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Are you still using a regular planner? Have you ever thought about going digital? Maybe you didn’t even realize there was such a thing as a digital planner? Well, let me tell you a little more about them and why you should make the switch to a digital planner (or bullet journal) today!
First, let me say I am not talking about using your Google Calendar or using some fancy calendar app. I am talking about a digital version of a physical planner. It looks like a paper planner and it acts like one too but better!
See, a digital planner is just a PDF that is made to look like a planner and then you upload it into a note-taking app that allows you to edit the PDF such as GoodNotes or Notability. I am an iPhone user so I use GoodNotes.
GoodNotes is only available for Apple users but Andriod users can use Notability and others. So here is an example of what a digital planner looks like. This is from GoodNotes Goods, Co. It has hyperlinks in the PDF to allow you to jump to certain sections of the planner, like the tabs on the right take you to each month.
It looks just like a real planner, doesn’t it?! So why make the switch to digital? Let’s talk about all the benefits you get from a digital planner that a physical planner just can’t do.
Pros of a Digital Planner vs a Physical Planner
Can be used right from your phone or iPad
More convenient to use
Only need one pencil
Don’t have to buy a new one when it is full
Easily add more pages
Don’t have to buy stickers, tape, pens pencils markers
If you do buy digital stickers you only have to buy them once, when physical stickers you only get one use out of them.
You can use any font you want (not just what you can write)
Easily make edits
Add images and graphics
Add charts and graphs
Won’t rip or get all banged up
You can add links to other sites or link within the planner
Won’t bleed through and ruin the next page
Going digital you are able to make easier edits and adjustments with a few swipes of your magic wand…I mean stylus. I can’t do that on a regular planner. When I mess up (which happens a lot) I am stuck with that forever. Even if you are using a pencil it still isn’t the same.
Flaws of a Physical Planner or Bullet Journal
I joined a few Bullet Journal/Planner Facebook Groups to get inspirations and ideas on how to use my bullet journal. It is amazing how creative people can be! With a blank paper, they turn it into this beautiful functional work of art.
However, I have seen so many of these talented people share their layouts that have a smudge, a rip, or a bleed through on all their hard work.
For me, I struggle with having a steady hand and the patience to create a layout. But with each of these flaws I just see how much easier, it would be to use a digital version.
There are no mistakes that can’t quickly be fixed with a digital version that you can’t fix on a physical version.
What Is The Best Digital Planner
There is no one perfect planner that fits all. One layout may work better for someone than another layout. I think that is the beauty behind the bullet journal. You are able to customize each page to your own liking. It can be a planner, a mood tracker, a notebook, anything you can dream up! So to me, the best would be a digital bullet journal. I love them so much I created a free one just for you to test this whole digital process out for yourself! It works great with an iPad pro and the GoodNotes app or any other note-taking app.
I will say that GoodNotes does cost I believe $7.99 for the app. But I have spent more on wasted planners than that so this way I can now reuse the digital planners and bullet journals I create over and over again in the GoodNotes app so it is well worth it to me.
Plus, the options that are offered in the app are what makes me love it so much. It makes using your planner so easy!
How Do I Import a Digital Planner into GoodNotes
Once you get the app there is a dotted square with a plus sign, click on that and then choose import, from there you just find the PDF you saved and import it! In the GoodNotes app, you can create folders to keep all of your notebooks and planners all organized. There are free templates and notebooks that you can create in the app as well.
Where Can I Purchase a Digital Planner
There are so many wonderful digital planners available on Etsy that you can purchase one and reuse. Or you could always create your own digital planner for free as I did. If you are thinking you may be interested in creating your own digital planner but need some guidance then no problem, I can help you!
I am launching a Digital Planner Course very soon and if you would like to be kept up to date on when it will go live then sign up here to get all the details!
What is All Included in The Digital Planner Creation Mini-Course
A Walkthrough on How to Create Your Digital Planner
Which Programs to Use to Create a Digital Planner
The Different Styles and Types of Digital Planners
How to Design Your Digital Planner
The Best Apps to Use with Your Digital Planner
This is a perfect opportunity to start 2020 off with your own customized digital planner made for you by you!
I know you will love digital planner just like I do!
