Rethinking the Paper Planner Thing
I got a lovely Moleskine paper daily planner and have been trying to use that to plan out my days and weeks. But it may be a little too inconvenient.
If it was just me planning and keeping track of my own stuff and not having to take anyone else into consideration, I could totally go all-in with paper planners. But the challenge is coordinating schedules with my wife and son.
We have used iCloud calendars to track appointments and events. We each have our own calendars, but we have shared them with each other so we can all see what each of us has going on. Every Sunday we get together and review our calendars together and talk about the week ahead. Whenever a change is made to an event or an event is added to one of our calendars, the others get notified and they can see the change reflected immediately. This system has worked well for us for several years.
I have been maintaining both my paper planner and my iCloud calendar this week. But if I stop updating my iCloud calendar, that means my wife and son will have to account for my own calendar events themselves in our weekly calendaring sessions, and I will have to somehow account for important events on their calendars in my paper planner. It also means that we would need to orally communicate any important changes or updates to our calendars throughout the week.
We could have a family paper planner or calendar, but then that means recording events in multiple places and running the risk of one of those places not being accurate. Things could fall through the cracks and there would be more opportunities for miscommunication. Could we make it work? Sure. But it creates more work for all of us without really adding any value.
In short, my using a paper planner while my wife and son still rely on electronic calendars decreases flexibility and impedes our ability to communicate and coordinate our schedules.
I don't think it makes sense for me to stop updating my iCloud calendar, but it also doesn't make sense for me to maintain both an electronic and paper planner at the same time. So I think I'm going to halt my paper planner experiment.
Another quirk that factored into this decision is that my paper planner doesn't have enough time slots each day for my schedule. It has slots in hourly increments from 8am to 8pm. But I wake up at 6am and go to bed at 10pm. I want the ability to account for all of my waking time if I desire down to 30 minute increments. I'm sure I could find a paper planner that would be exactly what I'm looking for, but it's a moot point. I've decided to keep using an electronic calendar, and they are much more flexible in that regard.
I want to continue to focus on planning better, and I do believe there are benefits to writing things down on paper in terms of organizing thoughts and planning things. So instead of using a dedicated paper planner, I will use a regular notebook to jot down events to remember, draft daily or weekly schedules, as needed, and then input things into my electronic calendar as the final “source of truth”.