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Planners: Digital or Physical

When it comes to being in college, having a planner is absolutely essential. I truly do not understand how college students don’t use any form of planner to help organize their homework and to-do lists. As far as I know, the two most popular types (or only types) of planners are either digital or physical. Physical calendars can be your planners that you put into your bag or something that you have up on your wall to help you plan out your day/week/month. Digital planners are any form of online/technological way of writing down and organizing what you have to do. Some examples of digital planners are Google Calendar and Notion.

I prefer to use both planners since both have their own convenience to it. Physically writing down my tasks helps me to remember it better. Using Google Calendar is super convenient when I’m on the go and only have my phone with me.

The two types can be very different and people choose which method they’d like to use depending on a number of factors. I’ve interviewed a group of college students to see what type of planner they prefer to use and why:

“Google Calendar is amazing!!! I also use a physical planner because writing things down helps me to remember it better.”

-Ihilani Lasconia, PhD student

“Notion; [It is] 1000000% customizable and [there’s] lots of things you can imbed. It’s much easier if you use someone else’s template but it looks so cute”

-Malarie Enriquez, Junior

“Notion and physical planner. Notion is good for aesthetics and personal goals, tracking, etc. But it’s a lot to keep it pretty and to set up yourself but I love [it]. Notion is good to have as a digital bullet journal.”

A physical planner is faster, it lets you see everything in one place, writing things helps me. I love physically crossing stuff out/checking things off.

I also just like to see my school stuff separate from my personal stuff because I don’t need that negative energy around me. I have a whole system. I keep stuff separate and then bring it together [on] my physical wall calendar.”

Jessa Tadeo, Junior

I love using Notion to keep personal and school-related things separate. But I find that I’ve been using Google Calendar and my digital planner more this semester because I find that paper planners don’t have layouts that are efficient [for] me. So I make my own digital planner so it’s what supplements my planning style, needs, aesthetic, etc. And I use Google Calendar to actually plan out when I do things (for how long), etc. So it’s a visual representation of my calendar!

Pros of digital planning: accessibility, greater level of customization, flexibility (because I can move things around easily without erasing stuff)

Con: [Have to] have my tech to access it, customization is easier to waste time trying to make it nice.”

Joyce Rosabia, Junior

“I like using digital planners because they’re more convenient. I can check my availability whenever/wherever I want. I usually use Google Calendar.”

Journey Wright, Junior

“I like short-term planning physically with just a journal and pens, specifically colored pens, because it helps me categorize different classes / subjects or even random things. So in a journal I’ll usually plan my week. Whereas long-term, like weeks in advance, doctor’s appointments, class schedule, making time for friends, etc, I like to plan digitally on Google calendar. Again color coordinated so that I can tell what’s what and when is what and all that fun stuff. It also helps me differentiate what’s important, what’s related to school, what’s personal, etc. And I’m kind of visual, so I really like color coordinating things. 

So to answer the question, I like to use physical planning and digital planning, for different reasons. Physical planning short-term week kine stuff, and digital planning for long-term months kine stuff.”

Sophia Cleek, Senior

Whether you prefer to plan your schedules and tasks out via physical planner or digital planner, I just highly recommend that you use one! Each type has its own pros and cons, so play around and figure out what works best for you!

Aloha everyone! I'm Mary Joy, born and raised on the island of O'ahu. I'm a senior majoring in Business Management. On my free time, I enjoy finding new places to eat, spending time with friends, and taking naps :)
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