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7 Best Digital Planner Tools for Every Walk of Life

Why digital planners should be part of the modern person’s survival toolkit and the top 7 digital planning tools — from journals to to-do lists — to choose from.

Sebastián, Marketing / August 2022
7 Best Digital Planner Tools for Every Walk of Life

Anyone reading this article has probably noticed how wildly popular planners have become.

While options are certainly nice, unfortunately, the sheer number of planners on the market has made it difficult to sift through the thousands of choices and find the right style, feature set, and customization capabilities for your needs.

That’s why, in this article, we’ve done some of that sifting for you. Read on to learn:

  • 5 key reasons why digital planners should be part of the modern person’s survival toolkit
  • The top 7 digital planning tools — from journals to to-do lists
  • Step-by-step instructions to building your own digital planner from scratch with Glide

Reason to Get Obsessed With Digital Planning

Many of us have heard throughout our lives that writing things down can help work through upsetting or complex situations.

But did you know that journaling is actually just as good for your physical health as it is for your mental health? A 2018 study that was published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that chronically-ill patients who kept a journal actually had fewer physical symptoms than those who did not!

It’s safe to say that there are plenty of reasons to use a planner to do everything from keeping a journal to managing your personal and professional daily schedule.

But what kind of planner?

We think digital planners are the only way to go.

Here’s why digital planners win out over paper every time.

Organize Your Life in Less Time

Digital planners tend to have lots of awesome editing features. That means you can take notes in the moment as quickly and messily as needed. Later, it’s easy to go back and clean up, color code, and otherwise make your notes and to-dos perfectly personalized for your needs.

With digital planners, you can also quickly duplicate and customize planner pages, appointments, and all kinds of entries — saving you tons of time keeping your planner clean and organized compared to paper options.

Portable Planning

Paper planners are yet another thing to carry around — and lose — in the bursting black hole that is your bag.

Digital planner apps, on the other hand, will always fit in your phone or tablet no matter how many hundreds of pages they may contain.

And, when you sync your digital planner across devices, you’ll always have access to your pages for planning and journaling no matter how light you’re traveling.

Endless Customization

Why are there so many types of paper planners on the market? Because, like any other physical item, each paper planner can only do the thing it was made to do. There is a very real limit to the ways it can be customized. So, there have to be tons of different options to serve tons of different needs.

Digital planners are the complete opposite. Many digital planner providers have built their tools to maximize customization, so you can use just one tool no matter what you need it to do.

Better Backup

While there is little that compares to the feel of a thick sheet of journal paper, there’s no denying how fragile it is in the long run.

Drop your paper planner in a puddle, get it a little too close to a heat source, or simply drop it out of your bag without noticing and all your hard work is gone.

If you’re using your planner to totally organize your life — and often your work — like we are, you need it to have strong backup capabilities.

Digital planners can provide backup options that sync all your important info to an online database and/or across your devices, so it’s never lost even if your phone or tablet goes missing.

Help Preserve the Planet — and Your Dollars!

Paper planners have a short lifespan. They’re typically dated and of course only have a finite number of pages. When they’re used up or expired, you have to get a new one.

However, there are many options for undated planners. That means they can be duplicated, so you don’t have to pay for a new one just because the calendar year has rolled over.

Digital planners don’t just save paper usage, their reusability can also save you some paper moolah!

7 Best Digital Planners for a Variety of Use Cases

Into the idea of going digital when it comes to planning your life? Amazing.

First, let’s start off with what we think is the best option — building your own planner from the ground-up.

After that, we’ll describe some of our favorite ready-to-go platforms.

Glide: Build Your Own Digital Planner!

Meet Glide, today’s most powerful yet easy-to-use no-code platform builder.

With Glide, anyone can create Android and iOS apps and pages that work flawlessly across Android, iOS, and web. Thanks to beautiful templates as well as drag-and-drop functionality, you don’t need to know a single line of code to create, customize, and launch an app in a matter of hours.

Here’s exactly how to use Glide to create your own digital planning app.

1. Create an Account and Start Your Planner Project

Getting Gliding is as easy as pie.

Just navigate to Glide’s website, sign up (it’s free to get started!), and follow the clear on-screen walk-through to get your account set up.

To start building your digital planner, select “New Project,” add a name, and choose whether you want to build an app or page.

Next, follow the prompts to select your data source and/or style.

If you have a database full of tasks you want to import to create a to-do-style planner, you’ll choose the platform where those are stored. Glide works seamlessly with Google Sheets, Excel, and Airtable. If not, choose to start with Glide Tables.

If you’d prefer to get a headstart on structure and design using something like our pre-built planner template, just navigate to our selection of templates, select your favorite option, and copy it.

At this point, you should be looking at the dashboard for editing your freshly-created digital planner!

2. Customize Your Planner to Your Heart’s Content

Now for the fun stuff — time to make your planner uniquely yours!

