The one thing I rarely encounter in my life as a coach and lifestyle designer is someone with a shortage of ideas, dreams, or goals. It’s usually quite the opposite. We are full of things we want to do, content we want to create, and lifestyles we want to build. Where we sometimes get stuck is in the execution. Not because we are not motivated.
We spend lots of time and expense creating systems to “get ‘er done.” Some of us use digital resources to create our productivity process. Others use paper planners.
Paper or Digital?
Which are you? Regardless of what we use, sometimes we find ourselves not maximizing our resources and therefore, our productivity.
I totally get those who live for the paper planner lifestyle. There is a learning correlation between and something very carthartic about writing in a planner.
But what if I told you that you can use digital resources, specifically your cell phone or tablet, to help support and amplify the effectiveness of your paper planner?
The 3 tips below aren’t meant to replace what you do in your paper planner. Actually, it’s designed to help your paper planner be even more of a source of productivity for you.
Add Appointments and meetings (with reminders)
Adding appointments/meetings to your calendar is not to replace writing them in your paper planner. The number one reason I suggest doing this is to add the travel time to your appointment/meeting for in-person appointments, and to add any necessary prep time for your virtual appointments.
Add travel time to appointments in iCalendar under “Travel Time”
Add locations and travel time in Google calendar under “Where”
Set reminders to check and work in your planner
This could be the game changer for some of you to maximize the productivity of your paper planner.
Two reminders or appointments to set in your digital resources:
Daily reminders to check your paper planner. There is so much to remember during the course of the day. It is plausible to forget something that you looked at this morning or last night. Set daily reminders to check your planner and make sure you’re still on target. I suggest setting reminders for 3 times a day: morning, noon, evening.
Weekly reminders to “plan” in your planner. Set a reminder on your digital device for at least one hour to actually plan in your paper planner for the upcoming week.
If you think that taking time to plan and consult your planner isn’t a good use of your time–consider this quote from Benjamin Franklin
For every hour spent in organizing, an hour is earned. ~Benjamin Franklin
Organizing (even planning your time) saves you time in the end. You minimize stress and anxiety because you’re running late, can’t find what you need, or forgot something.
Store content and data you reference from your planner
The content and data you reference in your planner (blog posts, photos, spreadsheets, etc.) can be stored electronically. A simple way to connect where you store them is to add the program or app in parentheses next to the item on your calendar or to do list. That way, you don’t have to remember where you created it. You don’t have to figure out if you created it in Canva or Photoshop. Every minute saved in looking for something counts!
I want each of us to build a productivity process and system that works for us. But that means we also have to work it.
Tools build productivity like keyboards build software. Just means to an end--useless w/o care, skills, and actual work. ~Merlin Mann