Paper vs. Digital Planners

As digital devices and media have become ubiquitous in the classroom, data and research on their effectiveness has been building and the trend is clear. In her recent article Naomi S. Baron, Professor of Linguistics Emerita, American University answers the questions, "Is comprehension the same whether a person reads a text onscreen or on paper? And are listening and viewing content as effective as reading the written word when covering the same material?" Her findings prove definitively that paper is superior for learning. This is supported by a recent study published by the NIH that concludes children's attention is overloaded when exposed to screens and results in lower attention and diminished comprehension. Check out the 5 advantages of paper planners based on the research.

"The collective research shows that digital media have common features and user practices that can constrain learning. These include diminished concentration, an entertainment mindset, a propensity to multitask, lack of a fixed physical reference point, reduced use of annotation and less frequent reviewing of what has been read, heard or viewed." ~ Naomi S. Baron

Writing helps you learn and remember

Students who write out notes have a deeper understanding of the material and tend to score higher on tests. Writing forces the brain to engage in different cognitive processing, which fosters comprehension and retention.


Paper is faster

Most times, a planner can be flipped open to the exact day or month before a digital device can be navigated to the correct app.


See your schedule at a glance

Weekly and monthly formats in planners allow you to see the big picture of your schedule, cross off tasks, see priorities, and quickly glance at what’s left. Most digital apps force you to swipe, scroll, or pinch to see all of your schedule details.


Custom planning options

Paper planners can be customized with your unique organization system. Sticky notes, highlighting, sketches, stickers, and more make your planner a personal expression of who you are.


Mindful planning

Planning your schedule on a digital device can cause a myriad of distractions, including social media alerts, email notifications, texts, and more. When writing in a planner, you are focusing your mind on one purpose – planning.


Sources: Why do we remember more by reading in print vs. on a screen?, Naomi S. Baron, Professor of Linguistics Emerita, American University, Big Think; Take Notes by Hand for Better Long-Term Comprehension, Pam Mueller, Psychological Science and Scientific American; Print vs. Digital: Another Emotional Win for Paper, Temple University, Neuroscience Marketing; Higher theta-beta ratio during screen-based vs. printed paper is related to lower attention in children: An EEG study, NIH, National Library of Medicine - Pub Med Central.