Not too long ago it felt as though we had to-do-lists scribbled on pieces of paper and attached to the fridge, a contacts book next to the phone that housed all of our friends and families phone numbers, a book of paper maps that we would drag out if we didn’t know our way around and scrambling around in the drawers or cupboard for a calculator or family camera. These days, our smart phones have taken over all of these tasks and more. While phone apps are convenient and some have built in ‘game-like’ features to keep us engaged and to appear fun, there is something quite satisfying about opening and checking in with a paper planner and being able to glance across your week.
For me there is something very nostalgic about writing by hand. It also forces me to slow down and approach my planning with more mindfulness and intention. It allows me to break free of the constraints of a particular app and get creative and have a little fun, like doodling if I feel in the mood.
Some people find paper planners very frustrating and almost archaic. Either they are crazy about embracing the newest technology and productivity apps or planners just don’t work for them. They are the type that get to the end of the year and still pretty much have a blank planner with the occasional bursts of appointments when they’ve tried again to get back into using it. And that’s ok too, we all have different ways in which we like to work and structure our commitments and priorities.
Certain apps like your calendar won’t do everything. You might still have to use a separate to-do list app, or a separate app for notes. So I love that paper planners allow us to have one place that can have everything you need in it. And let’s face it, planners can ‘almost’ be as portable as your mobile phone.
Now let’s face it, I could have chosen to turn the Life Designer – Work+Life Planner into an app for people to use on their smart phones, and some people probably wished that I had. However, one of the things that I value deeply in life and in my business is the notion of disconnection. More specifically having some time being disconnected from technology. The speed at which technology is developing and giving us access to any information around the world is not only overloading our brains but the devices tend to steal our attention and create fewer authentic connections with other human beings and with ourselves than ever before. In other words, they are actually getting in between us and our goals and ultimately our dreams. So it would have felt contradictory to my values and what I stand for to create an app for the sake of just keeping up with technology and making money.
I see the Life Designer – Work+Life Planner much more than ‘just another planner’. I see it as a self-development tool; a tool that helps us reconnect with ourselves and to think more mindfully about how we spend our precious time and energy in order to reach our personal and professional goals, so we can show up in all areas of our life as the person we want to be. When we are being aligned and authentic we are showing up in the same way whether it be our personal or professional life. Hence why the notion of work/life balance has never sat well with me as our personal and professional lives are not easily placed into boxes and balanced out. My preferred phrase of work/life blend outlines that we are in fact showing up as the same person across all contexts within our lives as well as allowing us to combine whatever roles, activities, habits, and routines in whatever times, frequencies and order we like to create a life that is meaningful and purposeful, health enhancing and aligned with our core values.
So my vote is always a paper planner. What is yours?
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