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.
There never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything you need to get done finished. At least that is how I always feel! The to-do list is never-ending and the clock won’t stop ticking. Although this is true there are still ways you can find time in your day.
By taking a deeper look into how you spend your time you can easily find more time in your day! When I first did this I was shocked at how much extra time I really had!
Here are 5 easy ways to find time in your day!
#1 IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN…..PLAN TO FAIL
(Or as my very dear friend calls it….get your poop in a group…haha!)
I know you have heard it before but it is so very true! If you don’t plan then you are going to fail. I grew up with a wing-it kind of attitude. My mom is a very carefree and easy-going person. She isn’t known for her promptness but rather her relaxed personality. Because of that my older sister and I tend to be more proactive and we like to plan and be on time.
And since we weren’t raised that way we have had to find our own path to become that way. I say that because we are by no means perfect at it.
Sometimes it feels like it is more work but it really does make the week go by so much smoother!
Plan out your meals
For example, I plan out our meals for the whole month. I use the grocery pickup to save time and to stay on budget. Then I prep my daughter’s school lunches and all dinners for the week.
(if you’re looking, I use these containers for her lunches and when I prep for my husband and I, I use these containers. Both inexpensive and super easy to use, clean and store!)
We will have enough food for leftovers for lunch and no one is a big breakfast eater so I only need to worry about dinners.
Normally for breakfast, we all just grab a protein bar or something. But with dinners planned and prepped, I don’t have to spend 30-45 mins trying to figure out what to make for supper each night and finally deciding to just order pizza.
Meal planning is a fairly obvious time-saver that many moms probably already do. And even though it does take up a big portion of my weekend, I have saved a bunch of time and stress over meals all week.
Also when I added up how much we would save by not eating out so much I was shocked!
I didn’t think we were spending that much eating out because there are only three of us…but yep we will save a bunch!
Plan out outfits for the week
Just like planning out meals, it helps so much if you plan out outfits too. My daughter is NOT a morning person so she doesn’t like getting up any earlier than she has to. Also, she is at the age where she doesn’t like the clothes I pick out for her. So it makes mornings run much smoother if we pick out her outfits for the week together Sunday evening.
This way we are prepared for P.E. days when she needs to wear tennis shoes and so on. This also ensures that we don’t miss any fun activities at school like pajama day or crazy sock day.
So you can see how planning in life frees up time.
I use a bullet journal or planner to help keep them myself on track and organized. I got this journal and I do love how you can customize each page instead of struggling to find a planner that works for you and your specific needs.
Some people are born motivated and can just go-go all day and you can’t get them to slow down….*cough: my husband!* He literally jumps out of bed around 5 am or earlier and does not stop until he is forced to slow down at night and then when he stops moving for more than 10 seconds he is asleep.
He has been that way since I met him. Most of our friends call him a robot because he requires very little sleep…some times zero. I have seen him go strong and hard for almost 48 hours. Running on maybe a 30-minute cat nap.
I, however, hibernate every night and I wish that I had his motivation. Just like my daughter, I am not a morning person but I wish I was!
I get up sometimes around 5am and will go for a run and that helps me accomplish so much more that day but then it takes days for me to recoup.
Find what motivates you
If you are like me and you need to find something to help push you through the day then find what motivates you! That will make a huge difference!
Are you goal oriented? Do you like a lot of coffee? Do you like to check things off your to-do list? Do you like to workout? Do you have an accountability partner?
Find something that will drive you!
What has helped me tremendously is Spark. It is a vitamin “energy drink” that gives me mental focus. It’s sugar-free so guilt free and it has helped me so much! I started drinking it in 2012 and I have rarely gone a day without it!
I am the least competitive person you will meet. If you say “I’m going to beat you!” to try and get me motivated I will say “Ok.” and keep doing what I was doing. I am not driven by competition or even goals. I actually clam up instead so I have found that with Spark it 100% helps motivate me. It is a joke at our house when I am cleaning, rearranging furniture, or painting something that I must have just drank a spark and to look out!
