“I only ever intended to use my iPad for taking notes in my college classes. It wasn’t until a month or so later, I got the idea that maybe…”
Nothing feels better than having everything in one place. The first day I got my iPad after saving up for monthsss for it, I hurriedly downloaded what was then GoodNotes 4 (only GoodNotes 5 is now available on the AppStore). I only ever intended to use my iPad for taking notes in my college classes. It wasn't until a month or so later, I got the idea that maybe I can create 'notebooks' to put my notes in... and similarly, not much longer after that, planners too.
This is how I slowly entered the world of digital planning. Within a few months of creating my own notebooks and digital planners, I filmed and uploaded this tutorial on how you can create your own digital planner. Since it was posted, it has amassed over half a million views. So many creators have watched it and used it in creating their own digital planners or products, and some have even taken it upon themselves to film their own tutorials.
Now that you have that little bit of background info, I wanted to write today to let you know exactly why I switched to digital planning and the changes YOU can make to the transition easier.
Why you need to switch to digital planning
There are so many benefits exclusive to having a digitally-organized system of planning. Whether it's for the convenience, savings over time, the increased utility, or simply the fun you'll have doing it, you should absolutely make the switch if you can.
Savings (monetary and environmental!!)- If you already have an iPad or a similar device that enables you to use Noteshelf (iOS, MAC), Notability, Goodnotes, or another note taking app, then you are going to be saving a lot more initially than someone (like me) who purchased an iPad for this purpose alone. However, an initial investment (which is exactly what you're making) does not mean that you're wasting your money. The same goes for the environmental conservation! By no longer perpetually buying paper supplies, you're helping out your wallet and saving some trees in the process. The upkeep of digital planning is very low-cost or even free, depending on what you decide to do. While paper planning means frequently buying paper journals, agendas, and all the accessories that go with them, digital planning instead offers you the ability to either design your own planner however fits your style and needs, or you can pick out your favorite templates, stickers, covers, rings, etc. for only a few bucks. On my YouTube channel, I tell you step-by step exactly how you can make your own planner, or you can look at my Etsy Shop to get an idea of what great designs you can choose from!
Convenience- One of the most frustrating feelings day-to-day if you use paper planning is when you reach for your schedule, just to find that in a hurry you may have left it back at home, in your car, or worse yet, you dropped it somewhere else and have lost it, along with important reminders and countless memories. There are lots of other potential mishaps that can happen with paper planners. I'm sure you can imagine (or know from experience). Having a digital planner means that wherever you bring your devices, your planner goes with you. Even if you leave your iPad at home when you go to class, you're fine because your planner, notes, etc. all sync between devices. Important files can also be stored on the Cloud for easy access. Not to mention that your backpack is so much lighter when you no longer need to carry bulky textbooks, notebooks, and everything else. As someone who suffers from chronic back pain, I can vouch that this is a major plus of making the digital switch. I hope this gives you some insight into just how much more convenient you will find digital planning to be! :))
Utility- On paper, using pen is pretty much committing to the marks you make. It's also usually the extent of what you can do. You write words, maybe highlight a bit and draw a couple diagrams. But the lack of flexibility once you commit to jotting something down means that you can never re-organize your thoughts. In digital planning methods, you have shape tools at your disposal to refine your diagrams, a lasso tool to move everything to better places, and you can quickly add and remove elements such as photos, videos, and links! The comprehensive nature of all the tools at your disposal allows you to do many things that you simply can't do with a paper planner. All around, digital planning is the most versatile way for you to get your life organized!
FUN- If you've taken a look at my Etsy shop or any other digital designer's planners, you have already seen the sheer level of customization waiting for you to pick from. Again, alternatively, you can always make something yourself! Habit trackers, outfit planners, cute fonts and templates for taking notes all make planning a lot more fun than it might sound. Then you can also add all the bells and whistles with cute fonts, endless unique "stickers," and the streamlined approach to curating your day however you see fit. If you're someone who often finds beauty in the details, you'll love how easy it is to perfect your designs.
Should I buy new tech for digital planning?
I think we are all aware just how tech-driven the world has become. Many of us likely already own some technology that we can digitally plan on... and I would not go out and purchase technology for digital planning being the ONLY reason. Like I said previously, I originally got my iPad for class notes and assignments... and it has served me WELL. Now, I use my iPad for art, digitally planning, and just so much more than I originally thought. With that being said, if you think your current technology is hindering you from exploring new skills or possibilities, and it's within your budget, definitely look into investing in an iPad and Apple Pencil. It will seriously MAKE the experience that much better for you. But, see if you can make use of something you already own... and whether that's all you need before dropping coins!
BUT I LOVE MY PAPER PLANNER...As someone who wasn't super into paper planning, the transition was likely much smoother for me than it would be for someone who has invested in stockpiles of washi tape, planner tabs, and other related accessories. That being said, I love the way flipping through REAL paper feels, and writing my to-do lists in pens does bring me a greater feeling than writing that same to-do list in my digital planner. So here's my advice: Do not drop any more money on paper planners or accessories. Easier said than done. But, still make use of everything you have already purchased. Finish out that planner. Still plan those deadlines. Decorate with that washi tape. Use your paper planner in conjunction with your digital planner. And then when you reach the end, use that digital planner! I am still using paper journals that I purchased long before diving into my digital planner.