I don’t know about you, but I’ve always preferred a paper diary. Of course, I’ve had electronic ones in my design agency days so people could see and add to my diary, but I always had some form of a notebook or to-do list on the go at the same time. Electronic versions are suitable for meeting invitations and syncing with your computer. But there is nothing quite like seeing the week or month laid out in front of you to help you plan and manage family time and allow you to keep functioning when you are out of WIFI range.
Paper diaries and planners offer order. There is something about writing an appointment down that drills it into her memory more than when you type it. Our brains prefer paper.
So, if you are considering a change for 2023 and ditching the digital, here are 8 excellent reasons why paper isn’t just a passion. Instead, it’s the perfect way to organise and manage the chaos of modern life and the demands on your time.
1 – Memory Retention
Scientific studies have shown that the physical act of handwriting can have positive effects on memory retention. Writing by hand tends to boost your ability to retain information with the bonus of eliminating the distractions of your device.
If you type your notes, you probably tend to record webinars, meetings, or conversations verbatim. If you put pen to paper, you must be more selective in recapping key components. Those who choose to write down notes are working to digest, summarise, and capture the heart of the information. This, in turn, promotes understanding and retention.
2 – Me Time
A planner needn’t be reserved only for reminders and daily tasks; it can offer a therapeutic place to write your thoughts and feelings and flesh out ideas.
Thus, promoting mental well-being and an on-trend return to the simpler things in life.
Setting up a planner with new dates and content can be a lovely way to spend an hour. I always grab a glass of wine or hot chocolate and light a candle when I add my date and month stickers, birthdays and forthcoming events and appointments for the New Year.
According to John Lewis and Waitrose’s report, online greeting card sales increased, and general stationery sales rose by 800% during the lockdown.
Home office products increased by 550%, and artist materials rocketed by 3000%, so low-tech is here to stay!
3 – Creativity
Personally, I love the challenge that a blank sheet poses. A certain commitment is involved when you sketch your ideas on a piece of paper, a speed and ease. But you also tap into a different part of your brain where there is a deeper level of thinking.
4 – Reduces Stress and Anxiety
A printed planner may be suitable for your soul as it provides excellent stress relief.
Stress has many forms, of course, but a common denominator is feeling overwhelmed. Writing down your tasks and getting them out of your head reduces overwhelm, and if you can then prioritise the tasks, you can get on with the doing rather than worrying. Printed planners reduce digital overload, getting you off your smartphone too.
With the rise of Samsung’s Note range a few years ago and more recent products like Remarkable, it would seem sensible to believe that traditional notebooks would slowly lose their appeal. Time has proven the opposite to be true. People love writing, and people love their journals, notebooks, diaries, and planners even more.
5 – To-Do Lists Trump Digital Notifications
Our brains love physically crossing things off a list. There is something so satisfying about it. You may think getting a task reminder to your phone would be more helpful but don’t be fooled – most people simply swipe that annoying reminder off their. Why? Because when you receive the digital task reminder, you are usually focused on a different activity and therefore see it as an interruption. Physically crossing something off a to-do list lowers anxiety and gives a sense of accomplishment and structure that is essential in getting things done.
6 – Less Distraction
Did you know that the average smartphone phone user gets as many as 63.5 notifications per day? According to a Telefonica study – I need say no more on this one!
7 – Accountability
Research shows that people who write their goals by hand are much more likely to achieve them. One study from Dr Gail Matthews at the Dominican University of California found that people who wrote down their goals regularly shared them with others and maintained accountability for them were 42% more likely to achieve them versus those who just formulated goals in their head. Physically writing down your goals will keep you accountable for completing them.
8 – Develop good habits
A paper diary or planner is only effective if you use it every day, but developing good habits takes time, so don’t put pressure on yourself to be an expert on day one. Instead, try keeping your planner in a visible location. I keep mine next to me on the desk and take it everywhere with me! Why not set an intention that you will use it every day. Use it at the end of each day to check what you have achieved and plan for the following day and every morning before you start work to remind yourself of what the day ahead has in store.
There are many science-backed advantages to owning a physical paper diary that trumps the benefits of a digital diary, whether you are naturally well-organised or need a little help to stay on track, from mindfulness to memory and motivation.
I start and end my day by opening my planner. It gives me a sense of calm and control. My head empties and clears of overwhelm. It feels comforting and an act of self-care. Caring for my schedule, taking care of my precious time and caring about my mental state. When I write down my to-dos and schedule my day, it’s a way of being nicer to myself, not having to rush tasks I forgot or stress that I’m not getting enough done.
Most planners, just like me, got into paper planning during a time of personal upheaval or when their schedule became overly hectic. They tell stories of burnout, demanding jobs, and family pressures. They all turned to planning either to help their mental health or to get a handle on their lives. Start managing the chaos of life with a HELLO TIME undated planner and notebook.