Is it better to batch all of your work in one day or have daily tasks throughout the month? Personally, I believe it depends on the person. Time batching work is like doing a month’s worth of work in one day. For example, some people will pick one day a month to do all the deep cleaning housework for the month. Others will pick one thing a day and tackle it that way. Then it doesn’t pile up and need to be tackled all in one day. Time batching work sounds great in theory but I feel like it depends on who you are and how you work if this method is right for you. Which one sounds like a fit for you?
Let’s go into more depth with each option to see which method is right for you. There are obviously pros and cons to both methods. To me, it sounds like a great plan to just dedicate one day to do a month’s worth of cleaning. However, it also sounds like an easy way to just put that one day off…after all you already have for a whole month!
Daily tasks sound like a great way to break up projects into smaller easier tasks but it also sounds a bit overwhelming to have so much to do each day.
Time Batching Pros
Here are the pros of doing time batching.
It is all done at once and you can check it off the list for the whole month.
It only takes one or two days to complete a month’s worth of work which is a major time saver.
You are able to brain dump and get all of those ideas out and tasks flow into the next easily.
You can get more done in the month if each day you batched something different.
As you can see there are great pros to this method. You are able to check big things off your list. A month’s worth of work can be done in one week. For example, if you were a blogger and you batched all of your blog posts one day, your images the next, your social media posts next, your emails the next, and so on!
This method isn’t just for bloggers but I am using them as an example. But for another example, we have a small lawn care business that we run on the side. I could use this batch method with our lawn care business as well.
Instead of doing one or two yards a day, we time batch our yards into one day a week. For that one day, we will do between 10-15 yards.
Time batching any work seems great because the first week of each month you could have all your major work done and would still have three more weeks to work on everything else!
However to me, as great as it sounds, it also has some cons that come along with it such as these.
Time Batching Work Cons
It can be overwhelming.
What if you have a foggy brain day that day.
What if something comes up that day and you can’t reschedule so now you’re behind.
If you go too long in between working you may feel disconnected. For example, if you do one task one day a month, you will go 29-30 days in between that task.
If you dedicate one whole day to one thing then other things may not get done.
To me, this process seems overwhelming. I love the idea of it all getting done in one day and to schedule one day a month to finish a month’s worth of work sounds great! But at the same time, there are so many daily tasks that I have to do each day that it feels overwhelming because I would get backed up on those.
Plus, if I were to write 4 blog posts in one day and then not write any more until the next month I worry I would be disconnected and lost. I would have to go back through what I wrote before to get myself back into the flow.
Also, a lot of bloggers are growing their blogs on the side with only 30 minutes a day to spare. Moms working full time don’t have the option to dedicate a whole day to one task. Or moms with little ones that need their attention, they don’t have this option to time batch all of their work. Or maybe this method is perfect so they only have to work a few full days out of the whole month?
Like I said with the lawn care example it makes sense to batch work. Instead of getting all dirty every day for only one or two yards, we batch it to only one day a week.
This is where I again feel like it depends on the person as to which method fits into their lives. Let’s look at the pros of doing daily tasks.
Need a calendar to keep track of all your tasks? Here is a free download of blank monthly calendars!
You have the option to move things around or change things.
More things get done each day.
I love checking things off of my list and even if I only put three major things on there a day that makes me feel like I made progress. Then if I have to roll something over to the next day I can do that. With batch work I don’t feel like that would work. Then you would have pushed a large project over onto another day full of another large project.
Life is too unpredictable and I feel like with daily tasks I can knock out a few small projects and feel like I have gotten something done at least. This way when life gets crazy I was still able to make progress.
Also, this helps me be able to choose which small project I can put into each time frame I have blocked off!
Of course, just like time batching, there are also cons that come with doing daily tasks.
Daily Task Cons
May take up more time than batching per each project.
With a bunch of little tasks, you may feel overwhelmed.
Things could get lost or forgotten on the to-do list.
The list feels like it gets longer and longer every day.
Daily tasks may feel overwhelming to some. Once more it just depends on the person. Seeing a long list full of little projects may be too much for someone. As another person may see small attainable goals.
It is all about your perspective and how you personally handle projects and to-do lists!
What should you do?
The best way to find out which one is right for you is to give each one of them a try! If you have a Saturday that is free then you could try dedicating that whole day to only batching one month’s worth of work. Then you will see if that process worked for you or if it was a struggle.
