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How To Use Planners And Apps Together

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Picture of a planner on the left and a phone on the right with arrows going back and forwards between them.

Planners and apps together – Introduction

Sometimes it feels like it is paper planning vs app!

You absolutely can’t do both!

In the top left there is an image of a planner. In the bottom right there is an image of a phone. The title in the middle says: using planners and apps together

But is that true? Absolutely not. I believe that a hybrid planning system can work really well if you work out what system works best for you. The key to a successful organising system is the result – that it successfully organises us. 

One planning system that I heard about was a friend of mine, who writes things she needs to remember on a Post-it note and she sticks the notes she makes to cups that are hanging in the kitchen. That way, she sees them regularly and since they are in the way when she wants to use a cup, it motivates her to get the thing done. 

If you really feel like planners are not for you, try:

10 Ways To Stay Organized Without A Planner

Now let’s get into how to use paper & device planning together..

The background

Before discovering dot grid notebooks and planners I was continually trying out different apps, and planners, but they never met with my needs. My husband is a programmer, so the best option I could find was asking him to create an app for me that was designed exactly for me. He unfortunately, never got around to creating said app. It turns out to be more complicated than I realised. So, I pretty much resigned myself to the fact that the right organising system for me didn’t exist anywhere..I end up with the same feeling when shopping for pretty much anything….what is in my head – doesn’t exist!

Then I found dot grid notebooks, or bullet journals! Yay, I can design what I need myself in an easy way on paper. I got creative with art, I enjoyed the time I spent making my own spreads for me. Perfect!….Nope!!!!! Yet again, I realised a downfall. My bujo planner is too heavy to carry around everywhere I go, and yet there are times when I am out and about that I need lists and notes. So, I needed an adjustment.

Using my phone to plan

So, let me tell you what apps I introduced into my life for keeping me organised on the go, when I am away from my bujo planner. I should mention I have an apple phone. There are some things that I like to track the time I am spending on that thing..for that I use an app called ‘Time Clock‘. Then as I go through my week, I add up these times in my planner, so for adding times together I use ‘Hours & Minutes calc lite‘.

The app I use most often is for my lists. [I do love a good list, lol.] I use it for wish lists, shopping lists and I also put my daily to do list here as well. The app is called ‘Kitchen Wall‘. It doesn’t have a repeat function, but other than that, it’s perfect. I love that for the house wish lists and shopping lists, I can easily add my husband to join these lists. That way we can both do the shopping without having to keep checking in with each other about what we need to get.

The other feature of this app that I love is…in the morning I go through my bujo planner and see what I need to do. As I find things, I just keep adding them to the app. Then when I have got all my tasks for the day, I can easily reorder them to suit the order that I will do them in the day. No more scanning lists to see what is the next thing to do. I can just briefly look and move straight into the next task. One last thing…for my wish lists..we generally have a budget each month for clothes and house stuff. So, I look at what money we have in the budget, look at what is on the wish list and move the most important things to the top and change the colour, so I know, that is what I am planning to buy this month.

These are the main apps I use on the go.

But I have some other helpful apps too..

For quick entry of events and things connected to a certain day I use a simple but fantastic app called ‘D’i’ary‘. For more general notes, and regular journaling I use ‘UpWord‘, I love that you can have colour coded files with this app. 

Using paper to plan

There are some things I use paper for regularly – and don’t think I will change.

I use paper to plan my meals for the week. This way I can pin it somewhere where both myself and my husband can easily see it.

Picture of a weekly meal plan with the days of the week down the left. There are a few veggies placed on top.

I also use paper as a diary to have a written record of what has happened each and every day. I use a 5 year diary like this one.

Paper & device planning – Conclusion

I am a big fan of using paper and phone to plan. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.

There are so many options out there!

I realise that the apps I use are not the most usual popular organising apps, so I wanted to share them with you to let you see the many options available. Of course, I continue to love my bujo planner, and will always use it, but now I have figured a way to marry paper and technology together in a way that keeps me happily organized!

Hope you find a hybrid planning system that works for you too. If you have, let me know, by leaving me a comment. Happy planning! 👋

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