How do the planner / organizer paper product companies feel about digital.
I know this has been like the DMZ battle group for paper lovers and digital lovers but the truth of it is that the traditional companies are caught in the middle. I remember reading an article where they asked Lett’s CEO how he feels about digital and why Letts has no digital offering. The basic answer was Letts is a paper company and people will always use paper so there is no plan right now for digital products…(sorry if I remember it wrongly but this was what I remember from the article). I feel this is the wrong approach. There is no just paper or digital argument…it doesn't make sense. When I read how people debate about paper is better than digital or looking down at people who use paper or digital I just think it is so sad….to a point of WTF. Look just let people use what they want to use. If we can make products that can cover most of the users that is good business for me. From a personal stand point I really don’t care. All I care about is how you use our product in any format. So please don’t badger people who use one or the other…just get along with each other.
For a paper company you need to offer as many different products as you can, to give more of what people want to buy. Let it be paper or digital. We have done many hybrid paper digital products. And yes we even had a full branded product that merged paper with PDA….well….you know what went extinct or transformed into. Doing a pure digital product is so damn hard that if you don’t understand it don’t even try because you're just dumping money in to a big black hole. If from the start you know what you're doing and what you want to do then all will be good. Case in point is that you would think a paper planner company can come out with a cool digital app. Look at mead and Fc the apps they came out with are crap….I mean so bad I don’t even know why I just paid money for it. Those guys have no idea what they want to do so they just convert all their paper product ideas in to an app….which is bad…because they fail to understand that the digital industry works at lighting speed…and product reviews can make or break your app. When you have only 1 star or less on your app…then your app will never be used….people won't touch it with a 10 foot pole. They forgot the fact that people who use digital planners have a totally different mind set from paper based users. If you don’t understand how people use digital planning don’t make a planning app or convert a paper planner into a digital one just for the heck of it. We learned a hard lesson when trying to do our digital app and to a point I said…I have to can this project or else it will do more harm than good. I have to do more research and learn how people plan and use the product all over again. There is no way I can beat Apple’s own calendar…haha.
The really good planning apps are not even from established companies. They are from people that have really good planning solutions that the digital format allows them to do it. I would say their design and formats have turned a bright light on the industry. It has given us another way of thinking about doing formats on paper. I see these apps and the way they organize and color code and design I think to my self….wow…why I have never thought of that ever before. Even our designers now are borrowing ideas from these apps for our future planners and formats. There are so many good formats digitally that can really revolutionize how paper planners can work and do. Even to a point where I was thinking…why even put a dated planner…just make more creative undated planners and let people customize what they want to put in. Why not put more color coding or even more good visual points and offer more content? All these things can really make my product look much better than what others have on the market.
Thanks again to my friend for contributing this very interesting insight into the industry!