How To Use A Digital Planner

Making the switch from paper to digital? Here’s how to use a digital planner

How To Use A Digital Planner

When you’re making the switch from paper planners to digital, you might feel a little overwhelmed.

Not because they’re any harder to learn how to use, but because there’s a little learning involved.

To help you learn how to use a digital planner, we’ve put together a few key tasks to make the experience a wonderful one…

*This post contains affiliate links, however, all opinions are my own, as always.

Equip Yourself With The Right Tools

First, you’ll need to purchase your digital planner.

We have the perfect planner for busy moms – if that’s you, you need our Organized Mom Planner!

The Finally Tidy Mom

  • Organized Mom Planner with a Done-For-You Cleaning Schedule (800+ Pages)
  • Monthly Digital Sticker Bundles
  • Printable Cleaning Checklist + Editable Canva Template

The Got-It-Together Mom

  • Organized Mom Planner with a Done-For-You Cleaning Schedule (800+ Pages)
  • Monthly Digital Sticker Bundles
  • Printable Cleaning Checklist + Editable Canva Template
  • Printable Chore Chart

The Slay At Home Mom

  • Organized Mom Planner with a Done-For-You Cleaning Schedule (800+ Pages)
  • Monthly Digital Sticker Bundles (Extended Packs)
  • Printable Cleaning Checklist + Editable Canva Template
  • Printable Chore Chart
  • Fitness Planner (640+ Pages)
  • Updated Digital Mom And Life Planners (Dated And Undated), Journals, Sticker Bundles, GoodNotes 5 Course, Google Sheets Templates, & Member-Only Exclusives – FOR LIFE! Includes all digital downloads on the site now AND in the future.

Once you have your chosen digital planner, you’ll need a stylus (like an Apple pen) and a tablet.

You can probably get away with using just your finger for your digital planner to start with, but long term you may find yourself wanting to write instead of draw everything.

You can use the Apple iPad device or Android tablet device you already own!

And lastly, you’ll need an app to be able to use your digital planner on your tablet.

Read more on selecting an app for your device below…

Download An App For Your Tablet

To begin using your new digital planner, first, you’ll need to download an app for your tablet device.

There are three big ones we would recommend choosing from:

  • GoodNotes 5
  • Notability
  • Xodo

GoodNotes 5 is the app we recommend using for Apple devices, although it is a one-time paid app.

Apple users looking for a free alternative to GoodNotes 5 will still have a pleasant experience using the Notability app.

For android users, Xodo is a free app with plenty of customizing options!

Transfer Important Dates

Planners will tell you that a big reason most of them even use a planner is to keep track of important dates.

Examples of Important Dates:

Here are some examples of important dates you probably keep in your planner right now:

school breaks, closures, etc.

If you are a parent, you can start by transferring your family’s birthdays and school calendars.

Establish A Good Morning Routine

Implement your new digital planner into your morning routine.

Our digital planners feature gorgeous daily, weekly, and monthly pages where you can jot down important information and dates into.

By making your digital planner part of your morning routine, you can make the most of each day.

Here’s a sample of a morning routine you can use:

6:00 a.m. Wake up, make bed.

6:05 a.m. Jump in shower.

6:30 a.m. Hair, makeup, skin routine, etc.

7:00 a.m. Coffee and breakfast.

7:20 a.m. Open digital planner – plan out the day!

7:30 a.m. Get kids on bus/school drop-off.

7:45 a.m. Organize work materials and computer (or drive to work!)

8:00 a.m. Begin working.

Adjust your schedule as you need to (this is just a quick sample), and work in your morning workout routine and other important tasks.

Getting used to using your digital planner every day will help you make the most of your day!

If it helps, you can also choose to play around in your planner at night, during nap times, during your lunch break, or other times it makes more sense.

Using a digital planner that has coloring pages (like our mood tracker and period tracking pages!) can also help increase usage throughout the day.

Shop Our Bestsellers

Shop our Bestsellers for Busy Moms like yourself! Perfect for establishing healthy boundaries, schedules, and getting sh*t done.

FAQs about our Digital Planners

A digital planner is a digital version of a paper planner, delivered to you as a PDF document.

You can view our current lineup of digital planners here.

Our digital planners include templates to help you with…

  • Family
  • Budgeting
  • Meal Planning
  • Cleaning
  • Journaling
  • Bible Study
  • Holiday Planning
  • and more!

