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Going Digital - I Ditched My Paper Planner

Monday, June 5, 2017

Stationery and paper of all kinds bring me happiness! I fell in head over heals for the Emily Ley Simplified Planner last year. It really is my soul-mate paper planner. It had all the right boxes and it was beautiful! Eventually I found myself not as attached to it as I had once been. In fact, it became a chore to get out of my bag and actually use. It added so much weight to my bag too. Well, that may have been the giant bag of pens I felt like I needed to go with it...

Since I'm on such a simplification crusade, I decided to go digital! It's been a successful 6 months or so of digital planning, so I thought I'd share my system. It's so easy to grab my phone (most likely because it's already in my hand anyway) and add something to my schedule. I use 3 things systems to keep track of everything, and I'm loving it. Three may sound like a lot, but it's really actually very simple. 

Going Digital! Ditching the paper planner.

Google Calendar
This is my main tool for planning! I do have a Google phone, so it obviously works seamlessly with my device. After a little playing around this is the system I use:

- Blake and I sync our calendars. We both add appointments and events to the schedule. If he wants to make plans next Saturday, all he has to do is look at the calendar and it's obvious if we are free or if we already made plans. 

- Each category has it's own calendar and has a designated color. ie: My work schedule is in green. Blake's work schedule is in red. Our family social schedule is in blue...etc. The possibilities are endless! I have a calendar just for our friend's anniversaries, another for vet appointments and bills on another. 
You can display all at once, or just one at a time. If I want to see just the days I work, I can display only that schedule. 

- Fast forward to June 2018 below. This is an example of what a normal month would look like with our work schedule, payment days, worship plans and anniversaries. It's a lot more colorful when I add in our social plans and appointments! I also noticed that the current month is a lot more vibrant in color, they tend to gray out the past and future months- I think so you don't get confused. 

Phone Reminders
This is a simple system that has helped me so much recently! Anytime something is going to be out of the ordinary, I set a phone reminder. For example, I know I have to work an extra day next week, so to make sure I don't forget, I set a reminder the night before. It's also helpful to set a reminder when you are trying to start a new habit. When we started recycling, I kept forgetting to take our full can with me to 'dump', so my phone reminds me every Friday morning now. 

As I said before, I have a Google phone, so those reminders sync with my calendar. You can use your phone alarms to accomplish the same thing. My phone makes it really easy, because I can just ask Google to remind me of something without even having to pick up the phone. 

Wunderlist is a great app! It's perfect for keeping track of your lists. I have made several running lists in it that I used to keep in my planner.

- My inbox is my to-do list, so everything from bathe the pugs to get my watch battery replaced. 

- Blake and I also share a grocery list. That may be my favorite thing about using this app! We both add to the list, and whoever goes to the store knows what we need. Shout out to my awesome husband who loves to grocery shop!

- You can make a list for anything! I've got a list of home projects to do, and blog posts to write. I usually create a list for trips, and add what I need to pack. Once the trip is over, I can delete the list. 

- You can check off each action as you go, and it makes a very satisfying ding! And the app stores your completed tasks, in case you need to go back and look at it. 

Honorable mention: I use this app to track my period. Super interesting data and very helpful. I never wrote this stuff down in my planner, but I wish I would have. BTW it comes with a super hideous theme, but you can change that in the settings. 

That's it! I told you it was simple. The Google Calendar takes a little time to set up, and tweak to your needs. We've got it pretty refined now, and I love how it's worked for our family. There are no miscommunications when it comes to the schedule. If it's on the calendar, we both know about it! It's also really helpful for me when I go to buy something. If I see a big bill is coming out that day, I may wait till next week to buy it. 

I still have a love of stationery, and I totally get it when people are reluctant to give up their paper planner. Trust me, when the new simplified planners came out a week or two ago, I was drooling over those pretty colors. I guess I'm in a place right now of simplification, and that's what helped me make the decision to go paperless. For me, this is buying one less thing and using something I already have (my phone) more efficiently. 

I know 'the act of writing it down' is a big deal to people. I was one of you! Just FYI, the act of putting the event in my phone, or setting that reminder does the same thing for me. 

Alright, so what do you think?! Leave a comment below if you are a diehard paper planner person! I'd love to know if you'd consider going digital. And if you already are a digital person, what systems do you use? Are you a fan of the Google Calendar? Do you share your schedule and lists with your spouse?
You may like: My Planner Tours


  1. Having another one of those crazy 'how did that happen?!?' moments with you. I have been using a planner that begins in June each year and I decided that this year I wasn't going to buy another. I wanted to try just using my phone! #getoutofmyhead
    I will still have a wall calendar at home because the kids like to see what's coming up and count down to exciting events. But that's just stuff they need to know about.

    1. Haha! Further proof we are meant to be friends! You'll have to let me know how it goes. It's really worked out for me so far!

  2. Looks like you have a great system worked out! I do love the simplicity of digital planning, but there's still a huge part of me that is attached to having everything on paper, lol. Maybe that will change like it did for you!

    1. I totally get it! I know you're interested in minimalism too. That's kinda what got me there. First it was parting with my book collection..something I never thought I'd do! I never would have thought I'd part ways with my trusty planner either. It's pretty cool that we can change as people!

  3. Love this! I actually switched to digital too and I still feeling like I'm cheating on my Simplified Planner, but it's so much easier!

  4. I am a diehard paper planner! BUT, you seem so organized and I'm starting to use Google Calendar just for the blog. I still use my Erin Condren for everything else but am slowly starting to love the digital aspects of Google Calendar.

    Katherine |

  5. I've been using the calendar in my phone to keep track of stuff for a long time now. I do love paper planners, but... Love your system! And ooh, like the sound of Wunderlist!

  6. Pixel should have great planning features.



Hi friends! I'm Kristen, and this is the Life and Style of an early 30's Floridian living the Best Life Ever, with her husband and three pugs. Runner | Avid Reader | Small Shop Owner

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