best calendar

The Best Calendar | A Digital and Analog Comparison

Cindy Vanhoff is an Organizing & Productivity Strategist.  She believes in being as efficient and effective with her time and space as she can be, so she has the time to do the things she loves with those she loves.  For over a decade and a half, Cindy has been sharing with others how they can make the most of their time and space, so they too can make more time for the things that matter.  

Look for your choices, pick the best one, then go with it. – Pat Riley

I think back to the days of when there was no such thing as a digital calendar. (yep, I am that old). We wrote everything out, over and over and over again.
We would get a new calendar each year, and transfer birthdays to the new one. We would write recurring appointments at the beginning of each month.
I loved my analog calendar. And since the advent of the digital calendar, I have come to love them as well.

Let me share with you some comparisons between the two.
Analog Calendar
Digital Calendar
  • They can be beautiful to look at
  • They represent our interests
  • Yearly calendars show the big picture
  • Everyone can see the big picture
  • They aren’t easily shareable
  • The squares can be small on a calendar
  • Time blocking is hard. You really need to purchase a planner to implement time blocking.
  • You have to write things over and over again.
  • It’s great for big picture planning
  • You have fewer choices for viewing.
  • They are portable but it’s not convenient
  • They can’t be synced electronically
  • You must write each event each time
  • Calendars take up physical space. Especially if you keep them year after year for tax and personal reasons. The good thing is, wall calendars follow the organizing rule of looking up for storage.
  • You might not have room on your wall for a calendar, so may have to use your desk, which isn’t ideal
  • If something changes there is erasing and /or rewriting involved.
  • They can look really messy.
  • Scheduling appointments away from home is not easy. You would need your calendar with you.
  • Collaborating on a good time and date for a team meeting is very difficult.
  • You can’t share links.
  • They aren’t distracting.
  • Digital calendars aren’t much to look at
  • They don’t represent our interests unless you are interested in minimalism.
  • They can give the big picture, but it’s not easy to see.
  • Everyone can’t see the big picture unless you share your calendar with them.
  • They are easy to share with other digital calendar users
  • There is as much room as you need on a digital calendar
  • Time blocking is a breeze
  • Recurring events are amazing.
  • It’s much more difficult to view the whole year or even the month ahead of you. The weekly view is the best.
  • You have many choices for viewing
  • They are portable
  • They can be synced and can be viewed on all devices.
  • You can copy events easily
  • They take up no physical space. They do take up digital space, but it’s negligible.
  • Digital calendars take up no physical space.
  • I can just drag the event that changes to its new time slot, or, I can easily delete it.
  • If done properly, they look neat and tidy.
  • Scheduling appointments while away from home is easy.
  • You can schedule team meetings easily.
  • You n share links to things you will need for your meetings.
  • The calendar itself may not be distracting, but having it on your device may be. There are lots of things to get distracted by on our digital

This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but I think you get the picture.

Personally, I use a hybrid system.
I use this ( )analog calendar for big picture planning. I use an annual calendar for this.

Big picture planning for me includes

  • Vacations
  • Release dates for any product I am creating.
  • Launch dates for the product
  • Days off throughout the year.
  • Generally things that happen over multiple days.
  • Days my husband may be traveling

My analog calendar is also dry erase. Although I often will use small post its on it when I am planning, I don’t like to erase a bunch of pencil marks, so I like the dry erase part of it.

If you are wanting to use an analog system for your more detailed work, I suggest getting yourself a planner rather than a desk or wall calendar. This article might help you figure out what planner would work best for you. (link to this article – )

I use my digital calendar for the more detailed items in my life. I spend a lot of time in front of my monitor, so it’s easy for me to see what I need to do next. With just one click, my Google Calendar is visible.

I use my digital calendar for

  • Recurring events
    • If you do a lot of the same things in your work, this is a blessing!
  • Meetings
    • It’s so much easier to notify and create meetings with a group of people using a digital calendar
  • Appointments
    • These are always in red. Red means I need to be somewhere!
  • Time Blocks
    • This is such a timesaver for me. I color code my time blocks. I do this so that I know there is a change in activity coming up.
  • For Time Auditing (link to here / )
    • I like to keep track of how I actually spend my time verses how I planned to spend my time. This helps me with my planning and reviewing. Our rhythms change throughout the year, throughout life, and what was working for me last year may not work for me next year.
  • Everything I put on the analog calendar. My digital calendar is the master calendar, so everything goes on it.

There are pitfalls to using a hybrid system, and I think for the most part we figure these things out as we go along. The most common pitfall is the non-transference of items from the analog calendar to the digital calendar

Each type of calendar has their own pros and cons, and ultimately it’s up to you to decide which one is best for you. I hope this article has helped with that decision as you search for the best calendar for you!


Action step(s)


  1. Decide what calendar system you are going to use. Stick with it.

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