Getting Organized? Why You Should Think Before Going Digital
I’m a planner person. I like buying sticky notes and filling out my To-Do list on a Sunday evening. However, I have never met someone who plans the same way as I do. I am constantly told that I should “modernize” and move toward digital calendars. Recently, I took two months to experiment with digital calendars. Here’s my experience.
To help me “go digital”, I chose to use Google Calendar for both mobile and desktop. Throughout my experiment I continued to use my paper planner and regular To-Do lists. To begin, I went through my regular calendar for the remainder of the school year and added events as well as the GoogleCal invites I’d been ignoring. By this point, my new digital calendar was beginning to take shape. For the final touches, I color coordinated multiple calendars for work, school, and personal events.
Pros of Online Calendars
Utilizing an online calendar opened lots of new opportunities. My favorite thing was having the multicolored grid layout of my calendar to help me visualize how busy I really was. When writing things down in a paper planner it is easy to see three or four lines and think it’s nothing but seeing three hour blocks of time cut out of a day – it makes a large difference! Additionally, the blocks allow for a quick and easy way to see potential overlaps in events.
The other big takeaway for me was that others were able to change the invites they sent me and update as needed. This was way easier than me having to remember to change the entry in my day planner after each email. In addition to this, I enjoyed being able to create events and send them out to people with notifications attached to remind them later.
Cons of Online Calendars
While updating to a digital platform had many upsides, there were still some things I was unable to get used to. First were all the steps of having to fill out a form for each event. When I use my paper planner I can write down whatever information I want then move on to the next thing. With Google, however, I found myself writing less and clicking through. This I found very annoying especially considering that my classes run in 50 minute intervals and Google’s default event time is 60 minutes.
Secondly, when using an online schedule, I felt like I didn’t retain as much of what I added than when I wrote it down. Not remembering what I needed counteracted the pro of being readily available the moment my phone or laptop died. This made me feel unorganized and overall less prepared for the week.
After sixty days of using both online and physical calendars, I decided that I don’t have to rely on one or the other exclusively. The handiness of having notifications on my phone or desktop from a digital calendar helped me spend less time stressing over forgetting an event or meeting. I found a middle ground of both platforms allows me to see what I need to do at a glance while still having the option to write it down my way. If you aren’t using an online calendar now, I would strongly recommend one! Just remember that adding a physical calendar can not only help you stay on top of things but also give you a little more time away from your screen.