One of the things that I look forward to at the beginning of each year is setting up my new planner. As a person who loves new beginnings – the year, the month, the school year, whatever – a new planner is one of the best symbols of that fresh new start. Over the years it has become a ritual of sorts. I put some time into what I want out of the planner, how I will use it, and then take the time to pick one that checks all the boxes on my list of requirements.
Up until recently, I had taken it for granted that everyone had a planner! In reality, I am finding that a lot of people don’t use a planner as part of their personal organization and productivity. If you don’t feel the planner vibe, I totally get it. It’s a personal decision and preference. If however, one of your resolutions or goals for the new year is to become more organized and more productive, then it may be just what you need.
Writing Things Down is Beneficial
I am definitely a user of electronic productivity and organization tools. There is a certain level of efficiency that you can attain by using a well-curated suite of these tools. Over the years, I have found that it still helps me to have a paper planner to write things down, so I have learned to use my tools to complement each other and not have too much overlap.
Research and studies have shown that there are a lot of benefits to writing things down by hand. It helps with the recall of information, it engages our brain, and personally, it gives me a little creative outlet that stimulates my brain.
Writing things down takes more time than typing, so it gives your brain time to process the words you are writing. This can be very beneficial when you have a lot of balls that you are juggling.
A Planner Keeps Things Together
Have you ever had one of those days where you look at your desk, or clean out your car, and find countless reminders scrawled on sticky notes, scraps of paper, or old business cards? Or, maybe you are one of those people that gets to the end of the day and has things written on your hand. Chances are, the item that you wrote down was important enough at that moment to make you scramble for somewhere to write it down. While it may have been convenient at that particular time, you now need to take more time to figure out what all those notes mean, create actions around some of them, or even re-write them somewhere else. I’m sure there is probably a study out that that tells us why staring at all those little scraps can be a stressor.
By having a planner, you can write things down as they come up. You can take notes, jot down a to-do, or make a reminder, and have them all contained in one place. This is a huge benefit to keeping yourself more organized.
If you are committed to getting more organized and productive in 2021, then I suggest you give using a planner a try. If you do make this leap to using a paper planner, take some time to think about what you need or want out of it. This step will help you to pick a format or type that works best for you. And don’t allow picking the perfect style to be a barrier. The nice part is that you can change your mind as many times as you want until you find exactly what works for you.