Digital notebooks are ready to use PDF files (with/without hyperlinks) or JPEG images (use them to build a digital planner yourself) imported into a note-taking app like Noteshelf, GoodNotes, or Notability. You can use it on any tablet that you can write on, but the iPad Pro + Apple Pencil combo is the most loved by far.
The winning digital planners are PDF templates designed to plug in and play inside PDF annotation apps such as Noteshelf, GoodNotes, and Notability (available for iOS devices) and XODO PDF (for Android devices). They also include convenient indexes with super-smart hyperlinks to navigate to any date, week, or month, and other sections in your planner.
The best digital planners must be small-sized PDF files (less than 8 MB), high-quality layout, and intuitive navigation.
This type of digital templates work with any app that supports PDF annotations. Noteshelf, Goodnotes, and Notability offer the best handwriting experience for digital planning, but these are for iOS only. For Android, you can try XODO PDF, yet the experience is not the best.
You can: if you are using Goodnotes or Noteshelf, you can sync the digital planner across devices using iCloud. But an iPad digital planner it’s not 100% iPhone friendly. Writing on the phone can be a bit painful since the design is not adaptable, and your handwriting will not be super visible. However if you have a bigger iPhone (I use an iPhone 11) you can still comfortable check your plans on it.
You can use Noteshelf, Goodnotes 5 and Notability for iOS. I have chosen Noteshelf, just like many of my clients.
Here’s what one of my clients said:
“I started off using Noteshelf initially before ever using Goodnotes. Neither app is perfect but there are three things I like better about Noteshelf: 1) the ability to lock down an image layer for inserted planner widgets. I can erase writing and move stickers around without moving the base image. 2) I can copy the setup (highlighter, text, stickers) that I want on each page and paste to another and it will place it in the EXACT same location without realignment which is time consuming in Goodnotes and 3) squared off highlighter. I dislike Goodnotes’ rounded highlighter.
AND….I almost forgot to mention one of my favorite features! You can save numerous fonts and text styles as favorites so that you can easily change between them. I have thirteen favorites. Goodnotes does not handle text well.”
No. This type of PDF planner template does not come with such a feature. This feature needs to be implemented by the annotations apps (Goodnotes, Noteshelf) in order to work. So, at the moment, the digital planners do NOT sync with Google Calendar, any other calendar, or the Outlook.
No. This type of PDF planner template does not come with such a feature. This feature needs to be implemented by the annotations apps (Goodnotes, Noteshelf) in order to work. So, at the moment, the digital planners do NOT send ANY reminder, notification or alert.
If you are NOT a Vault member, and buy a single version of a planner you will get the download links in the THANK YOU page and in the order confirmation email.
However, during the checkout you have the option to create an account (or login to your account if you already have one) so all your download links will be stored in the Downloads area on My Account page.
After you have downloaded the digital template in the On My iPad / Downloads folder, go and open the app and import the planner from the Downloads folder using the add new functions:
– in Goodnotes tap: New+ > Import
– in Noteshelf tap: + > Import Document
– in Notability tap: Import > Files
Once you have downloaded the planner on your iPad, you won’t need Wi-Fi to use it.
However, if you are using the iCloud to sync across devices, the planner will only sync when you have a Wi-Fi connection.
When you get the OUTLINE PLANNER, you can choose between:
– Sunday Start calendar planners that use a standard time
– Monday Start calendar planners that use a military clock
So just make sure that you choose the best option for you.
You must be in the viewing mode to use the hyperlinks and switch to editing mode when you want to write. There is a pen icon inside a circle in the top right corner of the navigation that you need to tap to switch between the two modes.
Yes, all 2023 digital planners have tutorial pages included. You will learn how to navigate the planner with hyperlinks, how to fill in the pages, and how to contact me. Just open your 2023 digital planner, go to EXTRA section and look for the “Tutorial” section on the bottom left of the page.
All 2023 digital planners use a smart system of hyperlinks:
– the main VERTICAL navigation – placed on the right side of the screen ON ALL PAGES, allows you to access the Calendar, 2023 Master plan, Master to do, all twelve Monthly pages, and seven special sections.
