Love paper planners? Don’t we all? They are so crisp and pretty when they come.
In fact you probably don’t want to write on them because they look so nice and you feel you are going to spoil them.
You do your best to keep it neat and then when you make your first
mast mistake and you’ve got to cross it out you kick yourself.
I’ve bought lots of paper planners. I’ve had ones in from America.
In fact two from America I think. Paid a fortune to get them sent to me because I thought they were going to be the answer to my planning problems. And they were going to help me organise myself every day to make sure that I got everything done.
But they weren’t the answer.
I know that many people use paper planners, but I often see people creating ones. This is because you never find the one that actually fits you exactly. Because we are all different. We all have different priorities. Our days look different. And there’s no one size fits all.
That’s why I’ve given up on paper planners.
And instead I use my calendar. And by ‘my calendar’ I mean Google Calendar.
Do you know how much that costs? Absolutely nothing! It’s free.
So after all that money spent on paper planners I’ve ended up using something that was there all of the time. Right in front of me. And it is absolutely free of charge.
I must admit I also have a bullet journal. Now I tried to be one of those people who drew fancy things, but I’ve never been the arty type. Now it’s more of a notebook. Sometimes a ledger to record my spending because an interest of mine is becoming financially independent.
So what are the benefits of Google calendar?
For a start, there’s the repeat function. If you have regular appointments or regular chores no need to write them in every single week or every single month. Just put them on repeat. Then Google calendar does that for you.
It is also so flexible. You can look at the tasks you have to do for the day set out in blocks on your calendar and if something has changed then you can just move it around very easily. There are no crossings out. Just move that block to later on in the day, tomorrow, next week or next month.
I also like the fact that within each block you can write some notes to remind yourself of relevant points for that particular task. For example I spent about 30 minutes each Sunday going through what I call my Sunday basket. That’s my in tray where I put any letters I receive or anything else I need to deal with. I also use that time to check my inbox, to reply to emails and to unsubscribe. So as a reminder of what I should be doing during that 30 minutes I’ve got some notes to myself under the Sunday basket time block.
We all think that we are going to remember because we do something every week or every day, but in fact that’s not always the case and we need prompting sometimes. We all start out with good intentions, but over the weeks and months we forget what we planned to do in that time.
So what are the other advantages?
Not carrying a heavy planner around. Some of those ones that I ordered from America were enormous really for putting in your handbag. Your shoulder would be aching if you carried that around all of the time. What’s the point in having a planner if you haven’t got it with you all of the time?
That’s the great thing about Google calendar. You can just have it on your phone. You can access it on several devices – your phone, your laptop or just logging in on any device such as a computer at the public library. And there’s your personal calendar laid out before you. No reason therefore to forget anything. No excuse not to put an appointment in your calendar as soon as you make it, because you’ll always have access to Google calendar no matter where you are.
What are you using to plan your time? Have a favourite paper planner? Don’t want to part with it? Let me know why you love it?