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Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The ‘Pixel-Perfect’ Planner: Why Digital Planners Outshine Physical Ones

Amidst+the+digital+age%2C+mobile+planners+have+become+far+more+prevalent+than+physical+planners%3B+only+21+of+65+students+polled+on+Instagram+voted+that+they+use+a+physical+planner.
Alice Ahn
Amidst the digital age, mobile planners have become far more prevalent than physical planners; only 21 of 65 students polled on Instagram voted that they use a physical planner.

During stressful high school years, planners can help students maintain a healthy work-life balance. With the emergence of online platforms like Todoist, Notion and Apple Calendar, it has become more beneficial for students to push physical planners aside and manage their time digitally instead.

Using digital planners is all about convenience. Many students — athletes, musicians and artists alike — carry extra backpacks, instruments or art folders to school. Digital planner user and junior Sophie Guilfoile said that students can lighten their physical load through the use of an online planner, condensing all tasks into a single device.

“Using a digital planner is a lot more convenient than pulling out a whole physical agenda and writing things down,” Guilfoile said. “I don’t really like having loose papers around in my bag, but with a digital planner, you can just pull out your phone, type in a couple letters then already have your assignment down.”

For students in need of extra support to stay on top of deadlines, digital planners can set special alarms and reminders, which paper planners cannot offer.

“I use Todoist to plan at school,” Guilfoile said. “It’s a website where you can add assignments you receive from your teachers, and it even gives you an alarm for when the assignments’ due. It gives me visual insight into my schedule, because I can make a widget on my homescreen too.”

Despite the many benefits of digital planners, there are students who argue for the traditional ease of physical planners. Because many Portola High teachers restrict device use until the end of class, some students prefer carrying a paper planner.

“I’d rather not open my phone or a device every time I want to check,” physical planner user and senior Martin Pan said. “I just write things as they come up in the class.”

But teachers are turning their schedules digital as well.  Many teachers now create digital calendars that can be viewed outside of class, according to freshman Anusha Jauhri. This way, students can directly copy and paste assignments into their personal online planners without having to pull out a physical planner in the middle of class.

“Most of my assignments are on Google Classroom, where I can see what I have due,” Jauhri said. “If I have a major test or assignment coming up, I’ll usually copy it down on my personal calendar, because then I get notifications on my MacBook and my phone.”

Students reap more benefits by using digital planners instead of physical ones. Digital planners outshine their physical counterparts in both convenience and effectiveness at reminding students of their work. With more teachers using technology to push out assignments, digital planners are ultimately more helpful to students than physical planners.

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About the Contributors
Alice Ahn, Social Media Team
Alice Ahn is the co-social media manager for her first year on the Portola Pilot. As a new staff writer, she feels honored to have her work on newspaper pages and the internet for the very first time. Apart from proofreading her own writing an unhealthy number of times, Alice frequents novels with entrancing titles but mediocre plots. She wants to make the most out of not only this school year, but also her Spotify Premium subscription, and would love to hear any of your music recommendations.
Cindy Mei, Social Media Team
Cindy Mei is the co-social media manager for her first (and only) year on the Portola Pilot. She is excited to explore various writing styles and finally learn how to use a camera. When she is not reading or writing, she can be found judging books by their covers at Barnes and Noble, daydreaming, starting a Webtoon and never finishing it, or watching really cheesy Chinese romance dramas.
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