Here’s Why the Smartphone Didn’t (and Maybe Shouldn’t) Kill the Printed Calendar


There are hundreds of apps that will keep track of appointments and help you stay organized, but a growing number of people are returning to the printed desk calendar. Sales of calendars and planners continue to increase.


What’s behind this? Psychology Today says that multiple studies measuring brain activity show the memorization benefits of handwriting. Writing down that important meeting will help you keep it top of mind when you see it there on your desk calendar. Paper is king for memorizing.


Plus, a recent study seems to show that handwriting isn’t the only thing that aids memory. It’s also about writing on actual paper. The University of Tokyo found that writing with a stylus on a digital device or typing on a touchscreen keyboard doesn’t measure up to handwriting. One of the co-authors of the study concluded, “If you need to learn something or memorize it, use paper.”


Pushing back on digital distraction

Opting for a paper desk calendar offers a way to get away from computer or mobile screens. That might be more important than you realize. Research tells us that American adults spend over seven hours per day staring at screens, and on average, Americans check their phones 344 times per day (that’s once every 4 minutes!).


A desk calendar can also help you with big-picture planning and organizing because it’s easier to see weeks or even a month’s worth of appointments. Seeing and writing, according to psychotherapist Maud Purcell, “stimulates an area of the brain called the reticular activating system (RAS), which filters and brings clearly to the fore the information that we’re focusing on.” According to Purcell, the human brain perceives text as a physical landscape. We interact with text on paper differently than the way we do when it is displayed on a digital screen. The mental maps we create of written terrain are thought to aid memory and understanding.


Is it a generational thing?

Going old-school with a printed desk calendar or planner doesn’t give away your age. Millennials and other digital natives also prefer them. Even Generation Xers who may have started with paper and then switched to digital in the late ’90s are returning to printed planners to reduce so-called digital overload.


If you already are or plan to switch to a desk calendar, you’ll want to talk to us. We can help you keep those big sheets of paper tight and tidy with our calendar corners. We’ve got a variety of sizes and colors which can be branded with your company logo so you can give them as a thoughtful gift to your customers as well.



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