Every student has had either a teacher or professor say handwrite your notes, you’ll remember more of the content. I believe the same goes for planning out your daily schedule.
When I moved back home to finish classes in March of last year, like many students, I was lost on what was due and when. I attempted to use different digital calendars, including Outlook, Apple Reminders and Google Calendars, but all of my different tasks were spread over multiple different websites, and it made it difficult to remember when everything was due.
In order to combat this constant confusion, I began writing down everything I needed to do over the next few days on a single sticky note. As time went on, one note grew to two, then three, then four and so on. I was on the right track for a system that worked for me, but not quite there yet.
That was when I decided to make my way to Target to pick up one of the big desk calendars. I got home, wrote down everything that was due on each date of the calendar and wrote what I needed to do on the notes section. For the first time in my college career, I feel more organized than ever before. Finally!
The big desk calendar has made my life easier in two distinct ways - accessibility and memory.
Working from home remotely means that I am at my same desk all day, every day. Having my desk calendar gives me a single spot where I can find everything that is due, and I am able to look at it every time I come into the office.
Prior to my handwritten calendar, I would have to actively search for what due on which day. Wait, when is this assignment for class due? I would ask myself basically every day. I would go from Google to my phone calendar to my Outlook calendar, spending more time searching than I would on my actual assignment sometimes.
My desk calendar gives me one, single place where everything is laid out, and I don’t have to actively look for anything. It’s there when I start my school day, and it’s there when I end my school day.
Another perk to my handwritten calendar is the memory aspect. A BBC article titled “The benefits of note-taking by hand” highlights many of the benefits of writing out information rather than typing it, which included the brain processing advantages to handwriting notes due to the need to paraphrase information if taking notes live and in person.
The use of handwritten materials to keep track of daily life has gotten an uptick in popularity in the past few years, due in part to the popularity of bullet journals, where the user can totally customize their planner to their needs.
While I personally don’t have the creative mind to make something like that (trust me, I’ve tried and failed on multiple occasions and they’ve all turned out looking like something a second grader created), my desk calendar has provided me with a sense of organization and clarity.
While there are a lot of benefits to virtual calendars, including being able to check what needs to be done, regardless of where you are located, I think the fact that the calendar is at my desk eases my mind a ton.
Having my to-do list at my desk rather than on my phone allows me to create a clear boundary between my work and leisure time, something that many people have had to balance in the transition to working from home. Once I leave my desk, I’m done for the day. Once I get to my desk, it’s time to get to work.