Monday, October 4, 2021

Why I Switched to a Digital Planner (And the Tool I’m Most Excited About)

Paper planner

Planner lovers, let’s talk about going digital. 
I used to be a paper planner person. I’d write everything I needed to do in today's slot, then rewrite it the next day if I didn’t get it done (and the next, and the next). And if I super needed to stay on task, I’d make a sticky note and put that on my monitor. You know, next to all the other sticky notes. 
So far, so good. But you can guess what happened when I missed a deadline or forgot to move something over. I hate that sinking feeling when I realize the report I’m wrapping up today was actually promised to my client yesterday. Yikes. After recovering from a mild freak-out, I’d be stuck flipping through pages until I spotted whatever I was looking for...if I ever found it, that is.
Then there were the days I forgot to bring my planner with me! When I got to work, I’d struggle to remember everything I had to do that day. Or, if I left it at work at the end of the day, I’d think of work items I wanted to add to my to-do list...but I wouldn’t have my planner to write it down! Back to the sticky note pile. 

I needed my life to be simpler. 

Take it from someone who knows your pain - a digital planner is so. Much. Better.





Let your digital planner remember the details for you

With a digital setup, everything I need is stored in one place I can access from anywhere. I can make my to-do list, set project deadlines, choose my reminders, then go about my day stress-free. 

Storing everything in an online system frees up mental space so I can focus on other things and not have to worry about whether I’m forgetting something crucial. And since I can see my tasks on my calendar right away and get reminders right in my email inbox, it’s easy to relax throughout the day and not worry about what I could be missing. 

Person relaxing with laptop


Don’t get lost. Stay organized and find exactly what you’re looking for

Using a digital system makes finding your tasks a walk in the park. I use tags to categorize my work and quickly find what I need. I click the “VP Pitch” tag and see every task related to the big presentation due in two weeks. Instead of flipping through my planner and frantically skimming my notes to find the items I need, I can just pop “presentation” into the search bar and watch the miracle of the internet at work. Or, I can create custom searches, like when my next meetings are or prep that’s still needed for that sales pitch coming up. 

Digital planner on laptop showing GQueues

It’s like my paper planner, but with fewer scribbled notes, and way less scrambling to find what I need. 


Access everything you need right at your fingertips

When using my paper planner, working with important online files was tricky. I’d make a memo to prep for a presentation, but without the due date or extra notes for context, I often found myself asking the same questions over and over: Where did I save the spreadsheet for that report? Wait, is this file for the low-key presentation I need to give next week, or the VP one next month? 

Person holding a paper and using laptop

When you go digital, you can easily attach files right onto a task, which means no more racing thoughts trying to keep track of which documents were for which item. Just attach the file, make any edits, and walk away trusting everything is right where it should be.


Easily rearrange your schedule to stay flexible when life happens 

If you’re like me and used the blank pages in the back of your planner to jot down daydreams, brainstorm new ideas, or organize thoughts about the projects you’re working on, you want a solution that’s even more flexible. 

With a digital planner, you can put all your ideas down in one place and drag and drop them into different lists. You have the freedom to explore ideas and try different things, without running out of blank space. 

And when you set dates on something and need to reschedule, there’s no need to cross anything off. Just update the due date and move on. For me, this is huge considering how full my schedule gets.

Someone on the phone and using laptop


Make sharing your work even easier

When working with teammates, it’s best to share your work in an online tool they can engage with themselves. Sending a confusing spreadsheet with a long email explaining how everything works isn’t ideal. 

Create a folder for your team and assign tasks with attached Docs for them to review, links to relevant websites, and any other crucial details so they know what to expect. They can check off the items themselves, saving unnecessary emails back and forth. Everyone’s still in the loop, and it all gets done. 

Team working from multiple devices showing same information


Get rid of the clutter and focus on what’s most important 

Back in my paper planner days, I spent too much time double-checking dates, flipping back and forth between pages, and re-reading notes-to-self to make sure I was getting everything done. My daytimer used to be filled with scrawled notes, whiteout, sticky notes, markups, loose pages, and highlights. It was hard to concentrate with all the disorder pulling my attention in all directions. 

I thought I was being organized, but it was more like controlled chaos….Well, really just chaos.

Now that I’ve gone digital, my categorized lists show me what I need to know, like everything due today, overdue, or “priority level midnight,” all with just a few clicks. When I focus on what needs my attention right now, I can manage multiple projects at once and not get overwhelmed by a bunch of haphazardly arranged information scattered in my notebook. 

Person using digital planner on their laptop


How should you choose a digital planner?

There are lots of different planner apps out there to help you stay organized online. You want to find one that fits the way you work so when you’re online planning your day, it feels effortless to navigate. 

It’s also important to find a digital planner that works with the online tools you already use so you can easily transition. Choosing something that works with what you know will help your new digital planning routine stick. For example, if you’re using Outlook for email, it’s useful to find something that syncs with your Microsoft account. There are plenty of options available you can find with a quick search on the web.


Does Google have a digital planner? 

If you’re used to using Google apps, you might be asking this question. Switching between all Google’s apps for digital planning is okay if you’re a fan of tracking lots of things from lots of places. But there’s a better way to work. Yes, you can put your to-do lists in Tasks, communicate with your team with Gmail, track your work in Calendar, organize data in Sheets, save all the things in Drive, and switch back and forth between them as you go, but imagine a digital planner that did all that from one place. That’s where GQueues comes in.

Using a digital planner that integrates with Google means less time switching between multiple apps. Migrate your Tasks to GQueues and sync with Google to access all your data from one location - Sheets, Docs, Slides, the whole shabang. And you can save extra steps by creating tasks directly from your emails in Gmail. GQueues even syncs with your Calendar. Add your tasks for the week, set their deadlines, add reminders, and poof! Automatic syncing takes care of the rest. Not exactly possible with paper planners.

Laptop displaying GQueues and Gmail

It’s time to level up your life and go digital. 

If GQueues sounds like the way to go, you can sign up for a free two-week trial to see if it fits your digital planner needs:


After two weeks, if you decide digital planners still aren’t your thing, you can always go right back to lugging the ‘ol paper planner around wherever you go. 


Trying new things can be scary, but don’t fear. Send us a chat and anyone from the customer care team will be happy to help you out! 😊

 

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