How to Choose the Perfect Digital Planner

Not sure how to choose the perfect digital planner? Overwhelmed by all the options? In this guide, I'll discuss the different types of planners available and help you choose the one that is right for you.

Whether you are looking for a paperless solution or just want to try something new, a digital planner is a great way to stay organized and productive.

In this guide:

  • What is a digital planner?

  • Portrait vs Landscape

  • Dated vs Undated

  • Minimalist vs Decorative

What is a digital planner?

A digital planner is a type of planner that is designed to be used on a digital device, such as an iPad or Android tablet. They are typically PDF files with 'hyperlinks' which act as buttons and link to other pages within the planner.

Most digital planners can be opened and edited in any PDF editing app. The most common app for iOS is Goodnotes, and for Android, it is Noteshelf or Notability. These apps allow you to write, draw, type, and paste images onto the pages in your digital planner, in the same way you would use a paper planner. Digital planners come in many different styles and formats, so it is important to find one that suits your needs.

Portrait vs landscape

When it comes to choosing a digital planner, one of the first decisions you'll need to make is whether you want it in landscape or portrait orientation. Landscape planners are wider than they are tall, while portrait planners are taller than they are wide.

The best way to decide is to think about what sort of planners you already use. If you prefer a two-page spread then landscape digital planners might suit you, while a portrait planner would suit those who like to view one page at a time.

Another way to decide is to think about how you will be using your digital planner. If you plan to use it mainly for note-taking, then portrait may be a better choice. If you'll be using it for more long-term planning such as weekly scheduling or monthly plans then landscape might be a better option.

Landscape vs portrait is probably the hardest choice to make when it comes to buying your first digital planner. Both portrait and landscape digital planners have their pros and cons so it ultimately comes down to personal choice. You may need to buy one of each and use them for a while before choosing one.

Dated vs undated

The second decision you'll need to make is whether you want a dated or undated planner. A dated planner has pre-filled dates on each page, while an undated planner is blank, usually with the days of the week listed while you'll need to fill in the dates.

Dated planners are good for those who like to plan in advance and need the ease and structure of pre-determined dates. Undated planners are good for those who want more flexibility or like to plan on a day-by-day basis.

Most people prefer a dated planner as they are easier to use. However, the same undated digital planner can be used every year, making them the cheaper option over time.

Minimalist vs decorative

The third decision you'll need to make is whether you want a minimalist or decorative planner. A minimalist planner has a simple design aesthetic, while a decorative planner is embellished with graphics or has a 'realistic' ring-binder look.

Many people prefer a simple planner as it's easy to use and less distracting. However, if you enjoy adding lots of stickers and images to your planners then a decorative digital planner may be right for you.

One thing to watch out for is file size. Some of the more decorative planners can be very large (>50 MB) which become even larger when full of stickers and images. This is especially problematic on older tablets and can be frustrating to use due to the 'lag' effect.

Other options

Once you've decided on the three most important factors it's then time to choose your digital planner! There are also a few other things to consider when choosing a digital planner. These include how many pages it has, whether it includes daily or weekly views, page color, page layouts, extra templates, stickers, and more!

Page color

Many digital planners come with several options for page colors, including dark mode. If you are someone who likes to plan in a specific color then make sure to check this before purchasing. For example, some people prefer white pages for their clean, crisp look, while others prefer off-white or beige which can be easier to look at for long periods.

To reduce eye strain look for digital planners available in dark mode, these will have either black or dark grey pages with light or white text.

Page layouts

Most digital planners come with a variety of page layouts to choose from. The most common ones are variations in the weekly layout. You'll need to decide if you prefer a traditional weekly layout with the days going down the page or a schedule-type layout with the days across the page.

Extra templates

Most, if not all, digital planners come with extra page templates. If you have specific requirements, e.g. budget or meal planning pages, then make sure your planner has these. If you find the perfect digital planner but it doesn't have all of the templates you need then you can usually buy the extra templates separately and insert the pages wherever you like into your planner.

The best digital planner...

Whichever digital planner you choose, make sure to take the time to see if it meets all of your planning needs. Ultimately, the right digital planner can help you organize your life, live each day with purpose, and achieve your goals!

And remember, the best digital planner is the one you'll use every day!

Now that you know the three most important factors to consider when choosing a digital planner, it's time to find the perfect one for you!