Go through the list of pros and cons of each and get a feel for what you think you can handle.
Then (and this is actually what I think I am going to do) you could even try doing both! Pick the project that seems to be the hardest for you to get done and put that at the top of your list at the beginning of the month.
Batch that work and then you don’t have to procrastinate on getting that project done each week. It will already be done for the whole month!
Now you can focus the rest of the month to getting your daily tasks done!
Are you interested in learning how to create a digital planner? I know I was the second I came across them! I had just gotten a new iPad with the Apple Pencil and I wanted to see what all I could do with my new toy (besides just work on my blog). That’s when I discovered digital planners!
I loved this idea! It took away all the things I didn’t care for with a physical planner and gave me all the things I love with a digital one! Check out my post here that goes more into detail on that but for now, let’s talk about creating your very own digital planner!
Programs to use to create a digital planner
There are a bunch of different programs you can use to create a digital planner. It is all based on preference. All you really need is a program that can create a PDF. Now if you want your planner to have tabs that link to certain parts in your planner, then you would need a program that can save hyperlinks in the PDF.
I have a Mac so I have become best friends with Keynote, which is Apple’s version of PowerPoint. Keynote allows you to use hyperlinks in your PDF. Hyperlinks in your PDF is how you are able to link from the front of your planner to a certain section or month in your planner.
If you are using an iPad to use your digital planner then it is very easy to just use the Keynote app to create your digital planner. You just create it, save it, then upload it into the note-taking app of your choice to actually use the planner!
If you aren’t using an Apple product then no worries, there are still other ways you can create and use your PDF for your digital planner.
Some of the main programs that allow you to add hyperlinks in a PDF are:
– Microsoft Word
– Google Docs
Like I said there are many more but most people either use Google, Microsoft, or Apple. All of those allow you to create PDFs with a hyperlink. At least all of those programs just allowed me to when I tested them out to make sure.
So if you are using one of those and it doesn’t you may need to update it because I know that I couldn’t before on PowerPoint but now I can.
For more help on how to create hyperlinks in one of those programs check out my posts for each one here: Hyperlinks in Google Docs, Hyperlinks in Word Doc, Hyperlinks in PowerPoint, or Hyperlinks in Keynote.
Pages to Include
Now that you have picked a program to use you need to decide how your planner is going to look and what pages you are going to include.
This is all personal preference too and the best way to decide is to do a little research.
When creating mine, I Googled digital planners and I looked through all the different ones and decided which styles I liked or didn’t like.
I decided how some of them made sense to navigate through and some didn’t. Again, just go through and get some different ideas. As long as you aren’t going to try and resell your planner it is okay to have yours similar to someone else.
You do not, however, want to copy someone else’s and then try and sell your planner. That’s a big no-no so don’t do that.
Here are some examples of pages you can include in your digital planner.
Dotted Grid Pages (like a bullet journal)
This is where creating your planner gets fun! You get to customize each page to what is best for you!
Add charts, graphs, and fun layouts!
Programs to Use Your Planner
After you have finished up your digital planner and saved it as a PDF you can now upload it into your favorite note-taking app.
I use GoodNotes and it is amazing, I really do love it. It is only available on Apple devices and it does cost about $8 bucks. But really $8 is pretty cheap and it’s worth it in my opinion.
You can also use Notability or OneNote. Any app that will allow you to upload a PDF and edit it. Once again, it is all about preference. You just need to be able to edit it for you to be able to actually use your digital planner like a normal planner.
Once you have picked the app and uploaded your digital planner PDF, you are now free to fill it all in and get your life completely organized at your fingertips!
Need some more help?
This post is just a quick guide to explain how digital planners are created but if you are looking for a more detailed explanation and someone to help guide you through every step of the process, then check out my Digital Planner Creation Mini-Course.
In my mini-course, I will help guide you through creating your own digital planner. Here is a quick video explaining what is included in this course.
Here is more information on the iPad and Accessories that I got.
This is the exact iPad that I bought. I did go with the lower storage because I need to get a hard drive anyway so this way I can just get one of those and save money on buying the extra storage.
We looked into purchasing the iPad through our phone carrier to add data to it but that costs more also. Plus we found out that our T.V. provider has hotspots I can use when I am away from home. Just some things to think about!
