Review of My Digital Planner

The past 8 months I have been using my tablet as a planner. I have to admit it was a bit strange and not so easy to transition to. But, things have really worked out nicely.

I use my tablet to take notes in class and also take notes in meetings. It syncs nicely to the cloud, where I can retrieve all my notes on my laptop. But, I have the ability to take all my notes, todo’s etc… with me on my tablet.  And if I don’t want to bring the tablet I still have access on my phone.  I’m going to go back to my initial post, Moving To A Tablet As A Planner and go down section by section for an update on what I do.

These are the apps I had listed before to use, with updates to how I used it or if things have changed.

Calendar & Email – I still use Google Calendar for all everything I need to schedule. I have several calendars I maintain. I have also added a few of my friend’s calendar as well. It’s been great because of the syncability to all devices. The only frustration I had, was that it took a long time to schedule a calendar entry. Click the plus sign, add the title then change the time. It seems like it was much easier to just jot it down as a quick note. But, I have recently purchased the Galaxy S5. Like the tablet there is something called the S Voice. And now if I need to quickly write down a calendar entry, I activate S Voice and tell it to add an item to my calendar. Now, when I need to, I can quickly add calendar entries.

Notes – I have been using OneNote for everything. I have several “notebooks”. One for work, one for class, one for personal stuff. And they’re all accessible on all platforms. The only bad thing is recently, work has really limited access online.  I no longer have access to my OneNotes on the cloud. For work, I use my tablet in meetings then sync to my work OneNote. That way I always have historical detail for notes. Considering that a lot of things change, at times I do need to understand how things have changed and why. The notes are searchable and work great in that manner. There’s also a feature where I could add “To Do” items in a meeting, then at a later time do a search and all the “To Do’s” from that day will be organized nicely on one page with a quick link back to it’s original source. I can’t talk enough about how awesome OneNote is. But, not having the ability to sync, I’m having to figure out an alternative to get my notes into OneNote. I may need to send myself emails. I still have access to Google, so that might be an option. Not sure yet as this just happened this week.

Task List – For work, I use OneNote to track any task / to do list items. It’s very organized. For personal use, I like Google Tasks and GTasks. GTasks also has an add a quick note feature along with using voice to take down tasks items. I am currently looking at WeeklyPlan. It’s a way to plan the week and prioritize tasks in a goal oriented manner. Right now I need something to help me with working on my task list. I’ve just added another area to my work, so I have more responsibilities that I need to manage. I normally use my calendar to book time to work on my task list, but that hasn’t been working lately.

Project Planner – I really never got around to using a project planner. I’m not really sure if I need something to plan out my projects. I think OneNote would probably be fine.

Lists | Database – I am still using Memento Database. But, I’m no longer using the free version. I went ahead and purchased a key. It’s a great little database and perfect for keeping track of everything I need to keep track of. I have my apothecary as a database. So, I have my dried herbs and tinctures listed along with amounts I have left. It keeps me from double buying. And if I want to create something rather quickly I can look at my list and see what I’m missing. I also use it as a tarot journal. I jot down my daily card pulls along with quick spreads. I can easily go back to any question and review what I had pulled.

Pinterest – So far no Facebook on my tablet. But, I did add one game.

Recipe | Cookbook – I haven’t really found something. I haven’t used Pepperplate. I think if I ever get that organized it’s going to a huge project.

Prior to writing this article, I actually was reading a few articles for paper planners vs. digital planners. I think there are some misconceptions about digital planners. I wanted to walk through a few of them.

1.) Misconception: It’s better to write things down, than to type. Tablets, even the iPad, have a handwriting option now. I actually write a lot of my notes instead of typing them.  For everything that goes into my Tablet,I write it in. I don’t type. At times recognizing the words I’m writing isn’t perfect. But, it forces me to write nicer. And if I don’t want my notes to be automatically updated to write my words out into text, I can turn off that feature and have sloppy handwriting like any normal planner.

2.) Misconception: It takes sometime to jot down a note, or a calendar entry. As I mentioned earlier. There are voice activated options. I’m sure Siri can assist in taking down notes or booking appointments like the S Voice. If not, Google has an integrated feature that will do the same.

3.) Misconception: You can’t customize the planner pages. Yes you can. If you use OneNote you draw like you would your planner. You can add images to a page. If you wanted to, you can really customize the way something looks. And if you don’t like OneNote, you can customize S Note on the Galaxy. I believe there are options for the iPad, but I’m not very familiar with those. 🙂

The last note I’d like to make is that there is a complaint that there is a learning curve to working a tablet. And I agree, of course there is. But, if you don’t push yourself to learn new things than you’re not growing. The older we get the less likely we want to push ourselves to try something new. It becomes a process. I say, this shouldn’t be a complaint, we should look at learning something new as enjoyment. Makes me think we’re getting too lazy with instant gratification.

I’m not saying paper is bad. I’m actually thinking about carrying a mixed planner where I have my digital source and also a paper alternative. Only because of my syncing issues. But, we’ll see. Maybe I’ll go back to a paper planner or move forward with a mixed planner.

What do you use? Paper or Digital Planner?


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