Digital planning? (+ downloadable templates)

I know this will come as a shock to all of you, but I have switched to (gasp) digital planning!

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on

I know. I know. This comes as quite a shock. After more than 2 decades of ardent paper planning, delighting in the thrill of a fresh planner filled with open spaces and possibility, satisfaction with a filled planner recording all that I had done that year.

In my decades-long search for the perfect planner, I became a devotee of Passion Planner – first supporting their kickstarted, and continuing to proselytize the virtues of this planner system to all. Despite my continued affection for the paper format, I have made a seismic shift to the digital world.

I thought I would give digital planning a try, and to my surprise, I love it! I with downloading a few basic templates, but quickly realised that they didn’t meet my exacting specifications. I have developed aggressively strong opinions of what I want my planner to include and the best layout for wrangling my schedule, notes, and thoughts. On my search for the perfect digital planner, I found many beautiful options, but I stubbornly decided that spending £15-30 on a yearly digital planner was excessive.

So I took to Publisher and have created the system that works for me: a PDF with monthly layouts and a separate file with daily layouts. I am so tired of everything being behind a paywall – from academic papers to newspaper articles, that I thought I might as well upload these templates in case someone is looking for digital planning tools and doesn’t know where to begin.

Using the templates is simple:

  • Download the PDF and open in GoodNotes (it might work on other apps like Notability or OneNote, but this is the one I use and so I know it works)
  • I like having them as two separate files, as I will have them open as two tabs in my GoodNotes so I can quickly toggle back and forth between them.
  • In the daily layout file, I have a single page for each month. Simply duplicate this page 27-30 times to create the needed pages for each month and then write in the day (I add it to the box with the month). This will preserve the hyperlinked tabs to the other months.
  • The month-at-a-glance file is for 2022, with simple calendar layouts and space to do some overarching planning (setting personal and professional goals for the month and key to-dos).

– Plan to your heart’s content! There is no “right” way to use these templates, but one of the things I like to do is to use stickers of my habits, so when I have done something, like go outside, read, or meditate, I add the sticker to the box, which I find so satisfying!

Let me know what you think! Have you made the transition to digital planning? Do you have digital planning tools to recommend?

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