In November 2015 I decided to try something new … a paper planner! I picked the widely recommended Hobonichi Techo. The planner doesn’t disappoint, it’s exactly the right format to take everywhere, offers thin but fountain pen friendly paper and looks good on almost every desk. But now in August 2016 I have to assert that I gave up on it.
When I started using the Techo I thought it would be a good fit because I already carry a pocket notebook with me, which eliminated the need to send myself emails to write things down. I wanted to de-digitalize my planning as well, which worked reasonably well for a few months. The reason why I stopped using the Techo in May was not that I gave up on note taking, but that using a paper planner is cumbersome in comparison to using Google Calendar, at least for me.
Google Calendar is on my smartphone, therefore always in my pocket, instead of just in my bag, it syncs with my computer, enables color coding without the need to carry multiple pens, allows for shared calendars, event invites, reminders, recurring events and most importantly: Multiple views. Having a weekly or monthly view to “zoom out to” is very valuable when a quick glance on the schedule is needed, for example at the start of the week or when making appointments. That said … the development of long term plans still happens on paper and oftentimes I copy appointments from my calendar into my notebook and mix them with tasks to plan the day.
The learning: Try different things, find out what works and if it does, use it, if not, go back to established working ways before maybe trying something else in the future.