Digital Vs. Paper Planning & My Hybrid Planning System

               Well, hello there, beautiful people! As you all may have been able to guess by the content on this site, I get super wei...

               Well, hello there, beautiful people! As you all may have been able to guess by the content on this site, I get super weird and geek out over all things organization! I love learning about new, affordable, and convenient ways to organize things (thank God for Pinterest). Needless to say, when it comes to my daily planning, I'm usually on top of things (for the most part). However, I do understand that it can be difficult to stay organized sometimes, especially if you don't have a proper planning system. I've definitely struggled with this. I used to think that I could remember everything. I kept telling myself that I would leave a "mental note" to remember to do something later and, of course, I never got anything done. Over time, I began to understand the importance of proper planning and organization. Of course, there's the age old debate about digital planning versus paper planning and which one is better and honestly, that all depends on the individual. I have friends who have desks that are covered in planners, notebooks, and post-it notes, and I also have friends who are glued to their phones. I've tried to do both, so I've compiled a list of pros and cons to both digital and paper planners.



  • Fast (depending on phone)
  • Planning apps are most likely able to sync to all of your devices
  • Less likely to get lost 
  • Convenient, less to carry around
  • Apps are able to remind you of important dates and appointments 
  • Phone battery can run out while planning
  • No app is completely 100% customizable or "perfect" (to the best of my knowledge)


  • Writing things down can help you remember things easier
  • Very satisfying to physically write things down and scratch things off of your lists
  • Planners are completely customizable (usually)
  • More to carry with you and it can be a hassle to constantly have to dig planners and pens out of your bag
  • If you lose it, you're pretty much screwed
  • You planner, by itself, can't really remind you of important dates and appointments 
  • Rewriting things in a planner can be redundant 
  • If you write everything in pen, scratching out mistakes or rescheduling tasks can be a hassle

               I've definitely taken both of these planning methods into consideration and I've tried sticking to just one method at a time, but it never worked out for me. In high school (and every grade before that), we were required to carry a planner with us at all times. We weren't allowed to have our phones out during classes and no one really brought a laptop or tablet to school so naturally, when I got to college, I figured that having a planner was the best way to stay organized. However, I quickly found out that the schedule I had in high school, which was very simple and repetitive, was very different from the schedule that I had in college, which is a little repetitive, but there's always the possibility for something to pop up unexpectedly. I kept finding myself rescheduling plans and adding things to my planner after I'd already scheduled everything for that week and it became a hassle to always have to grab my planner out of my bag every time I needed to schedule something while I was on the go. 
               Similarly, I tried to stick to using only my phone to stay organized and that just got too overwhelming for me. I consider my phone to be pretty reliable, but sometimes my phone (like most phones) experience a little bit of lag over time, so I have definitely experienced that awkward moment when you're trying to plan something with someone and you're trying to put an event in your calendar app and it takes forever to open because you've got too many apps running on your phone at the same time. Not fun. However, waiting a couple of seconds for an app to open is still easier than digging a planner out of my bag. I also find that while I'm trying to get work done at home, it's more convenient for me to write things down when I'm already sitting at a desk where my stationary supplies are right in front of me. 
               After noticing all of these things, I decided to create a sort of "hybrid" planning system using both digital and physical calendars and that really seems to work for me. Recently (as in, at the end of last semester), I decided to ditch my physical weekly planner, despite the fact that it worked very well for me while it lasted (and it was super cute). I noticed that whenever I make an appointment or whenever I have a rehearsal or an event that I need to go to, I reach for my phone to add it to my calendar because my phone is right next to me about 99% of the time. I decided to use my phone as my main calendar to schedule in my day. However, I do still keep a physical calendar. I no longer use my weekly calendar, but I now just use a monthly calendar to fill in important due dates, when bills and payments are due, etc. It's still great to have a month-at-a-glance view without having to pull your phone out all the time. I'm also an avid list-maker and I love creating to-do lists and more importantly, I love crossing things off of those to-do lists. While I'm working at home, I use post-it notes to physically write out lists... of everything. Whether it's things I need to get done around the house, people I need to email, phones calls I need to make, blog posts I need to type up, homework I need to work on for that day, etc., it all goes on some type of list. However, when I'm on the go, I keep a digital list with me of errands that I may need to run while I'm out of the house. I also keep grocery lists on my phone as well. 
               Now for the fun part: APPS! Because I am using my phone a lot more to stay organized now than I ever have before, I have been obsessed (I mean obsessed) with productivity apps! Every once in a while, I'll just go to the Google Play Store to browse new productivity apps just to see if there's anything new for me to try out and more often than not, I'm not disappointed. Here are the apps that I use on a (pretty much) daily basis (All the apps I'm listing are available for both iPhone and Android users.): 
  • Google Calendar - This app is my holy grail of calendars. I plan out every little part of my day in this app, including classes, meetings, and appointments. If I'm really busy, I'll go ahead and plan the times I'll be eating meals in this app as well as times I'll be studying/doing homework/blogging. 
  • Todoist - I use this app mostly as a widget on my phone, which is incredibly convenient. This is an app that I use mainly while I'm on the go to keep track of what errands I need to run while I'm out of the house (These errands usually consist of remembering to stop at the bank  and to remember to pick up groceries.)
  • Evernote - This app is where all of my extensive lists go. Some of the lists I have in Evernote consists of: movies to watch, websites to check out, blog post ideas, etc. I also keep separate notebooks of various topics. For example, my favorite notebook is the one I have dedicated to photography tips. I also keep temporary shopping lists in Evernote as well. 
  • My Study Life  - I've just recently started using this app. I only used it for the last couple of weeks of class last semester, but it's awesome. In this app, you can keep track of all of your classes, homework assignments, projects, quizzes/exams, etc. Every class is color-coordinated, keeping you super organized and it even tells you when you should leave for your classes. 

               So in a nutshell, that is how I keep my life organized using a hybrid digital/paper planning system and I love it! Of course, there could be many variations of this planning system so if you're not someone who is strictly paper or strictly digital, maybe coming up with a hybrid system of your own is the best way to go. Hopefully, this helped anyone who really wants to get organized, but just isn't sure how to go about doing so. Comment down below and let me know what you guys do to stay organized! 

With love from your girl, 

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