I wanted the bigger screen so that was my main priority. I wasn’t as worried about storage because I have a bigger icloud storage plan and then again I plan to get an external hard drive to save all pictures and important documents on it.
Now I don’t pretend to be all tech-savvy, I know just enough to get by. I know that I am a busy mom and this all makes my life easier and more portable. I do want to say that it comes with a completely new charger.
Supposedly it is to be able to connect to your computer better or other techy stuff I don’t understand but my point is no more USB on one end and no more of the other normal end that all Apple products have.
The cord has the same end on each end. So either way, it connects to your converter to plug into the wall and then into the iPad to charge. Just a heads up.
Then since I got the bigger screen I had to get this keyboard that fits it. They are both 12.9 inches so that gives plenty of room for using your screen and typing on a good-sized keyboard, not a tiny one.
The iPad connects magnetically to the keyboard and there are three dots on the back of the iPad that connects it to the keyboard.
Then you can have it in different positions to adjust it to your liking while typing. Then when you aren’t using the keyboard you can fold it over to close and you will hear the iPad lock. Also, you can flip it around and under the iPad to quickly use the iPad only.
There are no buttons, it looks and feels just like a regular pencil. It doesn’t erase like one although I think it should. I keep wanting to flip it around and erase with the pencil eraser like you normally would.
But just a heads up it doesn’t work like that. Another fun feature of the Apple pencil is that it connects to the side of your iPad magnetically to charge.
This is great to keep track of the pencil and know that it is always charged up. No plugging it in or cords involved! Once you connect it to the iPad it will tell you what charge the pencil is at as well.
I don’t know if I will do that or not because with the new pencil it senses when you double-tap to erase when using the Notes App. Also, I don’t know how the gripper affects it charging magnetically or staying safely on the side of the iPad. I worry that it might come off and I would lose it.
10 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Organized
I don’t know if you have problems with procrastinating like I sometimes do but here are 10 ways to stop procrastinating and get more organized! Procrastination is a bad habit that is hard to break and even when you are doing MUCH better it slowly can creep back up on you! So if that sounds familiar I hope these tips help you!
Procrastinating has always been a struggle for me. It actually runs in my family. I think back to when I was in school and I see just how bad I was at procrastinating. I would do anything other than my homework or clean my room.
Instead, I would, of course, choose things that were fun and put off the not so fun things until the last minute. Then when I had to rush and get things done I didn’t do my best work.
As I became an adult, wife, and mother, I have found that putting things off can end up really bad! You have to be prepared and use your time wisely if you want things to get done. I have learned as the years have gone by to overcome my procrastinating habits.
Pin it for later!
Here are the 10 ways to stop procrastinating and get more organized that have helped me find time to be more productive.
1. Identify What Takes Up Your Time
What is taking up most of your time? If you were to stop and really think about any spare time you have what are you doing? Then decide if that is time well spent or not!
Do you spend too much time on Social Media?
Are you putting off important tasks to clean when you could do that later?
Are you overthinking and stalling?
Take a hard look at how you are choosing to spend your time and identify what is really take up your time and making you “too busy” to get your important task done.
Instead of doing what you want first in your day, do the important task that you are putting off first. Or if you find that you are more productive during a certain part of the day then more that task to that time frame.
Rearrange your schedule to make it more effective for you to get your task done. If you move some things around in your schedule to different time frames then you may be more likely to get it done.
For example, if I decide to clean all morning then I am worn out in the afternoon and struggle to work on my computer. But if I work first then my important task is done and I have the rest of the day to catch up on housework.
I did the same thing during the day but in a more productive order that ensures everything gets accomplished.
3. Make a List
Make a list of the things you want to accomplish during the day and then map out your day. At the beginning of the day, I think about all the things that need to be done.
Between what’s for supper, is tonight gymnastics, what yards need to be mowed (we have a small lawn care company), have I billed everyone for said yards, where am I at on my blog etc. It can get overwhelming.
If I don’t write it all down then I forget and things don’t get done.
If I make a list and I see what all needs to be done then I just start chipping away at that list and I love seeing those things get crossed off! When I get to the end of the list I feel so good! I feel like I can relax a little and that I have earned it!
Also having that list you can see the order in which things need to be done. If there are things that need to all be done while you are in town then group them together. Things that need to be done at home then group them.
Then multiple things can be done at once and crossed off the list all at once!
