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Digital Planning For Beginners – What is digital Planning? (A digital planner is better than paper)

Digital Planning For Beginners – What is digital Planning? (A digital planner is better than paper)

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What is digital planning?

What is digital planning? Digital planning is using a digital version of a traditional paper planner. A digital planner is created from a PDF that mimics a paper planner. It mimics the look of a paper planner, but it’s waaay better! It sounds simple. And it is! 

A digital planner looks just like a paper planner, but you can access it from your digital resources including: Phone, iPad and Computer. We can simplify all the planning you do on pieces of paper, in notebooks, on the wall calendar.  If you curiosity is peaked and you want to know what a digital planner is, make sure you check out this post “What is a digital Planner“.

No more spending hours of time obsessively planning only to lose that precious scrap filled with wonderful ideas and plans.

As a busy mom, wife, full time employee and blogger I have a ton going on… I know you do too!

A digital planner is just what you need to stay on track with your house, family, job and even to take care of you. (I know we are always last on the list).

5 Reasons A Digital Planner is Right For Scattered Mom’s on the Go

  1. The Planner Is Customizable
  2. A Digital Planner Is Affordable
  3. A Digital Planner Is Accessible Everywhere
  4. Better Overall Organization System
  5. Digital Planning Is The Best Of Both Worlds
Replace Paper With Digital Planning
Paper planning leads to scraps of paper everywhere. Digital planning keeps it all in one spot

Learn more below… Digital planning could be just what you need to gather your thoughts, feel like you have it all together and finally wrangle that to-do list that you keep losing in the pile on your desk. Once you have the answer to the question “What is digital planning?”, you will be one step closer to a solution.

What do you need to get started?

  1. Tablet and Stylus
  2. Annotation App (or note-taking app)
  3. Digital Planner PDF

What kind of device do you need?

I know it looks like you need an expensive iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. And although, these tools are amazing. There are a plenty of less expensive options for both an ipad or tablet.

And any tablet that works with a stylus can be used with a digital Planner. In my opinion the next best thing to an iPad would be either an LG Pad or a Samsung Galaxy Tab.

The big things to look for are palm rejection with the stylus, and a paper feel screen protector. Digital planning without a stylus just doesn’t have the same result.

These are non-negotiable when it comes to a digital planner. It will frustrate you to no end with anything else, and the frustration is not worth it. Life is too short to be frustrated.

What kind of app do you need?

There are plenty of annotation apps available. The best known app is GoodNotes (Apple Only), another app like GoodNotes is Notability it’s often used for school and I’ve been playing with NoteShelf too. These apps are only available on Apple products.

If you are looking for a tool to work on other platforms and multiple devices, my favorite is XODO (free app) and I recently learned of ZoomNotes. XODO and ZoomNotes works across platforms including Apple, Windows and Android.

Digital Planner Apps
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And finally, a digital planner… This planner is something you can buy (check out our fun and functional designs over in the shop). The PDF has hyperlinks to make planning a mom life a lot easier!

The things you can track are endless! Sports, doctors appointments, birthday and Christmas lists, holiday planning, household chores… I track it all. This planner can either be a dated planner or undated, and in a vertical or horizontal layout.

Where do you get a digital planner?

There are several options, I think our planners are some of the best out there. But in reality the goal is to figure out what works best for you. So you can start looking in several places. 

Pinterest is always a great place to start, and a quick search on Google will take you to all kinds of Etsy Shops with plenty of options to choose from. But you don’t spend too much time choosing your first planner. Grab your first planner and add to it as you learn what works for you.

What Is Digital Planning?
Pretty and functional digital planning at it’s best

What is a digital planner?

A digital planner is a PDF document with hyperlinks, it usually has tabs that are clickable. You won’t be stuck with what you buy. Because you can add inserts to expand what you plan.

Sounds simple right? Well it really is.  You open the planner pdf in your annotation app of choice, so as long as you have your phone or table with you, you can always see your plan.

Why Should You Make the Switch from Paper to Planning Digitally?

Digital planners are the best way to both “write down” your plan and always carry it with you. Writing on the screen with a stylus gives you the traditional planner feel.

