Today is Election Day across the United States. First and foremost, we encourage everyone to go out to the polls and exercise your democratic right to vote!

Second, we want to make you aware of another “election” in which all of us participate—the election of using a paper planning system or digital planning system. Many of you have already “voted” your choice, but there are a lot of individuals who are torn over which system is best for them.

Much like preparing to vote, in order to select the planning system that’s right for you, you must weigh the pros and cons of each system against each other. To help you select a winner, we’ve provided you with some of the keys points to consider when selecting a planning system.

Digital Planning Systems: As our society turns more and more digital, many feel that the mechanized planning system is a natural progression. Using tools provided on their iPhones or other smart-devices as well as more traditional tools like Microsoft Outlook and Google Mail, a digital planning system simplifies the management of your planning data—plus, it makes storage, collaboration and organization of the data that much easier. Here are some of the other “pros” you want to consider:

  • Instant productivity features like sorting and automated reminders
  • Once proficient, users produce fast and legible input
  • More secure with use of passwords and encryption of data
  • Vast app market enables a digital device to be used for more than planning

Paper Planning Systems: Do any of you miss the “human” factor in life? If so, the experience a paper planning system has to offer is for you! This type of system compliments the personal nature of planning, and it’s undeniable that the pen and paper opens up the door and inspires you to be more creative and emotionally attached to your work, making this system perfect for setting goals and following your dreams. Here are some additional benefits of a paper planning system:

  • Greater flexibility for recording thoughts, sketching out ideas and brainstorming
  • Virus- and crash-free, and it doesn’t need charged!
  • Better retention of information through written notes
  • No document transfer, syncing or compatibility issues
  • Gives you the “big picture” with a large, physical view
  • No need to wait for your planner to start up or re-boot
  • No learning curve to become a proficient user

It can be difficult to weigh the advantages of each candidate against one another. Fortunately, unlike the elections in which you’ll be participating today, you can have the best of both worlds in a planning system by voting for each and using a hybrid approach. For example, electronic planning gives you instantaneous access and updates via digital delivery. Since a good portion of your daily planning tends to revolve around email and the information/news delivered by these messages, immediate updates that affect your calendar and to-do lists are vital.

Another example is the big picture that a paper planning system gives you. Accessible at any time—including in “dead spots” where electronic devices are all but useless—you can easily access your calendar, to-do list, notes from meetings and conversations, and so much more. Unless you have a photographic memory, a paper planner is a must for comprehensive information retention.

For this election, we strongly endorse the hybrid approach. Which system will get your vote—and why? Share your thoughts and ideas below.

And for more productivity, planning and organizing tips for any system, check out the AT-A-GLANCE Planning Center.

[photo by Theresa Thompson]

2 thoughts on “This Election Day, Cast Your Vote for Paper or Digital…or BOTH!

  1. Paper. The only downside is that a planner can be a little bulky to carry everywhere at all times, whereas my smartphone is going along for the ride anyway. Still, as soon as I’m back home or at my desk, notes and appointments are transferred to the paper version.

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