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Why Buy a Paper Planner in the Digital Age? Part 4: Zen and The Art of Planning

Scott Brown

This post is part of an ongoing series entitled Why Buy a Paper Planner in the Digital Age.

Check out our previous entries:

“I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.” Henry David Thoreau

I do my best planning outdoors. Tree-filled settings fill me with a calm and clarity that I never quite feel indoors, no matter how I arrange my workspace or arrange for extended periods of solitude. Since these are qualities that make for the most rewarding planning sessions, it's no surprise that the outdoors supercharges my planning experience.

Maybe you acheive the same level of clarity at the beach, a garden, or a mountaintop. The point is that we cherish these mindstates. We voluntarily get "lost" in them (a deceptive term since we are often more "present" in those moments than we are in traffic or scrolling on our phones), and after experiencing these mindstates we often feel refreshed, ready to get back to "the real world."

As screens, email, and social media continue to take over our more and more of our lives for better or for worse, people are hungry for ways to find these same mindstates in their day-to-day lives where mountain climbing isn't usually an option. These invariably involves quieting the mind and selectively engaging it in some task. This is why adults buy coloring books. Meditation has the same benefits (among others). Exercise offers this as well.

The common quality among these "stolen moments" is that they are all analog with technology relegated to a supporting role (music while exercising, following a meditation app, etc.), One's activity is happening in the real world, performed by your body, on a physical object. It's an engagement with the world outside of our phones.

I've written previously about how planning apps will almost always leave you unsatisfied with the features that it offers, but even if you were somehow able to find the perfect app for your planning preferences, planning with a paper planner offers you a chance to start your day engaging mind and body in the planning process.

 

This post is part of an ongoing series entitled Why Buy a Paper Planner in the Digital Age. Read part 5 here!


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