Digital VS Paper: Pros & Cons

When we are all so busy, keeping track of our diaries and schedules can be a nightmare! Some people prefer paperless and some prefer a good old fashioned pen and paper diary. Whilst there is no right or wrong, here are some pointers to help find out what works best for you…


We are in a time where digitizing our lives is the norm and even in our personal lives we’re beginning to keep schedules and dates on our phones. Where we used to mark dates on a paper calendar hanging on the wall, as mobile technology has moved forward so has our planning.

Firstly and simply, everyone has a phone now. It’s easy to carry and its light so there are no bulky items in your bag. Nor do you have to worry about rifling for a pen to write in your diary. The ability to link things in your phone is also fantastic as you can schedule multiple contacts in for the same meeting or deadline, with the added bonus of not running out of space on your phone (compared to a piece of paper or page) allowing you to plan more complicated weeks and events with multiple attendees.

A digital ‘companion’ will help for those frustrating times when having to reschedule. Unless you have a rubber or tipex handy, crossing out things in your diary will always be annoying not least because it looks scruffy. With the development of cloud based tech it is easy to find meetings made for you whilst on the go. Colleagues in your office can schedule meetings and appointments for you, allowing you to focus on finalising the sale or preparing for the next meeting.

Our phones and digital devices can access a wide array of information that can be crucial in times of need. An email with key information can be found with relative ease and can help with a customer query or deliver the most up to date information.

Digital devices do have their flaws however and these cannot be ignored. Those of us who like to take notes will find that note taking on a tablet is more time consuming and tedious. You could take in a paper pad and pen but that then defeats the object of having your tablet in said meeting.

The more critical flaws are that digital devices, like any technology, can be hacked, lost, or crash. Any of these can happen at any time. The saving grace is that the cloud can back up your data, however with recent hacks into cloud services this can be a potential pitfall.


The traditionalists among us will always support the idea of a paper diary and schedule. The simple idea of writing something down while important, some find crucial to their way of working. The fact that it won’t run out of battery in itself is a simple point but a poignant one and it’s easy to see that flipping between dates and times in a paper diary is much quicker than on a phone or tablet when you’re in a hurry.

Certain diaries will enable you to write notes in the same page as the calendar day. This means you can link notes to that specific event rather than trawl through your notes you made separately and piece them together at a later date saving valuable time. Its also easy to see that diaries and planners are much more customizable and can be organized to suit your needs and work style. If you need a monthly page at the opening of your planner you can put one there. If you want to put a daily reminder page in, you can. Its your planner, make it yours.

What about cost? A diary is 10 times cheaper to use and in some cases maintain than a phone or tablet. If you drop your diary its unlikely to break, crack, or require expensive repairs. At worst, you may need a new pen.

As with anything there are drawbacks, where the digital device has near infinite space, the diary does not. It will run out of space if you have the incorrect size or if you are just organising too much and as we mentioned, rescheduling a diary is a nightmare unless you can erase things neatly.

Lastly, if you are not as neat and tidy as you would like you might find your planner will eventually look illegible and unreadable. While this may not be an issue at first glance, remember you need to remain professional in front on your clients.

In conclusion, there is no right answer. The way we work and who we are dictates how we will schedule our lives. Some may not be comfortable with digitizing their life just as some will not be able to cope with writing things down all the time.

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