Embracing Change in 2021: What Happened When I Ditched My Paper Planner and Went Digital
It’s a new year, and I, like many, am eager for a fresh start and looking to move forward past the year that was 2020.
I made the decision this year to transition from a paper planner and go completely digital. I know, I can’t believe it either, but let me explain.
Through school and thus far into my career, I have always used a paper planner for scheduling, and I genuinely love a paper planner: the look, the feel, the different layouts. Bonus if you find a planner with fun stickers included to really personalize it.
Recently, however, I found paper scheduling more stressful than enjoyable. I have an online schedule for work, and often use the calendar app on my phone, which syncs with the calendar on my computer, so altogether I had three schedules.
At the end of each day, I would spend time syncing everything between the two digital schedules and my paper one, which was manageable at first, but soon became a chore and total time consumer.
I’m embarrassed to say this method wasn’t even foolproof, and on more than one occasion, I either double-booked myself or missed something altogether because something got lost in translation.
I knew I had to make the transition to digital, but I was apprehensive. I have always carried a paper planner around with me (and those who know me well can surely attest to this). So naturally, this departure felt strange.
Despite my reservations and fears, I decided to give it a try, and let me just say: Wow!
I immediately noticed that I was less stressed and had more time at the end of the day. I finally felt liberated from my schedule-syncing nightmare.
Here is the lesson I learned:
If we don’t make adjustments and continue to resist change, we can get stuck in old habits and outdated practices, and forfeit the chance to develop and find new, creative ways of doing things.
Even though it worked in the past, keeping a paper schedule was no longer serving me in the present.
However, I’m still a believer that putting pen to paper is essential for setting goals, organizing thoughts and ideas, and tapping into creativity and connecting with your inner purpose.
When writing things down no longer felt like something I had to do, it turned into something that I actually enjoyed doing. Journaling began to take on more meaning and I felt more present and connected to whatever I was writing.
By holding on to the past and not embracing what was already naturally happening, I was blocking my energy and creativity.
I’m not suggesting that others switch from a paper planner to using a scheduling app, as this is only what worked for me .
We live in a world where so much of our time is spent online, and giving our nervous system a well needed break from screen-time is just one benefit of journaling and paper scheduling.
Find the scheduling tool that works best for you. Organizing your time is about having fun and planning your day with intention.
If this causes more stress than enjoyment, then take a look at what’s currently working and don’t be afraid to lean into change if something seems better, even if it’s different and scary.
Great things can come from change, if you allow it.