In the editing dashboard, you can customize your template or add elements to your planner like tabs, menu items, fields, buttons, images, and more.

At the top of the screen, use the icon that looks like a spreadsheet to access Glide’s powerful Data Editor. Use the hexagonal icon to display the settings menu, where you can control your planner’s appearance, integrations, privacy settings, and tons more details.

3. Publish and Start Planning

When you’ve got everything where you like it — for now — it’s also simple to publish your planner. Use the “Publish” button at the top of your screen, learn how to share your planner if you ever want to, and double-check to make sure you’re happy with your privacy settings.

Just like that, you have your own planner that you can use for anything from tasks to journal entries, and it’s accessible across your devices. Changes you make in your editing dashboard will translate to your app in real-time, so you can tweak it to your heart’s content at any time.

Not up for building your own digital planner right now? You can always hire someone from Glide’s community of experts to help you out.

Or, for an even more hands-off approach, let’s talk about some pre-built planning solutions. You’ll certainly sacrifice (most of) your customization options with these tools, but you’ll gain instant access to (most of) the features you want.

Paperlike: An iPad-Based Planner for Artists

Paperlike offers a free downloadable planner. The company says they’re working on future versions with more freebies and features like digital planner stickers, but for now the planner bundle includes just four basic templates: a daily planner, weekly planner, monthly planner, and yearly planner.

There are two things we really like about this budget planner from Paperlike.

One, it’s incredibly simple and looks just like a paper planner, only digital. Two, the planner works perfectly with the company’s main product — a screen protector that makes drawing and writing on your iPad feel just like paper.

To write and draw in your planner from your device screen, you’ll need to use what’s usually referred to as a note-taking or annotation app. So after you download your Paperlike planner package, you’ll import it into a note-taking tool like Goodnotes, Noteshelf, Xodo, etc. From this app, you’ll be able to use your new planner just like digital paper.

GoodNotes: Do More With Your Notes

Speaking of note-taking apps, we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk a little more about one with tons of notability (pun intended) — GoodNotes.

GoodNotes and other note-taking apps record your handwriting via the stylus (like an Apple Pencil) you use for writing on your device’s screen. Not only can you take notes and write in your planner with the GoodNotes app, you can search your notes thanks to handwriting recognition, annotate PDF files and slides, organize everything, import digital sticker packs, and more.

GoodNotes pages are even printable and shareable with your coworkers or partners in planning crime.

Day One: Robust Digital Journaling

Day One’s website boasts lots of rewards for its design, and we can see why.

The beautiful app is focused on users who are interested in using their digital planner for journaling purposes. The layout enables journalers to fill their weekly and monthly pages with written words, photos, videos, drawings, and even audio files.

It’s free to use the basic version of Day One’s daily planning platform to capture all of life’s moments.

Notion: Your Customizable Home Page for Everything

Notion is a digital workspace that many users have expanded into their digital lifespace.

This is possible thanks to Notion’s highly-customizable layout, where blocks of text, imagery, and more can be dragged and dropped to make pretty much any style “home page” desired.

The real magic of Notion lies in the hyperlinks. From your main screen, you can link to nested Notion pages as well as to other applications that help power your life, such as email inboxes, monthly calendars, note-taking apps, list-making apps, meal-planning apps, and so on.

The free digital planner (for individuals) offers templates, and entire communities have sprung up around different ways to use the platform — so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting started with this all-in-one life planner.

Habitica: Get More Done by Gamifying Your To-Do List

Time to focus on the to-do side of digital planners with Habitica.

Habitica is all about getting stuff done, whether that’s tasks that build toward a goal or daily to-dos that eventually create healthy habits. The free habit tracker helps people do this by turning your to-dos into a video game. Tasks become monsters and you become the hero who must conquer (aka finish) them to earn fun new gear and win prizes.

In addition to this gamification aspect, Habitica also has a social media aspect where users can compete and hold each other accountable to get their tasks done on time.

Todoist: Plan Your Daily Life — And Work — Tasks

Our final recommendation is another to-do planning tool.

Todoist allows you to jot down your must-do tasks in seconds, add details, make them recurring, prioritize them, add due dates, delegate them to others, and most importantly of all see your progress on all those tasks!

Todoist is free to get started, and we think it’s a great platform for anyone who needs a personal or business planner to help them get through a long to-do list.

Build Your Perfectly-Personalized Digital Planner with Glide

Many of the above digital products have awesome planning features. However, as is the case with most software platforms, each of them focuses on a specific niche. That means you’ll have to toggle back and forth between a handful of them if you really want to get your digital life totally in order.

Instead, you can save yourself some lost time and sanity by building out exactly what you want and need with the help of Glide’s beautiful templates and a pinch of our drag-and-drop customization.

It’s free to create your first app with Glide. Sign up today and finally unleash that planning genius that lives inside you.

Build your own custom digital planner with Glide.

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