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Five benefits to going digital

Hey there and welcome to the Paperless By P Blog! Expect to see posts full of tips, and tricks to do with going paperless. To get started, today I'll be detailing my top five benefits of going digital. These are the ones that have impacted me the most and that I think you will appreciate. Let's get into it!

1. Plan anywhere and everywhere

If you have been researching digital planning this is probably the millionth time you have heard this, but hear me out. This benefit applies in two contexts, the first of which being the ability to sync between devices. This was obvious to me when I first started and I honestly wasn’t too excited about it, but it took me starting to realise how important and helpful it is. When using cloud-based services like Good Notes and OneNote, all your documents are on all your devices. This means that you can spend hours on your spread at home on your iPad and then open it up on your phone anytime and anywhere without ‘bulking’ the iPad around (still better than carrying a paper planner around if you ask me). Another example of this could be if you were using OneNote to study and wrote up and extensive revision sheet on your laptop at home. You can then access that on your phone or iPad for some last minute cramming before the exam. I have done this way too many times over- trust me, it is handy. This also applies in a physical context. You can make a full-blown spread, study sheet, sticker book or list literally anywhere. Say hello to planning while huddled up in blankets!

2. Copy and paste spreads

I haven’t heard this one talked about nearly as much as it needs to be, and when I first found out about it my mind was blown. In most digital planning programs, you have the ability to copy and paste spreads between planners. Cool, but what practical benefits does this provide? Whilst this might not be something you use every day, when you run into a situation in which you need it you’ll be happy that it’s there. The most common of these would be simply doing your spread on the wrong page. Whether it be the wrong week, wrong month, or even in the wrong planner, this can happen more than you would think (especially if you’re switching between planners or use an undated one). Or let’s say you had a sticker kit that you were saving for a certain week. Maybe it’s because of something that's happening that week, or it's seasonal. Long story short- it would look pretty dumb on any other week. It comes time to make that spread and you start it off, but with another kit! About halfway through you realise and panic. Do you finish it off, try and rip the stickers off, or just scrap that week altogether? When digital, this isn’t a problem. Just lasso that sucker off and you’re good to go! Also, if you aren’t yet familiar with digital planning, here’s how you do it in Good Notes:

- Select the lasso tool. Make sure that is set to select text, images and handwriting.

- Lasso around your spread, making sure that everything is selected.

- From there, either cut, copy or delete.

3. Way more opportunities to DIY

With all the drawing, cutting, writing and pasting involved in paper planning, DIY comes straight to mind; however, when digital the opportunities for DIY are endless. This is due to the minimal resources required to make something. For example, if you wanted to make your own physical planner you would need some program to design all your pages, a way of printing a whole lot of paper, a way to bind it, and all the money to acquire these materials. To make a digital planner, all you need is a program like keynote (free with all mac computers) and you’re set. It is also much easier to make stickers. No printer, no sticker paper, no cutting machines. Digitally, all a sticker is literally any image file. That photo of your family on vacation- already a sticker. Just paste it in and you’re golden. I can go on for hours.

4. Less costly

Before you attack me with the sky prices of iPads and apple pencils, hear me out. Imagine the cumulative price of paper planning. A planner for around $30-$80, sticker kits at $20 per week, washi tape rolls at around $4 a pop, a $20 planner pouch, pens in every colour and thickness possible, planner charms (a solid $5 minimum), pencil cases, extra covers (around $10 each) and the list goes on. Keep in mind also that weeks pass and pens run out, so these costs are ongoing. Once you take the nosedive of getting a device to plan on (many people already have these at home), the costs of add-ons within digital planning are pretty minimal. Want a charm? Grab a download for it and you’re good to go. Additionally, digital planners don't need to be printed or bound so they are loads cheaper. You can also easily make your own, or use one of the countless freebie planners (I offer some so check out my freebie library). If you’re still not convinced, remember that you can’t watch movies, check the time or text on your paper planner.

5. Practicality

Once you get used to all the re-sizing, link clicking and cropping, the true practicality of going paperless starts to shine. As mentioned previously, spreads can be cut, copied, pasted or deleted. Also, throw away your white-out and undo, because the eraser tool has your back. Digital planning is perfect if you’re prone to making oopsies from time to time. Further, you have page management, shape tools, assisted drawing, streamlining and lasso tools consistently making paperless planning a consistent, practical and streamlined experience.

If I haven’t yet convinced you to even consider going paperless as an option for you, then I don’t know what to say. Going paperless has completely transformed the way I plan, work and approach tasks, and I really hope it can do the same for you.

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