Digital Versus Analog: The Struggle is Real

by Amy Graham

Summer 2018

I was born before the internet, before computers, before the iPhone. When I needed to remember something, I wrote it down on a piece of paper or in a notebook.  I learned to do that from my parents, my teachers, my grandparents, all of whom were also born before today’s technology.

I grew up loving stationery, paper and ephemera.  Not only do I love the feel and texture of it, but even the smells and scents of it all.  Cracking open a brand-new book and smelling that ink, combined with the paper is almost magical to me.

I love getting a fresh pack of pencils or pens. They’ve never been written with, no one else has put their words through them. Again…Magic. So, as I sit here, surfing the internet to find the perfect paper insert to track my current healthy goals in, the irony is not lost.

I have literally lost days to this search. I want to track the Whole Life Challenge 7 Daily Habits and my progress in one paper insert, but because its an online challenge, there’s NOTHING out there that’s analog. Thus, I am forced to either draw out a spread in my current bullet journal, use my Hobonichi Weeks and add in trackers there, or use various printables to hodge podge a workable insert myself.  I could just pay the fee and track it all online but then I would STILL want to track it on paper, because I need to write it all down to make it stick with me.

Thus, my struggle with using digital to make analog comes to life.

Recently there has been a big hullabaloo over digital planning.  Some have even gone so far as to design analog planners in the digital world.  At first, I wasn’t sure what to think about it all.  I have an iPad Pro and I love using it.  In fact, its what I record all my Planner Channel videos on.  As soon as I heard there was something coming down the pike I was intrigued.  I instantly thought I had to buy it all and start using it immediately!

Then the analog voice kicked in and I knew it was going to be a short jaunt down the digital superhighway.  I know myself, I love my TN’s and planners and I find every excuse under the sun to have another one, most of the time, way more than I should.  But I also know while I love email and outlook I much prefer getting a real letter in the mail, and I much prefer having paper under my fingertips and reasons to use my beautiful fountain pens…on real paper.

Now, that notwithstanding, I am still kind of curious as to how the digital planner works and how I could get use out of it.  Again…It intrigues me.  Much in the same way a new size TN might, or how a beautiful new ink can lure me to buy it.  Or when Chic Sparrow names an entire line after your favorite Scottish time travelers…and adds contrast stitching!!!

I know my rabbit holes very well, and while I am intrigued, its not enough for me to put aside my beautifully textured TN’s for the sleek smooth love of my ipad. Not yet anyway.  However, if tonight has taught me anything, its that I would love to know how to design my own inserts instead of relying on a mix of various ones I have found on Etsy and hoping I can make changes.  Nope, I need to figure out how to make them, how to design them, and how to make them pretty for myself.

But it adds a unique view point to this discussion.

When using digital to make analog, is that digital planning or analog planning?  Does it really matter? Regardless of the answer, we are all part of the #plannercommunity and while I may not like something, it doesn’t mean its bad, it SIMPLY means its not for me.  That’s all.  Whether the folks I get my paper inserts from decide to go digital or if I suddenly decide to break out the iPad and design my own digital TN, it doesn’t matter. We all have different tastes, desires, and wants. Individuality is a virtue we should never give up lightly!

Prime example, I have only been in the planner community for a year.  This week I celebrate the anniversary of getting my first Hobonichi Cousin Avec planner. I was so excited that I had found other people like me that loved everything about stationery, planning and writing.  I had spent years in a ringed planner but very few folks out there talk about using rings.  It seemed like it was some kind of dirty little secret!

But here I am with a Filofax Finsbury in hand, ready to face #OneBookJuly in Raspberry Rings!!!  Why? Because I want to give it a try and see how I like it.  Since falling down this rabbit hole a year ago, I have learned so much, found so many amazing friends, embraced my writing and my videos with all their quirkiness and found my tribe. Whether that tribe uses rings, travelers notebooks, a Hobonichi or a flat little device we call an iPad, it just doesn’t matter.  What matters is we all must accept what we like and who we are, and we have to also accept that in others.

So, whether someone uses an electronic device to plan, or writes it all down in their bujo, the work is getting done and that is what is the most important.

To all of you who feel like you can’t abide the digital planner world, that’s OK, just realize its JUST AS OK for others to flock to it, use it and enjoy it, so why take away their fun? You do You…and only You.  If that doesn’t include a digital planner that’s perfectly ok.

If it involves multiple inserts, in varying sizes, in multiple traveler’s notebooks inside a large black Delfonics tote just so you can carry it all…that’s perfectly ok too 😛

Amy Graham

The Badass Valkyrie

Apr-2018-A-Graham-Bio-PicYou can find Amy Graham, The Badass Valkyrie, on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, her blog, and her Facebook athlete page.

One thought on “Digital Versus Analog: The Struggle is Real

  • August 11, 2018 at 1:13 PM

    Hello Amy,

    I’d be very happy to design an insert for you that does everything you need it to.



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