I recently had the chance to speak to some college classes about career prep and planning. At the start of each class, we went around the room for introductions and I asked each student to share with me their favorite tool or resource for staying organized, focused, and on track to success.

Selfishly, I was hoping to learn something new that would give me more hours in the day – or at least improve my organization.

Intentionally leaving the question very open, students were encouraged to share anything from an inspiration book, a helpful podcast, an online work tool, a time management app, their daily meditation practice, etc. The only rule was it had to be under $100, which I deemed “accessible to everyone”. Since these were the youngest sector of Millennials, I thought surely the answers would be full of tech and fancy apps.


The most overwhelmingly popular answer: “my planner.” Yes, a physical, paper, pen-required, planner.

That’s right. The most tech-native adults in the world today prefer a paper planner for keeping on track and organized. I pried a little more to see if this preference was due to the school issuing planners, but found out they don’t. Students are going out on their own and buying a planner that works for them.

Are you listening, Staples/Office Depot/Office Max?? I think it’s time for a Lisa Frank trapper keeper comeback! Or any of this.

Sounds like another thing Millennials and Boomers can relate on.

In case you were wondering, the second most popular answer was “the native calendar app on my phone”. Other answers included sports podcasts, political podcasts, my network of people, the library writing center, working out, and rap music. Some of my favorite tools are outlined in this post.

What works for you? Email me at kate@millennialreboot.com.