Skip to content

25 Ways physical planning on a schedule board is better than a digital planner

tactiled schedule board and tiles

Time blocking on Google Calendar and managing ever-growing lists of to-dos gives me gray hair. I have never used a paper planner for more than a week and yet I crave order and organization. A magnetic planning board with colored write-on wipe-off tiles changed my life.

A schedule board puts You in the driver’s seat

  1. I make time for things I want to do. Starting my day with a plan makes it easier for me to do the things I want.
  2. I stay on task better. Seeing how things fit in my day helps me accomplish them when I plan to do them.
  3. It’s just for me. Planning my day with a Tactiled schedule board is something that I do just for me.
  4. I’m more organized. I like to be able to see it during my daily team standup meetings because it seems like I have my shit together and know what my day will hold. If it an hold more and when.
  5. It helps me see the big picture. Taking incomplete items off the board reminds me that sometimes things seem very important and sometimes priorities change.
  6. This analog schedule board fits nicely into (and is a respite from) my digital world. No screens involved. Once I put in my meetings and anything else that must happen at a fixed time, don’t need to look at my phone or a computer, I get to look inside myself. For me, google calendar (ane even the planners I have attempted to use) is more about planning the fixed time items. Then what is left is just scrap to be used as wisely as possible but oftentimes it just dissolves before my eyes. With Tactiled, it’s the space between where my life comes alive. Now that I see what space I have to work with, and now that I make a plan with how best to use that space, I am able to inch closer to my bigger goals And reliably show up for meetings fully prepared.
  7. It’s easier for me to stop and to switch tasks. Stopping and switching between activities is easier when I know what I want to do next. For me, an ADHD creative individual, no part of a project is too small to spend hours perfecting (and I’m not the only one). But if 45 minutes perfecting that transition means I don’t get to do the other thing I wanted to do, then maybe for today I will stop and I can consider giving myself a 30-minute block to work on that one transaction tomorrow (spoiler alert, once I stop, that transition no longer warrants that much attention).
  8. It’s easier for me to start. Starting an activity that my mind tells me is hard and will take “forever” is easier when I see how much time I have allotted on the schedule board. Okay, I don’t need to finish it but I do need to start it, and if I don’t start it now, I will not be able to today so let’s go. It also helps when I break down a project into smaller tasks.
  9. Once starting, sustaining is a breeze. Sustaining is easy when I can make the first step in a project as small as I want. I heard recently that if you are having trouble starting something then the first task is too big. No problem. I now break those kinds of projects down into as many small (easy to imagine doing) tasks as I need. And sometimes the first task is as small as “create a new document with the project name and the template pasted in.” Because motivation follows action and it typically only takes 90 seconds of doing something to feel motivated about it, that is typically all it takes for me to keep going on a big project. I’ve found that when I have avoided projects with Tactiled, it is always because I didn’t start and not because I couldn’t sustain.

Customize Your reusable planner again & again

  1. I make the rules and that holds my attention. I am able to keep the planning interesting because I can try different things all the time.
  2. I can experiment. I can use the working space on the right side of the board for anything I want. I can create different kinds of lists and change them later, and I do quite often. My mainstays, however, are Do, Bump, and Watch. Watch are things I may not be leading but want to be privy to and want to check in with someone about from time to time. It would also be things when I have responded to someone and am watching for their reply.
  3. There’s nothing to throw away. I like that the only thing about the schedule board and Tactiled system that is disposable, is the pens – and so far those have lasted for months. I wonder what will be a more eco-friendly material than acrylic tiles. But for now, in this early stage, I’m okay with that because I use my schedule board nearly every day. It certainly can’t have as much environmental impact as say, a computer….

A dry erase planner is Freeing

  1. I get a daily reset. Cleaning the tiles is enjoyable. It feels like starting fresh.
  2. It’s easy to modify a single tile. If I don’t like the way I wrote something or a tile gets smudged, I can just re-write it and it’s new again.
  3. I only have to write neatly in short bursts. I like that I never have to write more than a handful of words on a tile before placing it on the schedule board. My handwriting is really, really bad. And I think I probably have some association with writing a lot (e.g. a page of words) with a  sense of shame and a dog attack of all things. Even filling out the details on a check can feel like too much writing for me (if I’m trying to make it neat). That is why paper planners have never worked for me. Not even for a week. My handwriting just gets so bad so fast and then I don’t want to look at it.

