Day Planner or Smart Phone

ETMTime Management Educator Marydee Sklar recently posted an article arguing that it is more effective to use a paper day planner than a smart phone to manage your time. She writes:

“There are major executive functioning challenges of using computers as effective time management tools instead of a day planner. The brain with executive functioning challenges needs to be able to see time all the time.

There are multiple executive functioning challenges when using computers and smart phones for time management tools instead of a day planner for time management. The brain with executive functioning challenges needs to be able to see time all the time. That means that calendar views of the week and month need to be quickly accessible. The schedule for the day needs always be in sight.

Time management educator Marydee Sklar notes, “The problem with the electronic calendars is that they are often unopened on our computers because we use them for other functions. You can’t keep to a schedule or do your to-do list if you aren’t looking at it. This means that you have to remember to open your calendar. Since working memory is often a problem for the time-challenged or ADHD mind, the programs don’t get opened enough. You forget to use them.””

Sklar gives some very persuasive reasons why a paper based planner is superior to computer calendars and smart phones for managing your tasks and time. I agree. I’ve used various planners over the years, both on paper and using technology. In the early 2000s I tried PDAs and found them wanting. Later I used a Blackberry and most recently an iPhone and still find it wanting.

Smart phones are great for repeating tasks or reminders that are tedious to put in a paper planner. You can enter a permanent reminder for your friends’ birthdays, when you need to service the car, etc. and it is easier than using paper.

But when it comes to seeing a full month or full week of appointments and tasks paper wins every time. Also you can refer to a paper planner while using your computer or smart phone for other purposes. It is much easier to talk to someone on the phone while consulting a paper calendar or planner.

There also is, as Sklar points out, advantages to writing things down. It triggers brain functions that a smart phone wont.

I use a combination. I use the smart phone for reminders and repeating items and the paper planner as a backup and as a place to see an entire day, week or month at a time. You get the best of both worlds.

Read the rest of Ms Sklar’s article here.

What do you think?

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.