Why Having a Paper Planner is the Brightest Decision You Will Make This Year

It’ll Make You Smarter


You might think I’m joking, but I’m not.

For as long as I can recall, I’ve taken notes by hand because I felt that I remembered the information better than if I didn’t take notes or typed them. I figured that it had more to do with my being a visual learner than anything else. But, that’s not the case.

William R. Klemm Ph.D. wrote an article for Psychology Today called “Why Writing by Hand Could Make You Smarter” in which he provides data collected from medical studies from the University of Washington and Indiana University that proves this as fact.

“In one Indiana University study,[3] researchers conducted brain scans on pre-literate 5-year olds before and after receiving different letter-learning instruction. In children who had practiced self-generated printing by hand, the neural activity was far more enhanced and “adult-like” than in those who had simply looked at letters. The brain’s “reading circuit” of linked regions that are activated during reading was activated during hand writing, but not during typing. This lab has also demonstrated that writing letters in meaningful context, as opposed to just writing them as drawing objects, produced much more robust activation of many areas in both hemispheres.”

I’ve always been fascinated by how the brain works. So upon discovering that using my planner and physically writing in it is beneficial, intelligence-wise, why wouldn’t I use one? In my case, it’s interesting to note that I always felt I recalled information better when written vs. typed/memorized. Now I have scientific proof behind my own observations.

So, write things down in a planner, it’s doctor recommended.

Remembering that one thing you always seem to forget.

So, this is a bit of a continuation on your planner making you smarter. But I felt it was necessary to point this one out since it likely happens to you once a day, if not more.

So, why would you want to use a paper planner when you carry your smartphone (and the multitude of calendar apps) with you everywhere you go? Here’s a quote from Why Paper Planners Are Relevant In The Age of Smartphone Calendar Apps as to why using good ‘ole pen and paper is better,

“A pen is […] less likely to bog you down with […] creating the reminder. Scribbling Meetup @ 2:30PM takes much less mental energy than opening an app and filling out the many variables that come after tapping the “add” button (seriously, why does creating a meeting involve as many entry fields as a DMV form?).”

Let’s be honest. How many of those reminders go off, but you silence it without even looking at your phone? Probably, a lot. I’m not saying that this doesn’t work for some people. I’m sure it does. But most of us are more inclined to actually read what our phones are alerting us to if it’s a call, text, Facebook, Instagram, etc. vs. mentally processing that alert to buy more cat litter. Oh, yeah, I need cat litter…OMG! I looooovvveeee Anne’s new car!

We all have the attention span of a gnat. But believe it or not, when you write it down you’re far more likely to remember to pick up that cat litter.

You’ll Meet People and Make New Friends

One of the lesser known perks of using a paper planner is the amazing planner community. You will make so many new friends that are both local and online. If you’re looking to meet people locally, you can always start with attending the free Plan with Michael’s that Michael’s hosts periodically. Usually, you will find that there is a local group who gets together and plans. If not, start your own!

Fayetteville Planner Society
Fayetteville Planner Society. Fayetteville, NC.

Social media is usually a great place to start if you don’t know anyone locally. Instagram and Facebook are my personal favorites. Facebook’s Group feature is good because you can post and talk about all things planner related without having to share it with all of your Facebook friends. A good one to start with is

Instagram is my personal favorite in getting into the planner community and making new planner friends. One of the things that I have been blown away by is how friendly everyone is. All of the ladies in the planner community have been nothing but encouraging and helpful in my own experience. And, it’s just nice to have a group of gals that you can gush about pretty post-it’s. Because let’s face it, not all of your friends are going to care whether or not that pack of $1 page flags from the Target Dollar Spot are so pretty. But your planner friends will. These are the friends that want to see your planner layouts, planner hauls (planner supply shopping), and any other planner awesomeness that you’re up to. If you’re not on Instagram yet, I highly recommend it not only to make friends but for inspiration as well.

You’re welcome to follow me on Instagram @thenotableliz I love making new planner friends all the time!

So, what now?

Now, you’ll grab a pen and a piece of paper and jot down what you need your planner to do for you. Make a list of qualities or functions that you feel you might need day-to-day. It could be:

  • note-taking
  • appointments
  • logging hours
  • memory keeping
  • assignments
  • what time you work
  • etc.

Once, you’ve got an idea of what you need out of your paper planner make sure to come back here. I’ll be doing a post that will cover all the various kinds of planners out there. Then you can compare what you need to what’s available and find which one will suit you best.

See you soon!



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