Why I am using a Paper Notebook for Planning my Day

In my previous post I mentioned that I switch back to a paper notebook for certain things like planning my day. For a guy that those everything on purpose and likes to have everything available on his phone, tablet and notebook, this has to have a very good reason doing it an analog way. Let me tell you why.

Intentionally Slower

When I am focusing on what I want to accomplish on the next day, or what I have accomplished in the last week, I like to that with a lot of thought.

While I switched to a more digital approach, I noticed that I am rushing through my daily planning in like 3 minutes, because I am basically dragging tasks around in my task app without really putting any thought into what I want to accomplish the next day.

When I am writing down any task by hand it takes time, drawing a little checkbox, writing the task out, word by word, I get a very intense connection to the task itself.

Connection to the Written Word

If I am flipping through my paper notebook I can easily see, what I have accomplished every single day. If I am only using my task manager it’s basically a list of tasks, that are ticket.

When I going a few pages back in my paper notebook, I can see by the style of my handwritten planning, how I was approaching the planning. My written word is not that nice indeed, but I still can see a difference if I just rushed through, or if I took my time and enjoyed the daily planning.

Another aspect is that it’s just a great feeling to have something physical that has some truth in it. At least for me, a tech guy that has an app for everything, it’s great to have something analog that holds value.

More Value

Using a paper notebook has on first sight a major downside to digital methods; you cannot delete your written word so easily.

For me this is actually an upside. If I am buying a paper notebook, I want to keep it nice and tidy. In my task manager I can easily delete something that I don’t need anymore.

So when I am doing my daily planning on paper, I am putting way more thought into what I am writing down there. I am thinking twice, if I will really write that task down.

What I often experienced is the fact, that when I am bringing my ideas to paper, they suddenly don’t sound that valuable anymore and I even deleted some tasks from my task manager, because I realized that this is just not as important than I thought when I typed it into Todoist (my task management app).


The combination of spending more time, being more careful and intentional about what goes into my notebook and being able to see more history by just flipping through the pages of my paper notebook adds so much value to my self management, that it is fairly easy to justify the use of analog methods over digital methods.