Hi and Welcome!
Firstly, don’t panic, this is supposed to be fun, right? So, some introductions…I’m Tina Phillips and I’m a web designer and digital planner designer at night. I actually stumbled into doing this sort of thing for my daughter and I’m having a blast helping others like yourself have another reason to go out and buy an iPad.
What program do I need?
I only advertise my planners for GoodNotes for iPads. Now, that doesn’t mean the planner won’t open in other apps, but they vary greatly in capabilities and trying to guarantee the same experience with the same planner is just not something I have the time and effort to even try to support. You can find GoodNotes here in the app store. I do know they’re working hard to provide a windows/android version of their app which is why I feel confident to just keep choosing to design for this particular application. Here’s the official website for GoodNotes. I encourage you to sign up for newsletters and follow them everywhere for latest updates. If you are an android user or have both a windows and a mac user, there are other apps like Microsoft One Note, Xodo, Metamoji, and Notability to name a few.
“Ok, I’ve downloaded the app…now what?”
Before you dive into your digital planner, take some time and get to know the application itself. My aim is to create planners that work within the application along with a little bit of the bling that some other digital planners go far beyond creating for this application. Here’s the user guide for GoodNotes. I’ll go over several things that deal mainly with using my planners, but you may find other useful features that may help you decide what kind of planner you really want. As with the printed planners, variety is endless. If you are coming from a history of printed planners, you may already know what kind of planner you are and that will help.
What is a digital planner anyway?
A Digital Planner can be many things from a simple dot grid bullet journal to an all out fully linked 365 day planner with every date linked together. Here at A Wild Plan, I strive for a middle ground of some things being linked but other things are left up to you to duplicate move around or have the pages to make your own. I’m working on solutions that will help bridge this for people as it’s a pretty big bottle neck in that GoodNotes does not currently allow creation of links inside of GoodNotes on pages to other pages. This could change in future versions but I’m not aware of their development schedule. All of these planners including my own are created outside of GoodNotes and built with various software apps ranging from free to full on professional applications. Here’s where my sales pitch is going to come in. Much of what you’ll find on Etsy are planners created in Free software without real regard for the application or file size. As a graphic designer/web designer by day, I am always cautious of file size and the importance of source graphics and how they’re processed. While memory is getting cheaper and most people may not totally care about this at first it will get noticable after prolonged use. This is also a reason to look at other ways to organize your planning in GoodNotes in ways that traditional planners can’t or don’t. This could mean separating out your months into separate notebooks or dividing up tracking like food or exercise in a separate notebook. The interface of GoodNotes makes it very easy to view things at a glance and have multiple tabs open so going between these “sections” is just a easy if not easier than trying to make a huge file with all the things linked. Currently it seems the mindset is still very “print based”. However this is still very new and duplication of what’s familiar is always going to be the first things people are wanting to do.
Do I have to carry around my iPad?
I find that to be a humorous question from people who find it perfectly acceptable to have special luggage to cart around a 50 lb. planner. No actually you don’t have to carry around the iPad, but iPads are becoming so sophisticated people are replacing their computers for basic life needs. You can print, and now even save files (just not .zip) which will be a very important thing to you. GoodNotes can be set up to auto backup all your updates and changes to your cloud file service (iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive). The backup file that GoodNotes produces and is the ONLY choice for saving your files inorder to save the content separate from the planner is a filename.GoodNotes.zip (see? zip) This is why it has to be set up to directly save to your cloud service. However this also means you can grab that file from any other device that can operate GoodNotes (iphone, other iPad or even desktop). Be aware the desktop version of GoodNotes is limited and phone screens are small. GoodNotes is not adaptive but can be zoomed in visually.
Does GoodNotes have any integration with calendars and email?
No. not right now and again I don’t know of GoodNotes plans to add this sort of thing. GoodNotes is simply an app that allows you the cathartic and physical process of writing down notes and saving them digitally. Other awesome features are being able to save out what you’ve created and send to others, newly added handwriting recognition and even a typing feature for those of us who don’t have great handwriting. (There are things that help with that, which we can discuss later.)
Many people find themselves using this as the brain dump and organization process and other apps like google calendar to record the results of that planning for sharing calendars and auto reminders.
Got it…Now how do I work with your planners?
Top Eleven Things to learn how to work in GoodNotes with planners in general (These link to Pages that talk about these in depth):
- Installing the planner from an iPad
- I just bought your planner and my links aren’t working…what gives?
- Learn how to navigate the Gallery portion of GoodNotes.
- Learn how to duplicate pages
- Learn how to delete pages
- Learn what digital stickers are why you should love them
- Learn how to import and crop sticker sheets (also why it’s a good idea to start a sticker book)
- Copying and pasting stickers you’ve already cropped
- Bookmarks are your friend -why you really don’t need 8000 links built into your planner unless you really just like links
- Saving your work and auto-backup in GoodNotes - just do it
- My list of things I use for my iPad and planners