Why are physical student planners still needed in 2023?

Student planners have been in use for many years, helping students stay organised and on track with their schedules, assignments, and other important information related to school. In recent years, there has been a significant rise in the use of digital tools for education, leading some to question whether physical student planners are still necessary in today’s digital age.

This post aims to explore the continued relevance of physical student planners in 2023. We will discuss the benefits of using physical planners, address common arguments, and provide tips for selecting the right planner for your needs. By the end of this post, you will have a better understanding of why physical student planners are still important tools for student success.

What makes physical student planners better than digital?

Physical student planners have several benefits that cannot be matched by digital tools. The following are some benefits of using physical planners:

  • Reduced screen time and distractions: Using physical planners allows students to take a break from digital screens, which can help reduce eye strain, headaches, and other symptoms associated with excessive screen time. With physical planners, students are not exposed to the constant notifications and temptations of other digital apps, allowing them to focus on their studies without distractions.
  • Improved memory retention and recall: Using a physical planner requires a level of engagement that can help improve memory retention and recall. The act of writing down important information and tasks in a planner can help students better remember them, making it easier to recall when needed.
  • Better time management and organisation: Physical planners provide students with a tangible way to plan and organise their schedules, assignments, and other important information related to school. This can lead to better time management, increased productivity, and reduced stress. The act of physically writing out tasks can help students prioritise their work, plan their time more effectively, and track their progress.
  • Accessibility for all students: Physical planners are accessible to all students, regardless of their access to technology or internet connectivity. This can help level the playing field for students and ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed. With physical planners, students can easily carry their planner with them and refer to it as needed, regardless of their access to a computer or internet.
  • Positive impact on mental health: Lastly, physical planners can have a positive impact on mental health by providing a sense of accomplishment and reducing anxiety related to schoolwork. Checking off completed tasks in a physical planner can provide a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, which can help boost students’ confidence and motivation. Additionally, using a physical planner can help reduce stress and anxiety related to schoolwork, as it allows students to plan and prioritise their work in a tangible and organised way. Penstripe’s study skills diaries explicitly focus on wellbeing and mental health for exactly this reason.

Why digital over physical?

There are reasons why some people prefer digital planners, too.

  • Cost and sustainability: While it’s true that digital tools can be cost-effective and eco-friendly, physical planners can be made of recycled or recyclable materials, and, of course, don’t require energy to run!
  • Size and customisation options: While physical planners may have less space than digital tools, they can be customised with stickers, drawings, and other personal touches which encourages students to use them.
  • Compatibility with digital tools: While it’s true that physical planners are not digital, they can still be used in conjunction with digital tools. For example, students can use a physical planner to track their assignments and a digital tool to receive notifications and reminders. This hybrid approach can help students get the benefits of both physical and digital tools.

As is often the case in teaching, there is no one-size-fits-all approach that will work for every student. But at Penstripe, we firmly believe that physical planners still have a place in the classroom in 2023.

Choose Penstripe

At Penstripe, our goal is to create the perfect student planner for your individual requirements. With a huge range of sizes, bindings and contents, we can create a custom student diary that exceeds your expectations. With a wide range of bespoke pages to choose from, we’ll create the right planner for you. Our handy pocket size planners are becoming ever more popular amongst schools and are a particular favourite with sixth forms.

We create bespoke student planners that last the entire year. Guaranteed. Our team of experts are constantly innovating to produce useful new content that can be added to student planners. See our catalogue for a full breakdown of the options available. Regular engagement with student planners can help to foster a growth mindset, as students are encouraged to take ownership of their own achievements.

Penstripe has years of experience in producing both student planners and teacher planners, and a track record of excellent results. Order your free sample pack today.


Our student planners are designed to support young people in all aspects of their education. Whether you call them student planners, homework diaries, or learning journals, we guarantee the best quality and service.