Planners: The Great Debate Between Paper and Digital (Hint: Paper Wins!)

I am a planner girl. I use Emily Ley’s daily half-sized spiral planner for my every day task and appointment list, I use a separate Emily Ley full-sized spiral monthly planner (from Target) for my Social Media/Media marketing schedule, I have a Kikki-K A5-sized ring planner for my writing business, another Happy Planner A5-sized disc planner (from Michael’s) to run my household and keep track of meals and my family’s schedules, and I have a huge, ugly whiteboard in the kitchen that holds shows me the family’s commitments for four months at a time.

I even use an Erin Condren deluxe monthly planner specifically for budgeting!

Yet, I can’t seem to figure out how to use my Google calendar. When I was a kid, I realized that if I don’t write things down, like goals, appointments, or due dates, I can’t remember them. Especially things like when my next manuscript is due! I’ve tried saving things to the calendar on my phone, and syncing up digital calendars with my kids and my husband, but if I have to rely on my digital planner I’m completely lost.

Luckily, I’m not alone. As I was searching for solutions, I discovered the planner community on YouTube. In this day of digital-everything, I found people who are just like me. 🙂 People who, for whatever reason, prefer to write down every aspect of their lives (and decorate with washi tape) and are willing to share their journeys online.

Below I’ve included a few of my favorite YouTube episodes that helped me choose the right planner(s) for my each aspect of my life. If you’re like me, you may have seen these already. If you’re a digital-only kind of planner, maybe these will bring you back to the joys of paper!

First up is Sarra Cannon at Heart Breathings. Sarra is a successful YA author who freely shares her love of organizing and planning. I use her HB90 method (downloadable calendars available in her Etsy shop) for all my business/writing planning needs. Here is her recent Plan-With-Me video of how she set up her February schedule in her Kikki K A5 planner.

Next is Stephanie Anne’s video of how she uses an Erin Condren Deluxe Monthly Planner to set up her family’s budget for the year.

Like I mentioned above, I use an Emily Ley daily planner for my everyday tasks and reminders. Here is a video Emily did explaining the pros and cons of this type of planner for work and home.

Here is a great video (with free printable!!!!) on how to use a Happy Planner to manage your household.

In case I didn’t mention this above, I also have a small personal-sized planner for my Christmas  planning. Since I still host at least 18 people for dinner every Christmas, as well as a week’s worth of guests who spend the night, my planning starts on November 1st! Here’s a cute Christmas planner video just in case you’re tempted. 🙂

What kind of planners, if any at all, do you use. Digital? Paper? Scratches on the back on an envelope (like my mother!)? Or none at all? I’d love to know!

Sharon Wray is a librarian who once studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris and now writes about the men in her Deadly Force romantic suspense series where ex-Green Berets meet their match in smart, sexy heroines who teach these alpha males that Gracealways defeats Reckoning.

Her acclaimed debut book EVERY DEEP DESIRE, a sexy, action-packed retelling of Romeo and Juliet, is about an ex-Green Beret determined to regain his honor, his freedom, and his wife.

EVERY DEEP DESIRE is available on: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | IndieBound| Kobo|  Google

And adding it to your Goodreads TBR lisis also always appreciated!

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Kathryn Jane says:

    Wow, what a beautiful way to stay organized! I guess I’m lucky that my life is so simple, and all I need is a wall calendar to keep things in order here. But there’s just the hubby and I, in a two room apartment, and he’s fully retired. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sharon Wray says:

      My kids are now in college but I still use all of these planners. I guess I have a lot of worries running around in my head and it’s easier to see it all when it’s laid out on paper. 🙂


  2. Vicki says:

    I have one big planner. The calendar covers two pages. All my life-writing stuff, appointments, travels, blogging, blogging guests, meetings–goes on this book. I use the pages behind the calendar for elaborating, if need be. I also use sticky notes. Lists are put on my desktop next to my laptop. When done, there’s great satisfaction in ripping off. And I write everything with mechanical pencils because I can erase if need be. I’ve done this since college.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sharon Wray says:

      I’m so glad I’m not the only one left who uses pencil and paper! I love sticky notes and lists and mechanical pencils which is why I’d rather go to Staples than the mall! LOL


  3. Reblogged this on Jacquie Biggar-USA Today Best-selling author and commented:

    Are you a planner? Sharon Wray shares some of her favorite planners on the Sisterhood of Suspense #Blog

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sharon Wray says:

      Thank you, Jacquie!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I go between my Google calendar and the Outlook one via my email program, but you tempt me with these pretties 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sharon Wray says:

      Yes, it’s very easy to be tempted by the pretty planners!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey, Sharon. I use my phone entirely now. I used to use a school year calendar and I like the ones with the pages behind the months to make notes on. I love planners and you have some super ones. My deal is I can no longer write legibly enough to read the notes. I was at a meeting yesterday and I took notes on my Surface Pro, but then I had to make a few notes on an agenda. The group laughed and asked if I’d be able to read it later. I said yes, if it wasn’t too much later. While I’ve converted to my iPhone, my husband uses his phone, a wall calendar in our bathroom and his work calendar. My guess he will never go without his paper planners. 🙂 Great post, Sharon. I shared. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sharon Wray says:

      It’s so interesting that you can no longer read your notes because I can’t use my phone because it’s too hard on my eyes. Thank goodness there are all sorts of planner options for every type of person!


  6. Hi Sharon, Impressed by these lovely planners! I’m more of a Plain-Jane girl with a black binder, computer-generated months, and loose leaf.That keeps me organized. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sharon Wray says:

      Just knowing what works for you is half the battle! It’s taken me years to realize I’m just not a digital planner even though I live in a digital world! I’m so glad you have a system that works for you!


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