And when was the last time you left home without your phone? I don’t know about you, but leaving without a way for hubby and the kiddos to get a hold of me is a crime in my house.

You can use digital planner any way you’d like. These planners are a lot more flexible than traditional paper planners.

You have your choice of planner layout. And you can use the pictures in your camera roll to decorate the planner to make your perfect planner. It may take a bit of time to get used transitioning to a digital planner. But once you transition from the beginner stage, you’ll never go back to the plain old google calendar or paper planner again.

But best of all you can use a digital planner with digital stickers on an ipad or a tablet, and even your phone. It’s an all in one place for your planning journey.

Benefits Of Digital Planning
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Benefits of Digital Planning vs. Paper Planning

So I currently have the song “Anything you can do, I can do better”, playing in my head… your welcome.

A PDF Planner is the ultimate in flexibility. If you are new to digital planners (and I assume you are since your reading this), they are only bound by the creators limits and what you want to planout.

A typical digital planner has several options. And these options and their easy access make it so much better than paper planning. One of my favorite aspects of a paper planner is the ability to journal right in my planner.

On a personal level for me, it allows me to function “with” my attention deficit disorder (add/adhd). No more fighting it. I start ideas on my phone, paper and in 1000 notebooks and they get lost.

Since switching to the digital planner, I now have one rule with myself… it all goes in my digital planner. This allows me to search my journaling and calendar pages. (Yes GoodNotes does an amazing job of reading my chicken scratch). So I can almost always find the idea I was working on.

Life happens and my use for digital planning is keeping it all together in one searchable place. Paper planning simply didn’t have this flexibility, and I lost stuff everywhere.

It’s Easy to get started with digital planning

It’s extremely easy to get started. And once you understand your choices that are slightly different than the standard version of a traditional planner. So let’s cover some of the stuff you “need to know” to get started.

Just like paper on the table these planners can have a landscape orientation or portrait. But the design of the planner goes a little further. Many designers work really hard to mimic paper designs. The notes app allow for designs the equivalent of 8.5 x 11 in or 11 x 8.5 in.

Choosing a planner is very much a personal journey…

Planner Orientation

So your first choice is landscape or portrait.

Second choice is do you want it have rings like a spiral or binder.

Thirdly where do you want the rings?

You pretty much have 3 layout options:

  1. Portrait planners with a top coil
  2. Landscape planners with a center coil ( looks like an open book)
  3. Landscape planners with a left hand coil
Digital Planner Orientation
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These layout options are more about the look of the base planner page and how much room you have to work. But one thing to note is, it’s a lot easier to use the planner on your phone if you are using a portrait layout. Digital planning on ipad doesn’t require portrait, it’s really a matter of preference, it’s the same with digital planning on laptop.

A couple of things you might want to consider is that the planner is hyperlinked. So each page will have buttons, tabs or image links on every page.

You can “write out your plan”, or type it, or use themed stickers for your planner and this leads to a very personal journey of choice.

Some planners even have a notebooks and journals area as well at post-it notes in the sticker bundles.

So instead of actually choosing a planner based on beauty pick it based on what will work for you.

Choosing a digital planner that’s right for you.

As you choose the planner that is right for you, consider not only the layout you want. But also how you want to use it. You may want to try some different digital planning template, to see what you like the best. Below you’ll find a list of “tools” or templates that you may want to look for in your planner.

  • Dated pages with hyperlinks
  • Undated with hyperlinks
  • to-do lists
  • scribble areas
  • trackers (health, habits and happiness)
  • monthly planning
  • weekly layouts
  • daily layouts
  • meal planning
  • lesson plans
  • homework plan/schedule
  • reading logs
  • budget
  • dot grid pages
  • blank pages
  • grid pages
  • project planning
  • social media planning
  • Goal setting
  • Digital stickers
  • Password logging
  • Holiday planning

What do you need to track so you can improve it? And what do you need to plan so you remember all those nitty gritty details?

Different designs focus on tweaking layouts, providing different functionality and creating beautiful planners.

Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect. You can expand your planner with extra packs.

Ready to get started?

Check out our planner shop.

And then grab GoodNotes 5 for your iPad and get started.