This post contains affiliate links. Read my disclosure here.

Earlier this year, I declared that one of my yearly goals was to go paperless. To be honest, I’m failing at this goal so far, busy with other aspects of my life. If I could, I’d pay someone else to scan all my documents and organize them for me. While I still want to aim to be paperless (for the most part) by the end of the year, today I want to talk about how paper fits into paperless.

How Paper Fits Into Paperless

I know you’re probably thinking I’m crazy. Isn’t the point of going paperless to get rid of paper? Well, yes, you’re right, but….

Paper still has a place.

Why You Still Need Paper in Your Paperless Life

At least for me personally, the number one reason I still use paper is because of the health benefits (and also, I just genuinely love writing things down). Studies have shown that humans are more likely to retain information they write down manually compared to typing it out on a computer or a laptop. If you have any sort of business, it’s important to remember details.

With my autoimmune disease, I constantly forget things. By writing down what I need to do every day in my Day Designer (you can buy your midyear planner here!), I’m more likely to at least remember what I need to remember. Also, I can color code to my heart’s content with my G2 Pens. My planner has given me a security blanket to make sure I remember things. I love the extra time it takes to pull out the pen and write down the important details on my

When I sit down at my desk every day (or the night before if I’m really on top of it), I make sure I don’t have my laptop open first. I open my Day Designer to check what I didn’t finish yesterday and what I want to do today. I’ve started using Trello to map out the whole week, so when I’m done with planning the day, I check Trello to confirm. I also use Todoist to track things. While three different ways to track to-dos may be overkill for most people, it works for me, and that’s what’s important on a day-to-day basis.

You can still have paper in a paperless life. Here's how >> Click To Tweet

By focusing on this first, I cut out the technology and simply focus on what needs to be done for the day. In a paperless planning process, I don’t get the focus (easily distracted over here).

Taking notes on paper is also a great thing. Despite the fact that I worked at a digital advertising agency last year, there was a rule that no computers were allowed during company-wide meetings. No laptops either.

So if you wanted to learn anything, you better have some paper.

While at first thought, this almost seems ironic, it’s because we all knew the distractions our technology gave us. I mean, we specifically worked to produce creative distractions.

Another way I use paper in my paperless life is with my books. While I’m moving all my details onto the cloud (there’ll be a post about that in the near future), I still use sticky-notes and index cards to actually plot out my novels. I have sliding doors that I love to use for plotting. I can spread out my ideas and notes and really see the whole picture when it comes to planning a novel. And if you’ve never plotted a 70,000-word novel, let me tell you, it’s hard. You need every weapon you have possible to pull that off.

The way paper is set up, it allows us to get messy and creative. Notes can show up at the bottom of the page. I can cross things off in my planner and go back to see why. Digital options don’t allow for that as well as this does. There’s a reason people have been taking notes on paper for so long: because it works.

While I’m still a full believer in going paperless in most situations, I want you to know that paper still has a place in a paperless life and don’t ignore that need for paper. Just make sure you take care of it so you don’t lose the grand idea after.