4 Myths About Paper-Planner Planning

By Alicia Cohen

Let me be honest for a moment here.  I used to think that I shouldn’t use a paper planner.  I thought paper planners were antiquated and clunky.  Well...I have seen the light!  A paper planner makes ALL. THE. DIFFERENCE. and is an important tool for intentional planning.  Today, I’m going to debunk some myths about using a paper planner as part of your planning system. Let's jump in!


(Ok, wait. Are you saying, "But, Alicia! I'm good! I'm already sold on paper planners!"? Then look no further and click the button below to get started with your FREE roadmap that takes you through my method step-by-step!)

Myth #1: I’m modern and tech-savvy.  Therefore, I don’t need a paper planner, and besides, I shouldn’t mix digital planning and paper planning.


I see you there tech-savvy mama! You do everything on your phone, and why not?! Phones are super convenient and can hold a TON of useful information and tools. We're not getting rid of our phones. In fact, our phones are still an important part of the process of intentional planning. The difference is that it's important to use a paper planner, even for the most tech-savvy among us. (Note: There is an exception to this. There's an option to use a paper planner but in a digital format like on a tablet. However, I won't be covering digital planners in this post. The important takeaway here is to be using a planner where you physically write down and map out EVERYTHING, whether that be by pen, by pencil, or by digital pen!)


So, why a paper planner in addition to our phones? Our phones are great tools for housing things like: our calendars, our lists, our ongoing brain dump, etc., but then, it's really important for us to have a place to map out (a.k.a. plan!) all of these different pieces. We need a two-page spread to design our days, and we need to be able to easily flip forward and backwards in time for creating our lives in an intentional, meaningful way. Phones just don't afford us this opportunity. If you want to do intentional planning effectively, then being able to see everything laid out in front of you is going to be crucial to your success!  Research has shown that our brains just do better with the act of physically writing something down.  So, for something as important as crafting the life you want to live, implementing paper planning is going to be a game changer!


Myth #2: Paper planners are for people who like stickers, colorful pens, and have beautiful handwriting.


I thought this, too, or maybe it's more accurate to say that I wanted this. I thought pretty stickers and colored pens would be fun, but what I found was that they just took up time and distracted me from the additional time I could be spending on planning (or doing something else!). Now, if you love using stickers and colored pens and they serve you, please don't stop! If stickers and colored pens bring you joy and enhance your planning process, then keep doing what works! I love seeing the beautiful planners with the stickers and the washi tape and the colored handwriting and ALL of the beautiful planning things! What I discovered for my method is that when I keep my planning simple, then I am more efficient and save time. (Can I get an "Amen!" for saving time, planner-mamas??) It's just what works for me and therefore, what I teach!


Also, I want to say that I don't have the type of handwriting that you look at and say, "Wow! Someone should make her handwriting a font!" I wish I did, but it's just not my skill set. My handwriting does the job. Again, I love seeing planners where everything is written in the most gorgeous handwriting that you would think a calligrapher must have written that planner! These planners look like works of art to me! But, I'm here to tell you today that if your handwriting doesn't look like a masterpiece, you're not alone! And, beyond that, it's not necessary! Would we like to have beautiful handwriting? Sure! That would be lovely! However, is it necessary for my method of intentional planning? Absolutely not! (By the way, if you are one of those lucky individuals who happens to have handwriting from heaven, then I will gladly look at your planner with all the feelings of the emoji with the heart eyes!)


Ok, so are you with me now? Can you see how we are going for practical and effective over beautiful and time-consuming? 


Myth #3: Paper planning includes just calendar events and a to-do list.


Nope!  Calendar events and a to-do list are included as PART of intentional planning on paper, but the planning method that I teach is far more comprehensive.  If you are running around exhausted and you are baffled how it’s possible to be working so hard and feeling like you’re getting nowhere, I get it!  I’ve been there!  There are essential pieces missing from your planning system that are preventing you from having the outcome that you’re seeking.  For example, getting clear on your current season in your life is really important to having a planning system that works.  (Quick plug!  Have you signed up for my Sync Your Season Workshop yet?)  And, while on the topic of seasons in your life, this brings us to our final myth…


Myth #4: The way I use my paper planner will look the same all the time.


This myth definitely needs some busting!  Intentional planning is an approach that is comprehensive, functional, and DYNAMIC!  We don’t live static lives.  We live dynamic lives.  As such, we don’t plan statically.  We plan dynamically!  One of the primary ways that we intentionally plan our dynamic lives is through the regular use of life-season reflection.  By getting clear on our current seasons of our lives, we can then use this information to determine how we plan and what we plan.  For example, how and what you plan will look different when you’re pregnant compared to when you’re chasing the baby around the house because she just learned how to walk (and therefore how to get into new stuff you had no idea was possible to get into, even though you baby proofed your entire house!)  Similarly, how and what you plan will look different when it’s the holiday season or soccer tournament season or even kids-are-home-on-summer-break season!  So, as you can see, these different seasons of life will naturally necessitate that the way you plan will definitely not look that same all the time -- in fact, it can’t!  If you want to live a life that feels calm and meaningful, then you have to plan in such a way that allows for flexing and flowing through all of the different seasons that you go through!


Ok, so...are we all on the same page now? Intentional planning will best happen when we're using a hybrid of paper planning and digital planning and it doesn't have to be pretty! Furthermore, our intentional planning will contain many elements, including taking a good look at seasons, that allow for our system to be meaningful, functional, and comprehensive. So, now you are ready to get cracking! Click below to download my FREE roadmap that will take you through the steps you need to start creating the calm, meaningful, in-control life you've been dreaming of!


Heeeey, Sweet Sister!  I'm Alicia, and I'm so excited that you're here!  I love a lot of things in life, but at the top of my list are my wonderful husband, my two precious kids, and helping other planner-mamas get back their joy and peace in life through intentional, functional planning!


Are you feeling frazzled?  Stuck?  Overwhelmed?  Exhausted?  I get it.  I've been there.  It would be my privilege to help you create a new reality for yourself!


​Click below to get started with my step-by-step guide!