All planners contain hyperlinked buttons and tabs throughout for easy navigation and are all lag-free.

Our digital planners are in-depth digital PDF files that mimic a paper planner which you can use within a PDF annotation app like GoodNotes 5.

You’ll need three things:

  • Tablet
  • PDF Annotation App*
  • Stylus (optional, but preferred for long-term use)

*Your tablet needs to have an operating system compatible with the app of your choosing. Some apps to consider using with your digital planner include GoodNotes 5, Notability, XODO, ZoomNotes, NoteShelf, and more.

We always recommend downloading the app of your choosing before purchasing a digital planner (from us or anyone else) to ensure your device is capable and compatible.

Some older tablets may not be able to update to an operating system necessary to meet app operating requirements.

You don’t have to be a super-techy person to start digital planning but you will need to know the basics of operating your tablet.

Some of our ‘non-techy’ members say that there can be a ‘learning curve’ to get started if you are a total techphobe, but once you’ve got the hang of it, it’s super addictive and your future self will totally thank you!

We serve many customers that use Apple and Android.

At this time, our digital planners are not compatible with Windows devices.

As with any digital product, we encourage you to research the app you wish to use with your device and test its compatibility with your device as our digital planners will be compatible with any PDF annotation app that allows PDF imports.

Syncing across multiple devices is possible, provided you have achieved all of the following conditions:

1. All of your devices have Goodnotes installed,

2. You are logged in using your iCloud account on all devices, and;

3. You are connected to the internet whenever you make changes.

Other PDF annotation apps may also have this capability.

Lagging refers to the time delays you can experience with digital planners and products when navigating to other pages.

For instance, when you click on a button to jump to another page and your planner takes several minutes to load the new page, this is called lagging.

For professionally made digital planners, this is not an issue, as is the case with our planners.

However, if you DO experience lagging, you may need to delete some files on your iPad/tablet as this can be an indication that you are using too much memory or space on your device, which will cause all apps, programs, and files to load slowly. This would not be an indication of lagging from our files and can be easily remedied by deleting unused files or excess pictures and folders on your device.

This is a great question, and it’s really easy to figure this out.

For iPads, the two PDF Annotation Apps we recommend are GoodNotes 5 (for long-term use) and Notability (a free app that is great for beginners on a budget).

GoodNotes 5 requires a software version of 14.5 or higher, while Notability requires a software version of 14 and higher.

You can check your software version within the Settings app on your iPad. Navigate to ‘General’ and then ‘About’. Perform any updates as necessary to hit that software version requirement.

Older iPads (5-6 years old) may not be able to update to a newer software version, and therefore, would not be compatible with use for digital planning.

The Organized Mom Planner is a digital planner geared more toward moms and has a horizontal layout. This means it fills up your tablet screen when you hold your device horizontally, showing two pages at once. The dated version contains a done-for-you cleaning schedule mapped out throughout the year.

The Organized Life Planner is a digital planner geared more towards women (but has a lot of the same templates from the Mom Planner) and has a vertical layout. This means it fills up your tablet screen when you hold your device vertically, showing one page at a time.

If you have any issues with your order, we’re here to help! We’ll try to help you use and make the most out of your new digital planner.

Simply send an e-mail to orders @ and include the name or e-mail address you used to purchase your planner, along with any issue you may be experiencing so we can help.

Customer service hours and answers to help e-mails occur within regular business hours 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. EST Monday-Friday, and occasionally on weekend days.

These hours may be impacted by holidays or national disasters. We strive to answer any questions or concerns within 48 hours.

Beginning in 2024, our digital planners will be able to link to your Google or Apple Calendars! Special instructions for full Apple Calendar capabilities included in your purchase.

If you’d like to use the Apple Cal links in your digital planner, please install the SlayAtHomePlanners shortcut on your Apple device.

First, go to Settings on your device > Shortcuts > Enable Private Sharing (you can disable it after installation). Then install the shortcut here.

shortcut settings slayathomeplanners

Due to the nature of the product (digital downloads), we do not offer refunds. Please ensure you are purchasing the correct product and your device is compatible before purchasing.

You will also see this reminder at checkout.

The planners are in English. If you are referring to the planner entries, Goodnotes’ handwriting recognition and search functions work for a variety of languages.

To check for the languages supported by Goodnotes, kindly click HERE.

*Post originally published March 2022, last updated May 2023.

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