4. Give Yourself a Time Limit
Allow yourself only so long to do each thing you need to accomplish that day. Set a time limit for each item. This sets a sense of urgency when you see you only have X amount of time left to finish that item.
This also keeps you from spending too much time on one item. I do the budgeting for our family so every Friday I like to see where we are. Payday Friday I map everything out and then the next Friday I see how we are doing staying on our budget.
Now life has a funny way of not caring about what you have planned so it never works perfectly but at least I tried! It shouldn’t take all day or even hours but I can end up spending hours planning ahead for the future.
This is when I have to set a timer. It should only take 30mins-1hour tops. Also, the time limit works great for cleaning because I see that oven timer ticking down and I really rush to get it done so I can be more productive with my day!
5. Pick Up The Pace
I have a very laid back personality so I can just mosey along with my day and get half as much done that I could have if I would have just picked up the pace.
So I have tried hard to pick up the pace while working on my to-do list.
It works great along with #4 and setting a timer. It just lights a little fire under you to get more done in your day.
Now some people say this can cause you to be less productive but I’m not talking about talking on the phone while typing an email. I am talking about turning on the washer and dishwasher first so they can run while you are vacuuming type thing.
If you multitask and do things in the right order you will get more done during the day.
Maybe you listen to an audiobook or watch a training video while you are cooking supper or folding laundry instead of watching T.V. Maybe you answer emails on your phone while you are waiting for gymnastics practice to be over instead of scrolling on Facebook.
The other day I had to drive 3 hours to meet with my friend so instead of listening to the radio I listened to videos from my favorite blogger to help better myself.
We all multitask already but choosing better things to do while multitasking will make a huge difference.
7. Wake Up 30 Minutes Earlier
We all know this is a great one that is easier said than done. I am not a morning person so waking up earlier is hard for me.
Sleep is good for us so you just need to use your time more wisely and get to bed on time (instead of scrolling through social media).
I have always been a night owl and never an early riser but I have found that if I stay up 30 minutes later that I start my day off tired and grumpy and I get less done during the day.
If I go to bed on time but wake up 30 minutes earlier I still have that same 30 extra minutes but I am much more productive!
I didn’t realize just how amazing meal prepping is! I knew to eat healthier that meal prepping made all the difference but what I didn’t know is how meal prepping saves so much time and headache period!
It has made a huge difference! Also, it has helped our budget extremely because my husband doesn’t just order something because supper is already ready when he walks in the door from work! (I started this habit while working a full-time job because I was too tired to cook after work. But with everything prepped it saved the day!)
This one goes along the lines of the time-wasters. I am very bad about not saying no, I always get suckered into saying yes.
Every once in awhile it’s okay to say no.
I recently had a hard time saying no and I felt guilty about it at first but good about it later. My neighbor asked if I could watch her daughter and I told her no which bothered me at first but then I thought “Darn it, my life is important and my blog is important too and it deserves my attention!”
So it is okay to say no! Again, it is all about a healthy balance. You don’t want to always work and never enjoy life but you can’t always enjoy life and never work either.
Spark is a complete LIFESAVER! If you haven’t heard of it then let me just change your life real quick!
Spark is an amazing healthy energy drink. I have never had a monster or any of those types of energy drinks and I was very skeptical about this one when I first heard about it. Spark is made by AdvoCare and isn’t sold in stores.
You can only get it from a distributor. My bestie had signed up and finally talked me into trying it and it is like liquid gold.
I am very stingy with it. I’m not gonna lie, I do not like to share….it is my “happy mommy juice” so no one takes it from mama! I will try not to go on and on about it because I most definitely could.
Spark helped me become the productive mom I had always dreamed of being. I would drag all day and drink coffee and Mountain Dew trying to have the energy to get through the day.
It’s just another amazing thing that changed my life and I would be selfish not to share that with you! I am beyond thankful my friend shared it with me!
I have been drinking it since 2012 and I don’t go a day without it!
There You Have It
I hope some of these tips help you kick your procrastination habit and get more stuff done!
My best advice to stop procrastinating and get more organized are these 5 simple words… MASSIVE ACTION SOLVES ALL PROBLEMS.
I wrote that on a note and stuck it on my fridge so I could see it every day. It would remind me that even if I didn’t know where to start, I just needed to start. I just needed to get moving and the rest would work itself out!