Why so many people are using physical planners
One question I keep being asked by my close friends and family (AKA non-planner friends) is “Does people still use planners?”.My straight answer is YES! But this answer normally conveys a subsequent number of questions regarding the planner addiction and why they don’t understand why stickers are even used in planners and what is its purpose…
As a sticker shop owner and planner addict, I should know how to answer these questions without issues. I should be able to convince them that planning is the best thing in life on so many levels. But, as soon as I notice the puzzling look on my friends or strangers faces, I get all shy and … well… let’s say I can’t convince even a ladybug to fly!
If you landed on this page, most certainly you:
- run across the same issues explaining your IG Account and planner addiction to your “normal friends”;
- are a relative with a planner addict and you are trying to understand if you need to institutionalised her;
- You want to join the cult!
I hope by the end of this article, you feel more at peace and a little bit more knowledgeable about this subject.
To clarify, I will talk about the analogue kind of planning here, not the digital. People, like me, who prefer to use a physical planner, share the same needs: apart from liking the feel of the paper and the enjoyment of writing and decorating the planner, using a digital planner or various tracking apps on the phone, makes us feel overwhelmed. We forget passwords, we change phones and we lose important information. And, most of all, we need a digital detox.
You see, whenever we spare some dedicated time to plan our weeks, we actually are in this zone out bubble. We are so focused on writing down all our schedules, lists and thoughts, we are so relaxed decorating our spreads (two pages in a planner), that we are in a completely different world.
This “me time” is so therapeutic that becomes an important part of our days/ weeks. It’s more than scheduling. It’s more than planning and playing with stickers and markers: it’s a form of self-care!
Since the times we attended school, we were taught to write down information in class and re-write it at home. I used to have one notebook for school where I took notes during classes, but I needed to write so quickly my hand-writing was always awful.
So, whenever I got home from school, I would write everything down again in my binder, with neat hand writing and different coloured pens to make the most important information stand out. Truth is, I was a straight A student. I knew all the information by sight.
It has been proven that information it’s better recalled when its hand written than typed. That’s one of the main reasons we are driven to write in a physical planner, and we have so many notebooks with different lists and information: this way, we can remember easily that we wrote it down. And if it’s written down, has to be done!Planning also comes as a way of decluttering our mind from everything that overwhelms us, being it emotions, goals and things we have to get done. Many planner addicts (I would say 90% of the planner community) uses more than one planner. Each planner is dedicated to different subjects (daily planner, health, school, work, etc) in a way of trying to compartmentalise the many responsibilities and make it less stressful.
Kind of a “Marie Kondo your Mind” approach!
And by investing time planning on the various subjects, it ultimately increases productivity.
Now you may ask: ”OK, I get that a planner is kind of a wellbeing tool but,… why the need to use stickers in a planner?”
Again, the emotional and mental aspects are the answer.
Planning is also a creative outlet: we can customise any planner to our taste. A planner spread is a reflection of us, our emotions that day/ week or events we have going on in our life that are important to us.
For example, if it’s your daughter’s birthday or your wedding anniversary, you may want to use celebration stickers in your planning that week, to reflect your happiness and the type of celebration. If you are going on vacation, or it’s Christmas season, you may want to decorate your spread with more seasonal stickers.
We are the creators of our life and our life it’s in that planner on the desk. It contains so much about us… It knows more about our life that most of our friends… So, we give it the love we can. We decorate it with as many or as little stickers as we need. With washi tape, stamps or doodles… because, as Erin Condren said once “It’s less daunting when you look at a dental appointment that’s a cute sticker”.So, returning to the first question I’m constantly asked:
YES! There are still people out there using physical planners. And, if I’m honest, the more the digital world grows, the more the planner community grows too, only because consumers crave a digital detox, a calming break with no interruptions from social media or the TV.
Planning it’s about a level of self-improvement, self- care, mindfulness and getting the most out of our lives.
And best of all, we can have a fresh start whenever we buy or set up a new planner: we don’t have to wait for a new year!Best of love,