Paper or Digital Planner: Which is right for you?

March 18, 2022 5 min read

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for more info. All printables are for personal use only.

It can be tough to decide whether you should use a paper planner or a digital planner. Both formats have their pros and cons, and it ultimately comes down to what works best for you. 


Digital planners are becoming increasingly popular, but there are still many people who prefer paper planners. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of both paper and digital planners, as well as how to decide which format is right for you. Let's get started!

Paper Planner Pros and Cons

 

There are several things to consider when deciding whether a paper planner or digital planner is right for you.


Let's start with the pros of paper planners:

  • You can physically touch and feel your planner, which some people find more satisfying than working with a digital device.
  • It is scientifically proven that when you write things down you are more likely to accomplish the task or goal. Writing down your assignments by hand activates more parts of the brain than typing them into a digital planner. The act of writing by hand aids in memory and recall.
  • Paper planners tend to be more affordable than digital ones. For printable planners, you typically buy it once and print the pages out as you need them.
  • You can easily jot down things in a paper planner without having to worry about batteries dying or losing power.
  • No eye strain from looking at another screen.
  • No distractions from social media or other notifications.

Now let's look at the cons of paper planners:

  • They can be bulky and heavy to carry around, especially if you have a lot of other things in your bag or you have multiple types of planners.
  • They can be easy to lose track of if you're not careful.
  • You have to be more diligent about writing things down in a paper planner, as there's no digital backup to fall back on.
  • For already bound paper planners, you have exactly what you bought and that's it.
  • Consider the costs and environmental impact of printing paper and printer ink (for printable planners).
  • Because of these costs, they are not typically design/graphic heavy.
  • It's not convenient (or pretty!) to make changes or hide mistakes.
  • Expenses for decoration supplies (like stickers, washi tape, and stamps) can add up quickly.
  • Change of ghosting (when you can see the ink or text you've written from the other side of the page)

Are paper planners the best option for you? Check out our exciting collection of printable planners!

Digital Planner Pros and Cons

Now let's take a look at the pros and cons of digital planners.

Here are some benefits to digital planners:

  • You only buy it once and can reuse it over and over, you're not wasting paper and ink, and you have the flexibility to add new pages or remove pages that you don’t need.
  • It's simple to move around the planner using hyperlinked tabs, which makes it easy to go from one part of the planner to another.
  • They tend to be more lightweight and portable than paper planners.
  • Digital planners can typically be synchronized with other gadgets and programs, making it simple to maintain track of your plans.
  • They often come with built-in features like task lists, goal tracking, bill tracking, password logging, keeping important contact information, journaling, calendar views, and more.
  • You can usually locate a digital planner that is tailored to your particular demands and preferences.
  • It's simple to write in small areas since you can zoom in to expand sections.
  • It's easy to copy and paste, or replicate, tasks that you do frequently.
  • Erase mistakes without leaving a trace of ink on your notes.
  • It's easy to change your schedule - you may use the lasso tool in Goodnotes to copy your to-do list from one day, week, or month to the next.
  • You can use it on multiple devices with the same digital notetaking app installed (like Goodnotes, Notability, and Xodo).
  • Your digital planner is saved and backed up.
  • It's not necessary to locate a pen that works every time you want to use it.
  • Previous digital planners from the past may be retained for future reference.
  • Unlike paper planners, this device does not take up any room in your home. (no more than your tablet, that is).

However, there are also some cons to using a digital planner:

  • They can be challenging to use if you're not tech-savvy.
  • They can be more expensive than paper planners, especially if you opt for a premium version with dates filled in and lots of digital stickers included.
  • They require batteries or a power source, which means you could lose access to your planner if there's an outage.
  • You may need to purchase a digital pencil or special stylus pen in addition to your tablet if you don't already have it.
  • Some digital note-taking apps cost money before you can use them for your digital planner.
  • You may find it harder to stay focused when using a digital planner, as there are often more distractions on a screen than on paper.
  • Specific instructions on how to use or navigate through digital planners vary from creator to creator.

There are many more pros and cons to add to the paper planners vs digital planners debate. But this list will definitely get you started.


Are digital planners the best option for you? Check out our growing collection of digital planners!

Related Posts:


What you need for Digital Planning

  • iPad (model needs to be compatible with an Apple pencil)
  • Apple Pencil (either 1 or 2 works!)
  • GoodNotes 5 (or a digital note-taking application of your choice like Notability, or Xodo for Android users)
  • A Digital Planner

How to Choose the Right Planner for You


Now that you know the pros and cons of both paper and digital planners, how do you decide which one is right for you? 


Here are a few things to consider along with the benefits and drawbacks of Paper or Digital Planners:

  • How much space do you have to store a planner? If you're tight on space, a digital planner might be a better option.
  • How much money are you willing to spend on a planner? If you're looking for a more affordable option, a paper planner might be the way to go.
  • What's your writing style like? If you prefer to write in big, bold letters, a paper planner might be easier for you to use. However, if you like to make a lot of lists, doodle in your planner, or decorate with stickers, a digital one might be better.

There's no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing between a paper planner and a digital planner. There are several advantages to both, and you should discover one that allows you to manage your schedule, ideas, and objectives so that you may be as successful as possible. It ultimately comes down to what works best for you and your lifestyle. 


If you're not sure which one to choose, we recommend trying out both options and seeing which one you prefer. Whichever planner you choose, make sure to use it regularly to get the most out of it!


Do you have a paper planner or digital planner? Let us know in the comments below!



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