Hey, Ambitious Fam! About 2 months ago I made the switch to digital planning! I remember reading a post from Carly about her iPad and the joys of GoodNotes a couple of years ago that sent me on a YouTube spiral about the digital planning world. At the time, I had just traded in an old cracked iPad from undergrad that I hadn’t touched in years and I couldn’t justify the repurchase. Fast forward to pandemic times and TikTok scrolls…*adds iPad to cart. I have been loving my iPad so far and I use it primarily for digital art (more on that soon!) and planning! This is a great time to note that you don’t need an iPad to take advantage of a digital planner–that’s just the device I prefer to access it on the majority of the time. Digital planners can be accessed on your computer or even printed out for use.
Keep reading for the advantages of using a digital planner and more about which planner I use!
5 Advantages of Using a Digital Planner
It’s an Eco-Friendly Option
If you’re like me, then you love the thrill of a new planner. It’s one of the few ways left to get that “new school supplies” serotonin in adulthood. I would spend time debating on which Lilly cover or customizable planner to try out. Inevitably, the end of the year would arrive and I would be left with the half-completed planners that I felt were “too pretty” to get rid of. As part of my sustainability journey, I have been finding sustainable swaps that I can make and this definitely falls into that category because it is zero waste! Using a digital planner reduces one aspect of paper usage and I no longer have to worry about a collection of paper planners.
Write it Out
One of the reasons that I enjoyed paper planners (in addition to the fresh start feeling) was that it allowed me to physically write out my plans and to-dos. Many have claimed the benefits of writing versus typing when it comes to memory and retention, but I also just like the practice of writing things down in addition to adding them to a digital calendar somewhere. With digital planning on an iPad, you still have the option to write out your planning. Sure, there is a typing function, but I much rather put [Apple] pencil to [digital] paper. Don’t have an Apple pencil? I used this stylus pen for months and it got the job done!
Portability–Accessible on Multiple Devices
Another great thing about using a digital planner is that it is always there when you need it. I can access my digital planner through GoodNotes on my iPad, phone, or Macbook. Even when the world opens back up, I can rest assured knowing that I can reference my planner on the go because it will likely be within arms reach. There are also ways to easily add the events you create on GoodNotes into your calendar app as well!
In my yearly search for the perfect planner, I never found one that completely addressed my needs without having to shell out a ton of extra money to customize it. The great thing about digital planning is that it is 100% customizable! I have shifted around layouts to make it work for me, removed spreads, and even inserted my own pages. In addition, you can still personalize to your heart’s content using digital stickers, different colors, and pen usage–all without having a giant marker/pen collection.
Digital planners can also save you some money in the long run! I have paid an embarrassing amount of money to get planners as close to my needs as possible. When you purchase an undated planner spread, you can continue to use them again and again. There are some great ones on the market that are available for digital download at pretty reasonable price points. I recommend searching through Etsy.
Which Planner Do I Use?
After I purchased the GoodNotes app (one time purchase of $7.99) I tried a few free planner templates to decide whether it would work with my lifestyle and figure out if I would even like digital planning. Highly recommend that you do this as well to determine whether you want to make the commitment. I ended up falling in love with the Flourish Planner and their social media accounts (seriously check out their Instagram/YouTube/TikTok). In a surprising turn of events, I discovered that actually know the Flourish Planner owner (small world)! I purchased the weekly planner pack at the end of November 2020 and it is now available for FREE. In addition, I was gifted the 2021 Undated Yearly Planner. Currently, I switch between the two which is done easily on the app. Flourish Planner also sells specific digital planner separates (like the Goal Getter Planner and Money Moves Financial Planner), digital art prints, or you can combine them all with the Ultimate iPad Planner Bundle. Check out the Flourish Planner Etsy page for more info!
My favorite thing about the Flourish Planner and digital planning is that it really fits with my lifestyle. I can habit track, hone in on my goals, check-in on my digital vision board, and plan out my day. Even more, I feel better about not wasting and holding on to old planners. I’ve come across so many half-used planners recently and I realized that I rarely need to look back on specific details of my day to day life. Personally, I just erase the spreads weekly to use again (but if this freaks you out, you can totally duplicate and keep adding pages haha). To see how I plan out my day, click here to view a 30-second video!