Getting organized: paper or plastic?

I love organization, possibly to a fault. My planner has every single task and appointment in it by hour, my desk is covered thoughtfully studded in to-do lists, and I have a spreadsheet for almost everything in my life (dream projects, class grades for each semester, budgets, you name it).

Every year, I go through the same dilemma: should I change the way I organize? It takes just one task that doesn’t get addressed, one appointment missed, or confronting a huge pile of paper to-do lists. For me, it usually happens in the middle of a busy semester. I feel a little guilty using a paper planner and paper to-do lists to organize my days, reasoning that it’s a waste of paper when other electronic resources are available. Every year I ask myself: should I switch over to electronic?

Which option is right for me?

There are a ton of methods available for organization: paper planners, electronic calendars, mind-mapping programs, electronic note-taking programs. Although it’s awesome to have so many resources available, it can be intimidating and overwhelming, too. When considering options, it may be useful to think about the advantages and disadvantages.


I’ve bounced around between a bunch of organizational methods. Here’s what I’ve learned: there is no right, wrong or perfect way to organize, but there might be a pretty excellent method (or combination of methods) for every person.

What you do use?

What kinds of organizational methods do you use? Do you feel it’s working for you?  Let us know in the polls below. We’ll showcase the results and present some tips for staying organized in a blog post next week!

2 thoughts on “Getting organized: paper or plastic?

  1. Natalie Rich September 5, 2013 / 8:04 pm

    I am a recent convert to electronic calendars and to-do lists, and I must admit I really love it! It took me awhile to get used to, but now I can’t imagine not having my color-coded Google calendar with reminders…


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