A Magnetic Schedule is Flexible

  1. It helps me talk to my kids. I like to show my kids that I have planned time for them and what my day is like.
schedule board for kids
Sometimes when I have to work more than usual I set up a board to show my kids how much time they will still have with me, and when they have to log in for class.
  1. It’s endlessly flexible. I can slide new tasks into my day as long as I move something around or off for another time.
  2. I can see and touch time. Everything about Tactiled is flexible, except for the time. Can’t change it and never will be able to. It surprises me how quickly a day fills up.

A physical planner just feels good

  1. It’s more rewarding than crossing something out. Taking completed tiles off the schedule board reminds me of all the goals I have completed.
  2. Every day feels like a success. Even if my day didn’t go as planned. Even if I didn’t finish half the things on the schedule board (which is rare), I have still succeeded in accomplishing my day.
  3. I do more of the things I want. I like to think about how it helps me, how it has helped other users, and how it may help many more people actually do more of the things they want.
  4. The tiles feel good in my hands. I love the feel of the tiles – their weight, their smoothness, their sound. I know that probably sounds cheesy but that was one of my first thoughts in coming up with this idea is it has to FEEL nice. If I am going to stick with something, it needs to be pleasant to use and it needs to be flexible. I don’t do well with a lot of rules that can’t be changed.
  5. Even the storage box is pretty. I love the storage box and how they slide right in and out. I also think it’s pretty
  6. The colors make me happy. I love the colors and how I have assigned them to different types of activities I do and so I can tell at a glance what kind of day I have and if I need to try to add in certain types of activities to make it a bit more balanced.
  7. It helps me get up in the mornings. On the days I get my planning done at night, waking in the morning is easier because I am well aware of all the things I hope to accomplish that day (and how early I’d need to start to accomplish them.

I’d love to hear from you, whether you are a Tactiled user or not – what do YOU love about physical planning on a schedule board that you don’t get with digital planning? At this time, these are custom made sets so materials and time are significant. If you’re interested in the product, but the price is a deterrent, comment below and I’ll notify you when the next round is ready to check out! I promise not to spam, there just is not enough time on my board to do that.

5 thoughts on “25 Ways physical planning on a schedule board is better than a digital planner”

  1. Oh. My. Goodness.

    I’m so excited to find this. It’s exactly what I was looking for to help my ADHD teen. We talked about creating a schedule that would help her understand time better, and this really ticks all the boxes. It’s flexible, tactile, reusable, involves minimal writing, and shows how things take up time. I’m ordering one for her birthday in June.

    1. YES!!!! This makes me so happy. I would love to hear how she likes is. I’ve used mine for 6 months and still get surprised how little time I have available once I plug in meetings and other obligations.

  2. Love this! I want to order the entire product line and have a question. The picture in this blog shows a wooden stand housing the tiles and dry erase solution. Do you sell this also or will it be in a future product line? Asking because it looks like a great way to house everything neatly. If not offered, can you do a blog entry on how it was created and setup? Thank you so much for these products and what you are doing to help ADHD creatives!

    1. Thank you so much, TA WANDA WISE! Yes, I do still have a few of the bamboo holders left. I re-added them to the website based on your comment and you can find them in the accessories section of this page:

      I found a pair for sale on amazon if you search for ” Marbrasse 2 Pcs Bamboo Pen Holder for Desk.”

      The primary reason I took them off the site is that my beta TACTiLED users didn’t end up using it – it became more like another messy bin for to-be-cleaned and new tiles. It is beautiful and great for storage if you keep it organized (when organized, I do love pulling whichever tile color and size I want out of the box). Feel free to email if you have further questions or want to learn about the other post or in-progress products we have.

      Happy New Year!

    2. Ta Wanda Wise, I forgot to answer your other question about Dry Erase. So the boards are dry-erase. The decals are Not dry-erase. The boards, tiles, and decals are compatible with “wet erase” and “chalk makers.” I didn’t know what those were before, but they are like dry erase. About half of my users use dry-erase markers on their tiles. They work fine but are more likely to cause ghosting and are harder to clean (even with water) if the dry-erase marker stays on the tile for too long. Thanks for your comment and questions!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *