How to start a digital planner
It’s true!!! I confess……. I am 100% a planner NERD. There I said it and there is no denying that fact. When I first discovered digital planning a few years ago I had no idea that it would quickly become my go to planner of choice. I love digitally planning as the possibilities are limitless. I’m going to show you exactly how to start a digital planner. But fair WARNING you may never want a paper planner again.
What is digital planning?
Digital planning is the latest and greatest way to use a planner. Basically its set up just like a traditional paper planner(like Happy Planners) only it is all managed though your tablet of choice(form me that’s my ipad). This allows the functionality of a paper planner with all the unique page layouts, dividers, stickers, washi tape, pen colors and more only in a digital format. Meaning you can access your digital planner anywhere or anytime through your tablet or smart phone.
This is a game changer to not have to carry around all your planner stuff all the time. I am totally guilty of carrying bags of paper, pens, stickers and of course my super heavy stuffed full planner everywhere. It’s so tricky cause you never know when you will need your planner if you are a true #plannernerd like me.
I was obsessed with planners and their accessories…… there is no sugar coating it. But after years of hauling stuff everywhere things got weird with Covid. As a nurse I couldn’t have my personal stuff(a.k.a. all my planner stuff) in the hospital anymore. It just wasn’t safe. I had to downsize what I kept with me all the time and drastically. That’s when I really started looking and learning about digital planners.
After a few weeks it was clear that there was a better way to plan. My old paper planner days were done. Now, I literally can leave the house with just my iphone and still have access to my entire planner through an app. It is amazing and life changing.
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How do digital planners work?
Digital planners are simpler then you would think. In a nutshell, someone like me makes/designs you a digital planner template in PDF format(these are very customizable). You download your digital planner app of choice on your smart phone and/or tablet.(see apps section below for more details on whats available for your devices).
Then you take the PDF digital planner template and upload it to the app you are using. The template is then ready for you to customize and use just like a traditional paper planner, but all digital. You can then add all the details like hand written notes, text, images, shapes, digital stickers, digital washi tape and more.
The digital planner is easily customized with the app tools or additional digital stickers/digital post its. You can add to or erase items with out disturbing the underlying digital planner template. This allows you to create with ease and no fear of “messing up” as you can swap things about as much as you like. I love making weekly planner spreads as I can make each week unique and themed with custom digital stickers that make my planner beautiful.
Digital Planners for Beginners
What is the best digital planner for beginners? Honestly, just something simple like the FREE digital planner template from Maker Beautiful. Many people start out buying digital planners before really knowing all the ways they want to use it.
Starting with a simple frame work allows you the ability to learn the basics and decide or the optimizations that are important to you before purchasing a digital planner that might be the right fit.
What do you need for digital planning?
- Tablet & Stylus(digital planners are compatible with both apple and android) Personally I love my IPad pro and apple pencil. However, whatever device you have or prefer will most likely work too as long as you can download one of the app in the list below.
Personally I love my IPad pro and apple pencil. However, whatever device you have or prefer will most likely work too as long as you can download one of the app in the list below.
Why do I love my ipad pro and Apple pencil. Firstly, it is compatible with all of our other devices. We are a Mac/Apple household so the ipad was an easy choice for me. However, there a a few things that make it awesome for digital planning.
The first is that the ipad screen and apple pencil are very sensitive making it easy for me to access and plan exactly where I want to on the screen. Battery life is awesome as I only have to charge my ipad every couple of days. The Apple pen charges in the ipad so it is always ready to go. Need to zoom in and out? That is super user friendly too.
The best feature in my opinion though is a pop up side area that allows easy access to your saved folders a.k.a. by digital sticker books. Meaning my digital stickers are super easy to find and use with just a tap of my Apple pen I can add some cuteness anywhere I like on my planner. Click on the Amazon links below for further details.
- Planner/Note taking app– I personally use Goodnotes as the functionality of the app works well with my style. However, there a a multitude of apps check out the picture below to compare the most popular options. You can also check out Flexil(Apple or Android), Samsung Notes(Android only) and Onenote(Apple or Android).
*Please note prices on these apps may change at anytime.
- Planner Template- this one we have got covered for you. Grab your FREE Maker Beautiful DIGITAL PLANNER template by signing up below
How do you use a digital planner?
Every single person will use a digital planner in a different way. Just as you and I would use a traditional paper planner in different ways. Digital planners and just like traditional paper planners as they provide a solid base or foundation template to plan from.
To use a digital planner you download or access a notes app like Goodnotes or the one of your choice from your device of choice(smart phone or tablet). You then pick the digital planner template you would like to access. Once in the digital planner you are able to plan just as you traditionally would but all digitally. Adding notes, digital stickers and more.
Benefits of Digital Planning
- Ease of access. No more needing to carry your paper planner every where. Grab your smart device a.k.a. phone and your digital planner is ready to go.
- Decreased clutter. No more stacks of stickers and paper everywhere.
- Convenience. Need more stickers? What a cute washi tape. Digitally download them from your favorite creators digital shop like makerbeautiful.shop or Etsy
- Customization. Unlimited planner page customization. Add or remove any digital pages to create the planner you have always dreamed of. No more “making it work”
- Beautiful planner layouts and add ons. Create that weekly spread you have always dreamed of in a few minutes with ease
- Easy to Use. Digital planner apps are very user friendly and easy to use.
- Reduced planner costs. Stop buying planners you don’t use. Make your digital planner actually work for you.
Digital Planning Basics FAQ
Can you use a digital planner without an ipad?
Yes, you do not have to use an ipad. You can use most tablets or smart devices(Android or Apple).
Can you have more then 1 digital planner?
Yes, you can add as many digital planner to you app as you like. However, some apps have limited memory space. I have not had an issue with memory space in Goodnotes.
How to start a digital planner?
Just jump in and get started. Don’t be overwhelmed with the techy part of it. Digital planning is easy and user friendly. Garb your smart device(phone or tablet), pick an app, download our free digital planner template and start planning today. There is no need to get stuck on the how to of starting a digital planner. We are here to help.
P.S. Check out our Youtube channel for digital planner tips and tricks.
Digital Planning Made Easy
We’re here to help you get started with digitally planning and organizing your life
- Pick your smart device and Stylus
Get started with what you already have or upgrade
- Pick and download your notes app on your smart device
Pick the app that works with your smart devices
- Grab your free Maker Beautiful digital planner template
Join our newsletter below and get your free digital planner template instantly sent to your email.
- Follow Maker Beautiful for digital planner tips and tricks
Check out or social media accounts and Youtube channel for easy everyday digital planning tips.