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Digital Planning: What is it?

Digital Planning What is it

If you are wondering about what is digital planning, the types of digital planning, the most popular type and the resources you need for digital planning, in this blog post you will find the answers to those questions. 

What is Digital Planning?

Firstly, digital planning is a form of planning done in an electronic device. It can be a computer, tablet or smartphone. And, the planner itself can be a software, app or a file of a program.

So, there are different types of digital planning. But currently, digital planning typically refers to the digital version of planning on paper planners with an “imitation” of a paper planner. 

Types of Digital Planning

Types of Digital Planning

As mentioned before, there are several ways a person can plan its activities digitally:

  • Using an app or program designed for planning that you install and use on your device. These are task management apps like Microsoft To Do, Google Tasks, Evernote, Todoist and more.
  • Project management apps like Notion, Trello or Monday. Some of these, like Notion, are apps or software that also allow you to write notes, have spreadsheets, attach files and additional features. 
  • Designed templates for planning purposes to open with a specific software. Like document templates to open with programs like Microsoft Word or Google Docs. In addition, spreadsheet template files to open with programs like Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, WPS Office Spreadsheets, OpenOffice Calc and so on. This type of digital planner can be used in any device, but it’s more comfortable to use in a computer.
  • Lastly, hyperlink PDF files that often simulate a paper planner and are opened with a PDF Reader app that lets you annotate on it. In this post, we refer to this type of digital planner.

What is a Digital Planner

A digital planner is a planner in a PDF file, similar to a paper planner or agenda. This digital planner has links that connect one section or page to another section or page of the planner.

Types of Digital Planner

Digital Planner

Digital Planner PDF
Digital Planner Hyperlinked PDF Example

This type of digital planner frequently includes inserts like yearly, monthly planner, weekly and daily planner, notes pages and more planners that are connected to each other. The planner inserts are like printable planner pages but linked. For example, the planner has a calendar page when you tap over a month, it will go to the monthly planner of that month. You tap October on the calendar, consequently, the planner will go to the October’s monthly planner.

Digital Notebook

Digital notebook example
Digital Notebook Example

It’s a blank notebook to write notes on it with various sections that are linked. Consequently, those sections are in a list that functions like an index. If you tap or click the first section, it will go to the cover of that section or the first page of the section.

Digital Journal

It’s similar to the digital notebook, but instead of blank pages per section, it has a page for every day of the month and year, where you will journal.

Digital Bullet Journal

It’s like your typical bullet journal but in PDF. There are ones that come with the spreads done and others are like blank digital notebooks where you would design your bullet journal, but with an index to all the sections of the digital bullet journal.

Digital Planners are designed in different styles and may be:

According to the layout: portrait or landscape

The portrait digital planner or notebook has a page design in vertical, with the tabs or links to the pages on the side. This layout has a more natural feeling for planning like a physical planner.

The landscape layout has the page in horizontal position with tabs in the top or at the side. On the positive side, this type of layout lets more room to write down what you need and to decorate it.

According to date: dated or undated

The dated digital planner are like physical annual agendas with all the pages for every day of the year with dated calendar, monthly planner, weekly and daily planner. These are ready to annotate, but only last for that year. 

On the other hand, undated digital planners don’t have dates. You will have to annotate the date, but it’s great for using years to come. Also, it is more flexible for digital planning.

According to the page look: 1 page or 2 pages design
Two Pages Digital Notebook
Two Pages Digital Notebook

This is a more aesthetic characteristic of the digital planner. There are those with only one page per view and have more space to annotate. In contrast, the two pages design simulates an open physical journal or binder and two pages per view. Those pages can have different spreads in each page, or only one across the two pages.

What do you need to use a digital planner

A device


The most common device used for digital planning with a hyperlinked PDF is an iPad. Even so, a digital planner also can be used in a computer, where you will type on it. Also, you can use the digital planner with a tablet of another brand and with another operative system, like Android or Windows.

iPad and Tablet

Additionally, to imitate the experience of a paper planner, it’s recommended to have a digital stylus to write on your planner like you would do with a physical one. Then, for the iPad the most extended used is the Apple Pencil and for Android tablets, it’s better if the tablet comes with the stylus (like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 6 or 7) or it’s designed to use a specific stylus of the brand like some of Lenovo.

At the same time, you can use a computer like a laptop, to use a digital planner, if it has a tactile screen and uses a stylus like some models of Microsoft Surface and some of Lenovo.

A note-taking app

Note-taking Apps
Note-taking Apps

It’s necessary a digital note-taking that lets you open the PDF. But, an app not only reads the PDF file, an app that recognizes the planner’s hyperlinks and lets you write on it, draw, highlight, type and add images to the digital planner.

For iPad/iPhone OSFor Android OSFor Windows OS
Goodnotes (the most recommended)
Xodo (free)
Drawboard PDF
Note-taking apps for different OS

Digital Planner in PDF format

Look for the digital planner with the inserts and design that meet your needs. The planner should have hyperlinks to navigate on it easily. Also, it should be compatible with the app you will use. If the provider has free examples of the digital planner, test the free ones first to make sure it functions well on your device and app.

Note that the typical digital planner may not function or look very well with the OneNote App. So, if you are using or plan to use this app, look for digital planners specifically designed for OneNote, and it will be great.

Digital Accessories (optional)

Digital stickers

The accessories or add-ons can be found for digital planners are:

Digital Planner stickers: these are images in PNG format, with transparent background, that function as stickers. Sometimes, the stickers come in PDF to import into your planner. Generally, they come like sticker packs, in individual PNG stickers, digital stickers book or pre cropped stickers for a specific app like Goodnotes.

Digital Washi Tape: these are similar to digital stickers, but with the look of washi tape strips. As well, they are in PNG image format.

Digital Sticky Notes (Memo Pad): images in PNG with the appearance of sticky notes or memo pads with multiple and beautiful designs.

digital paper
Free Digital Paper

Digital Paper: like the scrapbook paper sheet, the digital paper file is a digital version with a pattern design for printing or using digitally. So, it’s like the physical printed scrapbook paper you find at stores. You can add pieces of digital paper to decorate your planner. Here you will find a free floral pattern digital paper.


As can be seen, you only have to choose the digital planner that best suits your needs according to the device and software you have or plan to have. I hope you liked this post.

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