One day I attempted to use the GPS feature on my phone. Somehow the code to my keypad wasn’t being accepted. It was the same code I’d used since I’ve owned the phone. Eventually it locked me out and amazingly the thing WIPED ITSELF CLEAN. It reset itself to the factory default. And I was powerless to stop it. Everything that was in my phone was gone. Cee Lo Green has lyrics in one of his songs that says ‘I remember the day I lost my mind. There was something so pleasant about that place.’ Not that I’d lost my mind, but as I watched my phone go from 1% to 100% wiped, I didn’t panic. What was so pleasant was that this thing didn’t hold my world within it. All of my important dates and ‘To Do’ lists are all in my paper planner. So which is better? An electronic planner or a paper planner?
There are pros and cons to both types of planners. So let’s examine some of them, shall we?
Pros for the electronic planner: Looks cool! It has an alarm to remind you of appointments, you can scroll back to old dates, add events and get information quickly. It’s relatively private and it’s convenient. Tends to be very portable.
Cons for the electronic planner: If the battery is dead, it is absolutely worthless. If it wipes itself clean, it is absolutely worthless. If you drop it and it breaks, it is absolutely worthless.
Pros for the paper planner: Allows you to write your immediate thoughts down without typing or speaking. You can doodle in it, if you want. You can flip back to old dates. The information cannot be wiped clean of its own choosing. If you drop it, simply pick it up.
Cons for the paper planner: It can make you look like you’re still living in the 1990’s and before. If you lose it there is no security; people can peek into it at whim. It’s another thing to carry and it can be bulky.
I tend to remember things better if I write them down. I can usually find things in my paper planner not because I remember the date, but more so because of the picture I doodled or the color ink I used. I’m not a gadgeteer—meaning whenever the latest electronic gadget comes out I’m not drawn to it. But there is a place for the electronic planner. I don’t mind setting it up to sync with my Outlook and to ding whenever a meeting is coming up, but I don’t want to solely rely it. I remember owning my first PDA in the early 2000’s. I was in an airport and needed a phone number that was in it. But its battery was dead and I had accidentally packed its power cord. The thing was absolutely worthless.
So at the end of the day, you have to choose which one works best for you. Your personality and/or industry should dictate what type of planner you need. A planner, electronic or paper, is only as good as you make it. If you can’t get information in and out of it relatively easily and when you need it, it can be absolutely worthless.