Digital planner: what you need to know to switch to the digital agenda

Would you like to switch to a digital planner?

In this article, I tell you what you need to know before making the leap to tablet planning. The digital planner is an alternative to traditional paper diaries. These types of diaries are perfect for those looking to adopt a paperless lifestyle without leaving the feeling of writing with a pen on paper.

A few years ago, I decided to start digital planning. I didn’t realise that this new way of doing things would become more and more popular. At the same time, it’s not so surprising, there are so many advantages to using an iPad for planning! That’s why I’m giving you all the tools to learn how to use a digital agenda.

What is a digital planner?

These digital products for iPad or tablet, whether they are notebooks, diaries or notebooks are essentially files in PDF format. These files are designed to look like paper diaries.

Digital diaries have hypertext tabs to allow you to use your diary in an intuitive way. This allows you to switch to different sections of your planner quickly and conveniently. The best digital planners are those that offer divider or table of contents sections.

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The sections help you get to the pages you want without having to scroll through everything. With just one click, you’re on your way to the section you want. To make the best use of your digital agenda, you need to import it into a note-taking application.

What are the benefits of using a digital agenda?

If you’ve come across this article, it’s because you’re looking for an organisational method that works for you. You will find many reasons to switch to a digital diary. I’d like to share with you the 3 main reasons that led me to digital diaries.

The first and most important reason is to eliminate the clutter of paper diaries and desk accessories. Personally, I’ve always been a fan of paper diaries and notebooks, but I also love having a well-organised and minimalist space. So for me that was the first reason to get into digital planning.

What I also love about going digital is the ability to have my diaries and notebooks with me at all times. I also have several different digital planners to suit different needs, professional, personal, educational and they are always at hand. That said, having easy to access and portable diaries suits my travelling and nomadic lifestyle enormously (by the way, if you want to know more about me you can also find me here).

Thirdly, digital diaries and notebooks are easily customisable, encourage creativity and are flexible. For example, these templates allow me to rearrange my tasks, change pages, add pages, change the order, easily add and remove stickers or photos. I’m telling you, it’s a creative and perfectionist’s paradise.

I’m passionate about digital planning, so I’ve written a dedicated article to talk in detail about the benefits and advantages of adopting a digital planner.

What tools do you need to get organised with a digital planner?

To get started with digital planning, you’ll need the following:

  • A tablet with a note-taking app (such as GoodNotes or Notability) ;
  • A pen compatible with your tablet;
  • A digital agenda file

For me, I started with digital planning with an 11″ iPad Pro, the Apple Pen 2nd generation and the Apple Keyboard. I love my iPad, it is one of my best purchases! This product is still absolutely practical to help me both in my working days and in my leisure time. They are light enough to carry around for work and play! Also, I can easily sync all my files and applications with my MacBook Air and my iPhone. This is great for being very productive in my work days.

InMotion Planner - Planner digital

I also use the Paperlike screen protector that I bought from Amazon. It helps tremendously in giving a paper-like look to my iPad screen. My handwriting improved dramatically when I started using the screen protector.

You can also use your planner on your computer and type text from your computer keyboard. However, you risk spoiling the main reason for using this type of planner, handwriting. Being able to view and edit your diaries on the computer or on your mobile phone is still very convenient.

I’ve looked at how to use a digital planner with the GoodNotes app in a very comprehensive article. You’ll find all the information about the tools as well as the steps to import your digital agenda and start customising it.

GoodNotes, the note-taking app

The GoodNotes 5 note-taking application is the most popular among iPad users for digital planning. This is thanks to the many features of this application. You can import your PDF files in diary format, your course documents or create your own notebooks.

This application allows you to take handwritten notes (using your stylus) or with an input field for typed text. You can also add images, move or copy and paste items from one page to another and much more!

What I love about GoodNotes 5 is the ability to always be very creative with my note taking. To help you customize your documents and to make your note taking even more productive, I’ve written an article with all the features of GoodNotes.

Personalising with digital stickers

As I mentioned before, creativity and personalization of notes are among the main aspects of digital note taking with iPad or tablet. To make this even easier and more fun, you can use digital stickers.

These PNG images with a transparent background have been designed to imitate the traditional stickers used on a paper diary. You have many possibilities with these stickers that you can easily import or copy to your page.

I have a very detailed article about digital stickers to help you step by step to use them for your note taking. It’s a handy little guide to help you integrate digital stickers into your daily notes.

What predefined templates should I use in digital planning?

There are various styles of digital planner and notebook templates available on the market. This variety helps you make the transition to planning on the iPad. These predefined templates also allow you to meet your various planning and organisational needs.

The two main categories of planners are dated and undated. Undated planners let you use them year after year. You simply duplicate the database and add the dates yourself. Dated planners are linked to a specific year or period. Dated planners have the advantage of helping you stay motivated and keep your diary for the whole period.

Digital planners can also have two different orientations: vertical or horizontal. The choice depends on your personal preference, some prefer to use their iPad in portrait orientation, others in landscape orientation.

Each diary designer or brand chooses a style for their products. That said, you will find diaries to suit all tastes, from the more colourful to the more minimalist.

The various models also vary in content. That is, in addition to conventional digital planners with yearly, monthly, weekly and daily pages, you can get templates with other types of useful layouts. In particular, you can find pages for financial tracking, meal planners, goal setting and habit tracking.

The digital planner can also be used for specific projects such as social media planners, travel planners, blogger planners, student planners, among others.

Are you ready to switch to the digital planner?

Here’s what you need to know to make the switch to the digital agenda. Again, there are many tricks to learn and that’s part of discovering something new. If you’re just starting out with digital planning and you’re having a bit of trouble leaving your paper diaries behind, that’s perfectly normal. I assure you that it is worth trying planning on an iPad or tablet.

I believe that planning and journaling gives us the motivation to accomplish our projects.

I created this brand of digital stationery  templates with a focus on design and content. Our products will help you both to embrace digital planning and to support you in your professional and personal life. You will have all the structure to motivate you as well as the freedom to customize your planner to your personal style.

If you want to get ideas on how to use your planner on a daily basis and creative ideas, you can reach me on Instagram. It’s the perfect place to meet as a community of digital planner enthusiasts.

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