Published March 17, 2020 in Insights
Tired of paperwork?
It’s time to discuss the elephant in the room.
What works best in this day and age: is it the paper or digital planners?
Well, after extensive research and careful thought, we bring you a dedicated blog comparing the traditional way of planning to the new one.
Before we answer which one works best, let’s first discuss the beauty and the hassle with each type of planner.
You have probably heard or experienced the many ways that writing helps you remember better. Well, it is not a myth. Writing indeed helps you retain memory because it stimulates thinking and careful processing of information. Studies have shown that unlike using pen and paper, taking notes on a laptop involves mindless processing, being a less mentally engaging activity.
When we use digital tools to take notes, we are more likely to scan through our notes just like we scan excessive information we come across on the daily online. The writing process, on the other hand, “leaves a motor memory in the sensorimotor part of the brain,” meaning that your brain does a better job at storing information written down. That is because while writing, you establish a relationship between thinking and writing.
Although distractions are everywhere, you are less likely to get distracted writing on a piece of paper than using an app. That is because you might get a notification or a message while you are trying to use your planner app, breaking the train of thought and taking you down the time-wasters road.
Although some of these notifications may be useful, such as reminders from an app, they still represent a small fraction of the total volume that we receive per day. Have you ever found yourself tapping on a notification, and then getting carried away into other apps? It happens to the best of us. In that sense, a paper planner is more effective since it dismisses the possibilities of notifications, allowing you to finish a task at hand without constant pop-up distractions.
Typing in an app requires less mental effort than the process of writing on a piece of paper. As a result, we are more likely to type across a digital planner in a less organized manner. When you write things down in a paper, the brain submerges into a state where it thinks about contemplating various ways of writing before actually doing it. Naturally, your paper planner will reflect your refined thoughts, while your digital planner will reflect scattered thoughts - both of which are equally important, as not all thought is clear and concise.
As a small business owner or solo entrepreneur, you are most likely looking at many documents from employees, partners, suppliers, clients, and so on a daily basis. If you are looking for some mental clarity to help with your very busy routine, then a paper planner might do the trick. The sentimental value attached to journaling might be refreshing, inspiring you to take concise and purposeful notes.
Writing actually has some surprising therapeutic attributes. In fact, journaling is commonly advocated by therapists as a means of reducing stress and increasing overall health. Studies showed that expressive journaling for only about 15-20 minutes three to five times a week had the effect of lowering blood pressure and improving liver functionality.
That is because journaling helps by giving you a platform to organize your thoughts, clear your mind and inspire problem-solving.
Chaotic thinking can be a great stress factor, paralyzing you from taking action because you don’t know where to start. Writing helps you sort out messy thoughts by asking you to take the effort to define thoughts and selectively register them in a piece of paper. So, if looking at those endless and messy notes on that app stresses you out, consider writing it down on a piece of paper.