I’ve seen this subject discussed a few times in the planner and bullet journal community. Can you use planners and apps together?
It seems that some end up switching backwards and forwards between apps and paper planners and then there are some who use half and half. Really, there isn’t a right or wrong way to organise ourselves. The key to a successful organising system is the result – that it successfully organises us.
That means that every individual will hopefully have a unique system just for them. One that I heard about was a friend of mine, who writes things she needs to remember on a Post-it note and she sticks the notes she makes to cups that are hanging in the kitchen. That way, she sees them regularly and since they are in the way when she wants to use a cup, it motivates her to get the thing done.
Before discovering dot grid notebooks and planners I was continually trying out different apps, and planners, but they never met with my needs. My husband is a programmer, so the best option I could find was asking him to create an app for me that was designed exactly for me. He unfortunately, never got around to creating said app. It turns out to be more complicated than I realised. So, I pretty much resigned myself to the fact that the right organising system for me didn’t exist anywhere..I end up with the same feeling when shopping for pretty much anything….what is in my head – doesn’t exist!
Then I found dot grid notebooks, or bullet journals! Yay, I can design what I need myself in an easy way on paper. I got creative with art, I enjoyed the time I spent making my own spreads for me. Perfect!….Nope!!!!! Yet again, I realised a downfall. My bujo planner is too heavy to carry around everywhere I go, and yet there are times when I am out and about that I need lists and notes. So, I needed an adjustment.
So, let me tell you what apps I introduced into my life for keeping me organised on the go, when I am away from my bujo planner. I should mention I have an apple phone. [This is completely non-sponsored. See below for a picture of all the apps I mention] There are some things that I like to track the time I am spending on that thing..for that I use an app called ‘worktime tracker‘. Then as I go through my week, I add up these times in my planner, so for adding times together I use ‘hours & minutes calc lite‘.
For quick entry of events and things connected to a certain day I use a simple but fantastic app called ‘D’i’ary‘. For more general notes, and regular journaling I use ‘UpWord‘, I love that you can have colour coded files with this app.
Finally, the app I use most often is for my lists. [I do love a good list, lol.] I use it for wish lists, shopping lists and I also put my daily to do list here as well. The app is called ‘Kitchen Wall‘. It doesn’t have a repeat function, but other than that, it’s perfect. I love that for the house wish lists and shopping lists, I can easily add my husband to join these lists. That way we can both do the shopping without having to keep checking in with each other about what we need to get. The other feature of this app that I love is…in the morning I go through my bujo planner and see what I need to do. As I find things, I just keep adding them to the app. Then when I have got all my tasks for the day, I can easily reorder them to suit the order that I will do them in the day. No more scanning lists to see what is the next thing to do. I can just briefly look and move straight into the next task. One last thing…for my wish lists..we generally have a budget each month for clothes and house stuff. So, I look at what money we have in the budget, look at what is on the wish list and move the most important things to the top and change the colour, so I know, that is what I am planning to buy this month.
There are so many options out there, but I realise that the apps I use are not the most usual popular organising apps, so I wanted to share them with you to let you see the many options available. Of course, I continue to love my bujo planner, and will always use it, but now I have figured a way to marry paper and technology together in a way that keeps me happily organised! Hope you find a system that works for you too. If you have, let me know, by leaving me a comment. Happy planning! 👋