27 Surprising Benefits of Using a Yearly Paper Planner
Don't miss out on the fun and productivity that a planner has to offer!
I bet you didn’t know there were 27 benefits to using a paper planner...or maybe you did know.
Maybe you’re a perfection seeking, introspective, planner who needs to prepare for everything, AND you love to put words on paper (like I do). That's great! And if you’re OCD or Type A, no worries, we won’t judge you.
If you happen to be the super-chill, carefree-type instead…well…we won’t judge you either. 😝
Either way, everyone can benefit from being more organized. Who doesn't want to be more efficient, productive, AND have time for fun and creativity?
Yearly planners are designed to help you do that and more.
If any good came out of the pandemic for you, as it did for me, it was realizing that I need to slow down and make room in my life for self-care, compassion, and to deepen my relationships with my friends and family.
No more overloading the calendar, ever!
So, how could using a paper calendar help? While it’s no cure for the world’s problems, there are a surprising number of benefits you can reap from it.
The 27 Benefits of Using a Yearly Planner:
Seeing your routine on paper helps you stick to it. It's important to write your schedule down and keep it where you can see 👀 it. My planner book is never far from my side and if I forget what I'm supposed to be doing, a quick glance will give me the push I need.
The obvious...using a planner helps you stay organized. My buddy Jason C. said, “I started using one about ten years ago to keep my work life straight!” (Yes, guys can benefit from them too!)
Writing things down eases stress! I didn't make this one up. It's well documented by guys in lab coats. Go ahead, look it up...you'll see. Writing helps you let go of all that stuff crowded in your brain so you have time for other things, like relaxation.
Move over, froggy!
Planners help you keep track of so many things all at once! Appointments, meals, deadlines, exercise, reports, field trips, menstrual cycle, migraines, how much water you drink...whatever you want! The catch? You have to remember to record it in your planner.
Another obvious one...you can get more done with written to-do lists and since they’re in one place you’ll never lose them. 😉 Hello, productivity!
You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment as you check items off your written to-do list. Think about how great you'll feel as you review your completed lists over time!
Ok, so maybe as you look back over the previous months you notice that some items on your lists were neglected. (Oops...forgot to send that friend a thank you card from 3 weeks ago!) 💌
Well, now is the time to fix it! One great thing about a yearly planner is being able to look back over the weeks and months to see if you’ve missed or forgotten something.
Don't we all need clarity in our lives? We need to know what's truly important to us and then make time for it. With a yearly planner you can set priorities for each day, week and month and then stay focused on those priorities.
Having a paper planner lets you have a safe, private place to yourself, to be yourself. Who is going to bother to look at your calendar anyway?
You can make your paper planner unique to you. Draw, color, highlight, use stickers, sticky notes…be creative and have fun! After all, you'll be looking at it every day for a year.
A paper planner is a great place to doodle. Doodling relaxes the mind, increases creativity and helps you focus. Who would have known? Check out this article for 7 ways doodling can change your life.
Journaling your thoughts is a Stress Buster! This cannot be overemphasized. Most planners give you extra space to take notes. If you're not the type to commit to writing long-winded passages, why not use those blank pages in your planner as a mini journal to record your thoughts and observations?
Time let go of any anxiety or anger you might be harboring!
You can also use those extra note pages to do mind mapping which is great for studying, memorization and solving problems.
I know, I know, another Stress Buster, but be honest you NEED to destress! I'm sure you've heard it countless times, the number one tip for happiness is to cultivate gratitude. Well, use your planner as a gratitude journal (no need to buy a separate book)! Every day write 1-3 things you're grateful for and don't write the same things over and over. There are plenty of things to be grateful for if you're honest and dig deep.
Even if you're not aspiring to be a great novelist, you can still use your planner like a notebook to jot down ideas and things you don't want to forget.
We already said a planner helps you stay focused on your priorities, but did you know that getting your priorities right leads to making wiser decisions and better choices in life?
Better planners have prompts for setting goals for each day, week, month and the whole year. Hey, if a goal isn’t written, then it’s only a dream.
Another obvious one...planners help you plan.
Woohoo beach here I come!!! 🏖️
Ugh, how did I say yes to two Zoom weddings on the same night???
Brain exercise. Your brain loves writing and writing things down means you have more of a chance of remembering things. See article: 12 Reasons Why Handwriting is Important.
Planners can help decrease overwhelm and prevent overbooking. Seeing a jam packed week makes me realize it’s time to schedule some ME time!