Find your motivation to help you acheive more in your day!
Get your blood flowing and get some rest!
Exercise always helps me get the blood flow going and helps me not feel so sluggish.
Also, as I said before some people require more sleep than others. There is no replacement for sleep!
I have found that even though it takes away from the time I am awake and could be working, I get more done if I get more sleep.
If I cut myself short on sleep, the next day I am slow, tired, I can’t focus, I just keep yawning, and I don’t get much done. So what is the point in staying awake longer trying to get more done if the next day I’m too tired to get anything done?
If I just get a good nights rest then I can accomplish so much more the next day being well rested. Even though I gave up work time the night before to sleep.
I have noticed too that our new mattress has helped a ton with getting a good nights sleep. We recently made the investment to get a new mattress and wow…I never realized how much we were missing out! Now my husband and I joke about how we just want to go lay in our nice new bed for fun.
Getting the rest our bodies need helps us be much more productive the next day!
Find your purpose or your passion and write that on your mirror so you can read it every morning. Having that daily reminder of your purpose can make a huge difference!
#3 MAP OUT YOUR DAY
Mapping out your daily routine will help you find the time you didn’t know you had. I did this and it shows I have all kinds of time but yet I was like “where is it all going?” and turns out that life happens and yes things come up that you have to do.
However, by mapping out your daily routine you can see where you can make things more efficient. Maybe you like to get up and drink a cup of coffee and watch the news when you wake up but then you are struggling to find time throughout the day.
Well, maybe you have to give up that coffee and news time. Or maybe you watch TV at night after you put the kids to bed that you could cut out.
#4 CUT DISTRACTION
I have met people that completely shut T.V. off in their homes because it is a distraction to their goals. I would have to agree it most certainly is a distraction for me.
I don’t have it on at all during the day so I can focus and work. Then I may reward myself with a little television at night. If I was looking for more time then I would cut it out as well.
If your schedule is overwhelmed with cleaning (because it’s never ending) then I would break it up into daily tasks so then you get a little done each day instead of feeling like you have to clean the whole house every day.
Social Media is another huge distraction. Sometimes I catch myself getting on to purposefully distract myself because I don’t want to do something. So I deleted Facebook off of my phone. I don’t struggle with other social media platforms but I do get sucked into Facebook. So I cut the distraction!
#5 ASK FOR HELP
No one said you have to do this alone. Ask for help! As mom’s we tend to just do it all and not ask for help. That isn’t helping anyone! Give some of the responsibilites to your husband or kids. Or ask your sister, mother, or friend would help watch the kiddos so you can find time to get things done!
Another great option is, if you don’t already, get an accountability partner to help keep you on track.
Delegate tasks out to save you time
Hire someone to come clean the house, mow the yard, power wash the house, whatever tasks you can delegate out do it! If you can delegate out chores that eat up your time to your spouse or kids then do that but if not then hire someone to help you.
This frees up time you are spending on those chores that you could be using for other things!
Even small little adjustments like this vacuum can help. I got this for Christmas and it saves me from having to vacuum all the time. I just let it run while I am doing other things and that’s one less chore on my list!
Massive action solves all problems
My favorite saying that I have written on my fridge is “Massive action solves all problems“. I think about that when I get stuck or feel a little lost.
When I over think and analyze too much I realize that I have wasted 15 minutes stressing over what I should do next. If I would have just moved forward on something I would have accomplished more than stressing over the order of my to-do list.
When the house is a wreck and I need to do invoices for our lawn care and I need to write a blog post but I don’t know where to start… I just start!
The more I can get done in a day whether it was in the right order or not is going to be more important than stressing about the order and wasting any precious time.
So for today, I leave you with those two reminders:
1. If you fail to plan…..plan to fail
2. Massive action solves all problems
Map out your schedule and plan out as much as you can then get into action! I hope this has helped you find more time in your day!