– the secondary HORIZONTAL navigation – placed on the top right of the screen ON DATED PAGES ONLY, allows you navigate between inter-connected dated pages (eg: connects the same day’s: daily planning page, daily journaling page, and daily meeting notes page)
– the yearly calendar page – also has links to any weekly or daily planning page inside the planner
– the monthly planning pages – have links to weekly or daily planning page from that month
– the weekly planning pages – have links to all seven daily planning and daily notes pages from that week
– the monthly habits and workout trackers – have links to planning weeks and days from that month
– the weekly meal plan pages – have links to all seven daily planning pages from that week
Inside a digital planner, you can always duplicate the monthly planning pages to track different subjects. The vertical navigation’s monthly tabs will still get you to the 1st planning page of that month. Then you can flip the page to see the extra monthly page too.
Another thought will be to fit all activities inside one monthly calendar page and use color codes to differentiate them.
You can, but be careful what you delete since it will also delete the hyperlinks to those pages. You can’t undo it once deleted.
I suggest to duplicate the planner and try to delete these pages from the clone version first. If you like the result, you can then implement this action inside the original digital planner too.
In Goodnotes 5, Notability or Noteshelf you can move pages by drag and dropping their thumbnails. However, the planner has too many pages, so I recommend to copy a page (or template) and place it in a new location inside the planner.
Go to that day’s notes page and duplicate that exact page.
Plus, if you need more space for your notes or daily plans, go to the EXTRA templates section, copy a Notes page and paste it after the planning page.
There is no fast way to add that meeting other than to copy & paste the text to the next week’s slot using the dotted rectangle or lasso tool. In Noteshelf, if you tap on the dotted rectangle and hit Paste, the text will be pasted in the same location on the page.
Locking an image is only possible in Noteshelf (at the moment). To do so, tap & hold the image until an editing menu bar will appear. Tap Lock, and you’ve done it.
Sure. Any PDF annotations app has a “Type tool” that you could use. Just import the planner inside your PDF annotations app and start typing.
Yes, in the 2023 digital planner, ALL DAILY PAGES are DATED and inter-connected. So from a weekly page, you can go to the DAILY planning page, or DAILY meeting page, or DAILY Journaling page for the same day (eg: Monday, June 23). Plus, using the “heart” or “meeting” icons you can switch between these inter-linked pages easily.
And YES I have already added day names (eg: Monday) to each dated daily page.
Unfortunately, Notability, Goodnotes, and Noteshelf do not have this feature (so far), but I hope they will soon add this to their apps.
Playing with bookmarks/tags can help you reach another location in your planner. Or, add a note (like “client name”) on the new page and use the search function to find it.
All dated digital planners need to be purchased every year.
The undated planners are the ones that can be bought once and used many times. But you will need to add the dates to the pages.
While Goodnotes, Noteshelf or Notability are paid apps, there are some free alternatives as well. The two alternatives I recommend are: XODO PDF and CollaNote.
If you’re starting with digital planners, try the free digital planner samples for the Outline Planner, the Meeting Book, the People Book, the Project Book and a few more best sellers.
When you’ll want to share a PDF copy of your planner you can use the SHARE option (the rectangle with an arrow pointing up) and export your planner as PDF format. If your planner uses hyperlinks and you want to keep them working, just make sure your PDF file is Editable, before exporting it.
Starting in 2023, all dated planners will be available in the Vault once the Vault doors open on September 7th.
Planners will also be added to my public shop as individual purchases 5-6 weeks later, and to Etsy 8-9 weeks later.
The Vault is a cozy space with my collection of premium digital planners (37+ so far). Customers buy the 1-year access pass every year, in September. Access to the Vault is limited.
The Vault opens between Sep. 7th to Oct. 7th every year. No exceptions.
In the first 48 hours EVERYONE can enter the vault for the crazy price of $47 (instead of $97). However, existing customers can claim the discount anytime in the first 7 days after launch.
Read more about Vault related questions here.