A visual planner can help you analyze your routine so you can improve your time management skills.
Keeping track of your time for at least a week can help you figure out where your times goes and how to stop wasting it.
No way...I watched The Dukes of Hazzard how many times this week???
A paper planner teaches your brain to minimize multitasking. How many times have you picked up your phone to add a note or a reminder only to get distracted by SOMETHING else! Then...you forget what you picked up your phone for in the first place. This happens to me ALL THE TIME.
Another reason to LOVE my planner. It doesn't talk back.
Repetition and progress! Planners help you review and track your progress. If you didn't make the progress you desired over the year, it's ok. Every day is a new day to start over and every year, there's a new calendar.
It’s easy to forget what you’ve done and how far you’ve come in a year. We often underestimate how much we've accomplished. Either way, whether you accomplished all that you wanted or not, go ahead and celebrate another year of life.
Life is precious, enjoy each day.
Did you know the more organized you are, the better you sleep? You're welcome.
I said...move OVER frog!
Paper planners detach you from electronic devices. Don’t we spend enough time on them as it is?
I love you Google...really I do!
Last but not least and my favorite one of all...your planner has everything you need in your life all in one place...well, almost everything!
Whew! That was quite a list.
But now you might be wondering, what kind of a planner should I buy that can do all that for me???
There are a ton of planners to choose from, some are even customizable. A Google or Amazon search will help you shop around so you can get a feel for your style and preferences.
I’m finicky about my planner. Ok, I confess, I'm downright snobby about it.
I need my planner to be minimalist, beautiful and inspiring.
Hey, I’m going to be looking at it for an entire year. I want to smile when I look at it and be reminded that there’s beauty in the world.
Here are my 12 must haves for a yearly planner:
1. Most critical: it must have a beautiful, inspiring cover.
2. The inside pages must be beautiful & colorful as well.
3. The page layouts must be spacious & uncrowded (I usually buy an 8.5 x 11).
4. I need ample space for note taking.
5. I prefer a spiral bound book. It's easier to lay flat or fold over.
6. A Hard cover keeps it more durable.
7. It must have only 12 months (Last year, I made the mistake of buying a midyear 15 month calendar and it drove me nuts. It wasn’t fun transferring stuff halfway through the year).
8. It must be dated. (I hate writing in my own dates, means less accountability).
9. My weekly spread has to be vertical with hours. Your style may be different.
10. I love monthly tabs.
11. I love a bookmark to mark my week.
12. It has to have a decent price range ($30-$50).
These are my must haves, what are yours?
Do I recommend a brand? Yes I do!
My Favorite Planner
Earlier this month (January 2022) I spent hours scouring Amazon and Google for the perfect planner.
Alas! It doesn’t exist.
To be sure, there are a ton of options out there. I've even spent time customizing planners on fancy websites. While a great idea, I found them to be a lot of work, expensive and still not exactly what I was looking for.
I’ve purchased different planners over the years only to return them all. (This is why I use Amazon...easy returns). While they each have their strong points, every year I keep going back to Tools4wisdom.
So far, Tools4wisdom is the only brand that has planners that meet all 12 of my MUST HAVES.
I highly recommend them and no, I don't make a commission. (Although I COULD if I wanted to. They do have an affiliate program).
This is just my sincere recommendation after shopping extensively for the most beautiful planner.
I’m also quite impressed with how closely Tools4wisdom listens to their customers to see if they can satisfy their wishes. (Thank you for your awesome customer service John! He spent a lot of time over email with me, letting me whine about how Tools4wisdom can be even better.)
Check them out at https://www.tools4wisdom.com/ (If you sign up for their newsletter you'll be notified of any sales.) Their planners are also available on Amazon.
What about Digital Planners?
I suppose they have their advantages too. They’re easy to carry, you can share the calendar with your family, and automate alerts and reminders.
Still...I don’t think I could come up with 27 benefits of using a digital calendar and even if I could, I wouldn't try. Paper planners are the BOMB!
But feel free to use whatever works for you.
There are 27 ways to benefit from using a yearly paper planner. Whatchya waiting for?
I highly recommend Tools4wisdom.
Buy a planner you will love to use.
Have fun with it.
Keep it close by every day.
Here I am with my new calendar for 2022.
I choose a different cover every year, often with a saying or a picture that will guide me throughout the year. My 2022 cover is floral and says: The best is yet to come. This simple phrase helps me focus on my happy hope for the future.