With all the cool devices at our fingertips, perhaps the best gadget is one invented centuries ago—the pen. That’s why so many people continue to use paper planners, calendars, and notepads. Today, technology is growing ever more prevalent and convenient, so our challenge is to keep it all in sync. How do we do that? We’ve asked some of our employees to share the ways they merge their planners with technology. Maybe you’ll get a few ideas for yourself.
“As a project manager, I fully embrace both technology and paper. The flexibility of both a planner and technology allows me to tailor a system that works best in my hectic world.
“For day-to-day work tasks, I rely heavily on email, calendaring, and spreadsheets to keep the details organized. There are simply too many tasks to juggle when managing a large workload. My prioritized task list would be a mile long every day. Electronically, I can easily keep projects moving within the team, even when they are thousands of miles away.
“My planner is important for big-picture projects, brainstorming, note taking and personal tasks. I can easily flip back and recall notes or conversations. A planner is fantastic for capturing action-items in a meeting and collecting feedback from a creative presentation. I like it because I don’t have to search several places for notes. It’s all contained in a binder. It’s my main tool for keeping personal tasks organized. I can jot down home tasks or grocery lists, keep track of parties and vet appointments—basically, it’s my memory.”
—Lisa Gines, Project Manager
“I love technology, but it can be distracting much of the time. In a meeting, some may assume that if you are using your iPad or smart phone, you aren’t paying attention to what is going on, or that the content of the discussion isn’t important.
“My most important planner tactic? I don’t move my page finder to the current day until I have checked off tasks from the prior day, assigned them to others, or moved them forward. That way I don’t lose any projects, and have a constant reminder to “catch up” if I don’t do it first thing in the morning.”“I sync my smart phone with my work desktop calendar and email system. It is a great way to keep track of appointments, and get a popup reminder ten minutes prior to a meeting. During those meetings, I silence my phone (okay, every now and then I forget). For task lists and meeting notes, however, no electronic device can hold a candle to my planner. I like the planner formats without defined meeting times, which gives me plenty of space for tasks and notes.
—Lareen Strong, Marketing Director
“Using my planner with technology is like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, both are good on their own, but combine them and they’re even better.
“Take a look at my desk and you’ll see the best of both worlds. Sure, my computer is humming and the screen is filled with files, spreadsheets, and webpages—but take another look and you’ll see lists, post-it notes, and my planner.
“A large section of my day is spent creating ideas, attending meetings, and planning campaigns. These activities require brainstorming and thought. For me, this is best done with paper and pen. I love to jot down ideas and activities in my planner; I can then flip back and forth from page to page and re-remember what a genius I am.
“I love to take advantage of technology. I can transform my notes, ideas and lists; into useful information and reports. Whether it’s a computer, tablet, phone, or something new I’ve never heard of, technology is a definite time-saver. From work to play, it’s here to stay.
“So I’m going to take both, my planner and my technology…the perfect sandwich.”
—Scott Anderson, Advertising Campaign Manager
Hopefully some of our ideas have sparked your imagination, and you’ll find even more ways to incorporate your planner and your technology into your hectic lifestyle. Here’s wishing you the best success possible.