Paper or Digital Calendar: Which is Better?

The short answer is of course that it comes down to a matter of individual preference. There are advantages and disadvantages to both the paper or digital type of calendars. We love all things digital, and many digital calendar apps are great, but there are many instances where the paper calendar diary works just as well, if not better. Our preferences may change over time and depending on the task at hand.

Digital Advantages

The digital calendar has many advantages. We are virtually attached to our smart phones these days so we always have our calendar with us. Doctor appointment cards no longer get lost in our coat pockets because we can now enter the appointment straight into our favorite calendar app. We can schedule recurring events such as kids’ sports practices or work meetings. We can add Facebook, EventBrite or Evite events directly to our calendars without having to type in the details. Digital calendars allow us to share calendars with spouses, helping everyone keep track of all the various places the kids need to be each week. Cloud backup for calendars keeps us from losing valuable information. Finally, digital calendars come in so many varieties, we can really choose which tool helps us be the most productive.

On the other hand, sometimes we get inundated with the constant notifications, beeps and alerts. We spend so much time on our devices, and when we want to disconnect for a bit, digital calendar can feel like just another thing to keep track of.

Paper Calendar Benefits

For many people the paper calendar diary provides simplicity and flexibility to see the big picture, to plan, and jot down appointments and ideas. There is something about physically writing down a task or an appointment that helps our brains remember the task better. There is something rewarding about being able to cross out completed tasks and appointments. We feel a sense of accomplishment when we cross off tasks. The paper calendar is very handy when planning for longer periods of time. When planning longer trips or a vacation, seeing the details on paper can help us see the big picture. We may plan out vacations on paper and then digitize the calendar items once plans have been confirmed.  Other times it’s just quicker to jot down something on paper than to open the app and go through the tedious process of creating a calendar or task item. We may use the digital calendar for appointments and recurring items, and use paper to jot down a quick action item. The great news is we can change our tools as our preferences and needs change. Whatever your preference is, schedule away!


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