I am what some might call “OCD” whenever it comes to organization. Especially whenever it comes to my digital life. Between my 9-5 job, my blog, my personal life and my school life, I have four different email accounts that I manage. I also utilize my iPad for all things note-taking related. Between work and school, I take a lot of notes. I also take notes during Sunday School, sermons, small group meetings and notes during my personal Bible study time. Like I said….a LOT of notes.
Then, of course, there is my entirely too busy schedule. I used to carry around a physical planner, which I absolutely loved! But….between the planner, my notebooks, my Bible, my personal laptop, my work laptop, my iPad, all of the chargers that went with the electronics, the colored pens for the planner and notebooks, etc., my purse / work bag always seemed to weigh a ton! So, a little over a year ago, I started researching how I could minimize the physical items in my purse / work bag.
Whenever I first started my research, I had an iPad Air 2. Which I absolutely loved. But I really only used it for playing games, checking social media accounts, and reading e-books. However, as I was conducting research on how to downsize in my work bag, I came across several articles that discussed “digital note taking” and “digital planning”.
I thought that I was a planning guru. I mean, I had a top-of-the-line planner, tons of stickers (you know, to make it cute and all), over 50 rolls of washi tape, and several sets of colored pens, markers, etc. I followed all of the top planning Instagram accounts, was in several planning Facebook groups, and so on. So whenever I discovered digital planning, I was like “how on earth have I NEVER heard of this?!?!”.
Several Google searches about digital planning later, along with watching several YouTube videos, I decided that it was time to upgrade my current iPad to one that I could write on, and give this whole digital planning thing a try.
So, I headed off to the store, upgraded my equipment to an iPad Pro 11 & a Generation 2 Apple Pencil, and headed home to get everything setup. I downloaded the Goodnotes app, and spend some time playing around in the app so that I could get familiar with it’s functions. Then I hopped onto Etsy and started browsing digital planners. (Warning: If you have never done this, there are a LOT of digital planners for sale out there. So make sure that you read all of the description details, look at all of the photos, and ask all of the questions. Otherwise, you will end up spending a ton of money on digital planners that you don’t care for, before you actually find “the one”.)
I will spare you my thoughts on all of the planners that you shouldn’t consider, and jump straight to my absolute favorite digital planner, which I use on a daily basis…
The 2020 Dated Daily Digital Planner from LaurelStudioDesign.
Ya’ll….I can’t praise this digital planner enough! Seriously. Jane (the designer and shop owner) has literally thought of everything!! From goal setting to daily planning spreads that are incredibly functional and customizable, I honestly don’t know that there is a better digital planner out there. And before you ask, the answer is no. I do not make any commission off of this. I truly just absolutely love this product.
So, why do I love this digital planner so much? Glad you asked!
First of all, it is visually clean and streamlined. Jane has linked everything together to create a very easy workflow throughout the planner. I can open the month view, then click directly on the day that I want to go to and be taken straight to the daily planning page for that day. If I am wanting to go to the weekly spread instead, that’s done with one click as well. Need to update some goals? Simple. Just two clicks and I am on the page that I want to update.
Second, there are so many bonus pages! Additional Planning pages (for meal planning, projects, etc.), Trackers & Organization pages (habit tracking, password organizing, etc.), Financial Organization (Lord knows I need to improve in this area BIG TIME!), Blank Pages, Note Pages and Meeting Note Pages. Seriously, this digital planner isn’t just a planner….it is a “get your life together” organization power house!
Third…..stickers. Digital stickers. I love stickers, ya’ll. For real. And Jane includes a sticker book with the purchase of the planner. Now, I will admit that these aren’t frilly stickers like some of the ones that I purchase from other shops on Etsy, but these are certainly the most functional. Earlier, I mentioned that this planner is fully customizable, and part of that is because Jane has created widgets that you can copy & paste into the planner, to customize it to your very own personal needs. And in addition to that, you are able to customize your spreads differently on a monthly / weekly / daily basis! Whatever you need to do for that particular time in your planning life, you are able to do. Here, let me give you some examples….
While Jane also provides sections and blank pages in this planner, I don’t really utilize them much. I use the 8 Section Digital Notebook for all of my actual note taking because it is easier for me to separate them out that way. However, you could easily organize notes in this planner. It really just depends on what your preference is.
Since I have made the switch to digital planning and note taking, I have not only lightened my work bag significantly, but I am also able to easily access my information, make changes, etc., regardless of where I am at. The switch has also helped me to be tremendously more productive!
All in all, I highly recommend at least giving digital planning a try, if you are able to. I was a bit skeptical whenever I first started on my journey, but once I found a rhythm and became familiar with the tools and apps, I fell in love. Now, I can’t imagine going back to a paper system for my planning and note taking needs!
Please join in on the conversation and share your digital planning tips, etc. in the comments below!