July 11, 2022
Juggling all your work responsibilities can be tricky. You've got to stay on top of meetings, deadlines, presentations, and more. Stressed yet?! Here's the good news: A planner can help you track your important tasks, ensure efficiency, and boost productivity — and you've got loads of planners to browse.
First on your to-do list is deciding whether you want a digital planner or a handwritten planner. This guide discusses the pros and cons of each option, making it easier for you to pick the right productivity planner for your needs.
A planner can help you track daily tasks, assignments, meetings, and deadlines. By ensuring you don't forget any of your important responsibilities, your planner helps you avoid procrastination and boost productivity.
Additionally, a planner can help you organize your time strategically. Better time management also enhances productivity. For example, you can prioritize tasks that take the most time and concentration for those times of day when you're most alert — whether that's after your morning coffee or your post-lunch nap (shh, we won't tell).
Planners can also help with big-picture productivity, letting you set goals and sketch out a strategic plan to work toward them. Large-scale, intelligent change requires lots of smaller actions over an extended time, and a planner can help you visualize how little actions add up to big transformations.
When choosing a planner, you have literally thousands of options to check out. Start by deciding whether you want a handwritten productivity planner or a digital productivity planner. Read on to find out more about your options so you can choose the best productivity planner for you.
Handwritten productivity planners require you to keep track of your tasks the old-fashioned way — by writing them down. Different types of handwritten productivity planners serve different needs:
A handwritten planner can be helpful if you're forgetful. Research suggests that when we write something down, we're more likely to recall it. The information imprints on the brain through the physical task of writing. Inputting something digitally doesn't have the same impact.
Digital planners need to be accessed via a device like your phone or tablet. This means you'll have to face all of the digital distractions such devices offer every time you want to access your planner. A written planner demands your full focus on your daily or weekly planning, minimizing procrastination.
For some people, note-taking remains easier with a pen or pencil and paper than with electronic means. Digital tools may not offer sufficient space to jot down a lot of material, which can be a drag if you want to include a lot of information in your planner.
Many people find that writing is a great way to reduce stress. Journaling is a great example. Boost gratitude by jotting down a positive thing that happened in your day before going to bed. Simply doodling in your paper planner can also be a great stress-buster.
Although handwritten productivity planners have plenty of benefits, they also have drawbacks. They can get cluttered quickly if you have large handwriting. It can also be tedious updating paper planners, as you'll have to cross out or erase words.
Another drawback of handwritten planners is that you have to carry them with you if you want access to them. Digital tools are usually accessible via your phone — which, let's face it, you probably have at your fingertips 24/7.
It's also possible to lose a paper planner, which can be a huge hassle. Last but not least, paper planners are less eco-friendly than digital tools. For those who want to do a small part to save the Earth, ditching paper is a plus.
There are a few different types of physical productivity planning tools. Large-scale desk planners are designed to cover your desk's surface, like a desk mat, so all your tasks are in sight at all times.
In contrast, pocket planners are small enough to take on the go, which can be convenient if you like to have your planner always handy. There are also larger book-style planners (for example, one with a leather cover) with pages for you to write on, bound together with a spine or coils.
Digital productivity planners don't require you to write by hand. Instead, you input your tasks via an electronic device, like your tablet, laptop, or phone. Different digital productivity planners serve different needs:
Everybody loves to save a buck where they can — especially when it comes to office supplies. A digital planning tool is usually a one-time investment that you can use indefinitely, which can help you save money in the long term. That means more money to spend on the fun stuff in life (like after-work drinks)!
With a digital planner, there's no need to erase or cross out points. You can easily update and edit your tasks whenever you want, however often you want. This is a big bonus for people who have constantly evolving schedules.
Another pro of digital planning tools is that more than one person can access them at a time. For example, an entire team of employees can access a shared calendar-style monthly planner, so everyone can track project deliverable deadlines. URL-sharing tools such as OSlash are another example of how digital productivity tools make it easier to work together.
Most digital planners let you set automated reminders. You'll then get a notification on your device, like your phone or tablet, alerting you of your upcoming task, deadline, meeting, or other note.
You can access digital planners anytime, anywhere via your electronic device. This is helpful for people who like to have a portable planner they can check whenever necessary. From students to business travelers, portability is a big plus for many.
Loads of digital productivity planning tools can help improve communication, efficiency, and productivity. Google Calendar is an example of a monthly agenda-style planner that multiple people can access. Meanwhile, Asana is a project planning software that makes it easy to assign, track, and check off deliverables.
For employees with many links to keep track of (and who doesn't these days?), OSlash can help. This tool takes complex URLs and transforms them into easy-to-remember tidbits, like o/hr, o/accounting, and o/meeting.
Now that you have the digital productivity planner of your choice, make it super easy to access any time you want with OSlash! OSlash can help you convert any URL into easy-to-remember words that are intuitive and simple to recall.
With o/to-do-list, o/weekly-priorities, or o/habit-tracker, stay on top of your daily plan and see your productivity soar.
You can even download this yearly habit tracker to keep track of what you’re up to day in & day out.
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