Friday, May 4, 2012

Guest Blog Post: From Planner to Paperless

I still keep a written (i.e. not paperless) to do list. True story. So when my sister said she officially went paperless with her calendar, task lists, and general reminders, I was pretty impressed. Turns out it wasn't as easy as it sounds, but this story has a happy ending. 

Read more in this week's guest blog post from my sister, Kara Janecek, with some great lessons for all of us considering going paperless. 

From Planner to Paperless
By: Kara Janecek

As a FranklinCovey girl at heart, I have been committed to my “fine leather planner” since college. Okay, so I’ve gone through three since college, but who’s counting? I’m also a wife, mother of two, and a full-time clinical social worker. Like my kids, my planner was attached at the hip. Seriously, it was like a third child. I took it everywhere.  

I tossed around the idea of going paperless for a while. After all, I recycle, use cloth grocery bags, and do my best to reduce and reuse. But when my boss saw me literally juggling my planner and my smartphone, she proposed a challenge. “Go paperless, Kara… It’s so liberating!” 

Better late than never, I acquired my first iPhone last year. Then, Urban Simplicity introduced me to Evernote. I gradually began to use this app to store my children’s artwork, my daughter’s first forgery (gasp!), pet vaccination records, bills, school schedules, workout log, and resource lists for my clients. It was amazing how much information I could keep at my fingertips.

Yet, I kept carrying my "fine (fat) leather planner." I soon realized that I was keeping two separate calendars (Urban Simplicity would not approve) adding my personal info to my iPhone and my professional appointments to my "fine (even fatter by this point) leather planner."  

But wait, it gets worse. I was also keeping two separate to do lists. Seriously? Why? I knew it was time for an intervention. I needed to merge my personal and professional life, once and for all.

So, how did I make it work?
  • iPhone for to do list, mobile synced calendar, and alarms for reminders
  • Evernote (a.k.a. my brain) for workout log, recipes (always have a list of ingredients for quick grocery trips), spur of the moment gift ideas, bills, subscription and account notes, health records, business cards, resource lists for clients, my kids’ art work (I don’t have to keep it all!), car maintenance records...
  • Microsoft Office and Google Calendar so I have access to personal and professional schedules from home, phone and at work.
I’m not 100 percent paperless yet, but I have a few more paperless goals in mind like paperless billing and sorting our family records to make electronic copies of important documents. But the biggest transition is over. My paper trail is dwindling. And I’m feeling more productive and much less scattered.

In addition to being my older sister, Kara is a wife, mother of two, and a full-time clinical social worker in Columbus, Texas. She is not on Twitter (boo!), but you can check out and follow her Pinterest boards here.


  1. Hey, nice site you have here! Keep up the excellent work!

    Leather Agenda

  2. Hi! Thanks so much for reading along. Great to hear from you!

  3. I really enjoyed reading this. It brought back memories of my own journey from planner to paperless. I still miss my Day-Timer, but I sure don't miss carrying it around - or the fear of losing it (which actually happened once).

  4. The fear of losing the planner is enough to take me paperless! Yikes! Thanks for reading along, Janet.