ones – much quicker than erasing and re-writing.
One of the perks of Excel is that you can change the colors quickly and use any color you want (not limited to pen and highlighters colors).
I do the annual overview in Excel nowadays, and then break the tasks down into more detail on paper.
3. One off reminders
I use a list format on paper for monthly planning but if it’s something particularly important, or it’s happening far in the future, I’ll use the reminders app on my phone.
I know there are tons of apps that you can use to keep track of everything – lists, weekly planning etc. but I don’t like small phone screens so have opted to just keep it simple using the default reminders app that comes with your iPhone.
I can set a time reminder (like a text message) and set reminders for weeks (even years) into the future. Since I don’t use just 1 planner and switch between so many, text reminders help. I also like to use this app for things like following up with people, when gift certificates expire and other random little things I don’t want clogging up my planner (e.g. not really a task just a quick thing that’ll only take a minute or 2).
More planning tips
- 10 Things people often forget to check before buying a planner
- What is the best day of the week to plan?
- 50 Category Ideas for Color Coding Your Planner
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