Paper planners are not often in the news, but thanks to The Wall Street Journal, they have made it into the spotlight at last. The Wall Street Journal reported that paper planners are “a trendy new way to organize your schedule,” and a lot of fans are noting that planners have been around (and awesome) for a while.
So why is the media giving paper planners attention right now?
Read on to learn about paper planners in the news, why they are better than your average computer calendar, and how you can start using one.
Why Planners Are Drawing Attention Now
The Wall Street Journal isn’t the only the most recent magazine to post about paper journals in the past couple of years. The Washington Postdiscussed the aspirational nature of the newest paper planners in early 2019, Vox explored how planners help people gain control over their lives in late 2018, and The New York Times featured paper planners in a 2018 Smarter Living guide.
So why are magazines choosing to feature paper planners now?
Since 2017, worldwide problems like rising costs and political turmoil have increased Americans' overall Negative Experience Index to 35, which is three points higher than any previous score to date. These stressors have been causing people to seek reprieve from the news and other external sources of worry—like smartphones and computers.
Stress avoidance explains why paper planners, which have been around for two centuries, are now newsworthy: as people search for new ways to relax but also control their lives, they have found that planners are a surprisingly easy yet effective answer.
Paper Planners Are Better—It’s Science
That’s all great in theory, you’re saying, but do today’s planners really work for stress-management and better controlling your life? The answer is a resounding yes. Science says so.
Achieve your goals. People who vividly describe or picture their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully accomplish their goals. Today’s planners take this into account: some of the most innovative and effective productivity planners available are heavily focused on goal-setting and achieving, offering ample space each week and day for people to record and ruminate on their long-term plans.
Remember things better. Scientists have long said that writing things down helps you remember far more than typing them. Even if you don’t use your paper planner for activities like taking notes, you can still increase the probability of remembering important events if you write them down first.
Stop worrying. According to Daniel J. Levitin, neuroscientist and author of The Organized Mind, when you’re concerned about something, like an upcoming event, your brain becomes afraid you may forget it, and engages a cluster of brain regions referred to as the “rehearsal loop.” Your brain keeps thinking of the event over and over to try and prepare for it. When you write the important event or information down, you allow your brain to let go of that stress.
How To Transition To A Paper Planner If you’re feeling inspired to start planning on paper yourself, you’ll need to take time to figure out a few things first.
Identify your goal. There are a lot of different planners with a lot of different purposes. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Weekly planner: useful for remembering various tasks and events
- Productivity planners: good for organizing your time and meeting big goals
- Bullet journals: excellent for artistic expression and unique planning
Determine your price range. Planners come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. You’ll be sure to find a planner that fits your needs in your price range, so try to stick to your budget during your search. Remember: just because you pay a lot for your planner, doesn’t mean you’re necessarily more likely to use it than a cheaper planner.
Decide when to start. A lot of planners have set dates, so you don’t have much choice between starting dates. However, undated planners, like this productivity planner and this weekly planner, allow you to start whenever you’d like—without wasting paper.
Transfer content from your current planner. Once you have your planner in hand, you can start transferring content from your computer calendar to your paper planner. Try to remove everything and put it in your paper planner, instead of toggling between an electronic and paper source; centralizing everything in your paper planner will make it easier to use it regularly.
Ready to pick out your paper planner? Check out our selection today.