In this last June post, I’ve listed three digital planner creators that I think have each created some great digital planners. I have not used any of these planners myself, as I’m still deciding if I plan on using a digital planner long-term. I have seen quite a few YouTube videos and reviews related to these planners, though, so I definitely think they are worth checking out if you’re looking for an upgrade. If you’ve stumbled upon this post and haven’t read the first two in the series, just click here and here to catch up. The first post includes PDFs of two planners I’ve made, in case you want to give a free one a try before purchasing a professionally made digital planner.
Resource: Holly Pixels
Since my last post, I’ve looked into digital planners than can be bought via etsy or other websites. For the price ($20), Holly’s three digital planner options are my favorite (here’s a video about version 2 of these planners). You need to have Good Notes to use it, I believe, so they won’t work for non-iPad users. But if you do have Good Notes, and want a professionally created planner, check out this website. They aren’t styled as academic planners, but they have the whole year and are well-hyperlinked, so the design shouldn’t really be an issue. Holly also gives away a few freebies if you sign up for the email newsletters, in case you’re interested. The YouTube channel includes a few tutorials, including a playlist of videos on using ProCreate, which is a really popular app for creative hobbies like calligraphy and drawing.
Edit: Holly has added a teacher planner and binder set to her website. Here’s the video with a flip through of the planner. It’s intended for teachers of elementary/middle/high school students (there’s an IEP page spread, spreads for parent and substitute information, etc.), but it would definitely work for college instructors, as well.
If you’re new to using a teacher planner, check out why keeping a teaching journal (if not a full-on planner) is so beneficial.
Resource: Kara Benz aka Boho Berry
Kara just finished posting a video each day in May that chronicled her use of her new digital planner. She also just posted new academic planners ($25) on her etsy site at the beginning of June. The academic planners have two designs, student and teacher, so make sure to double-check that you buy the right one if you decide her planners are for you. Kara also has an email newsletter, which includes access to a library of free resources that can be used in print and digital bullet journals and planners. She has multiple Facebook pages, including one devoted solely to digital planning. On this page, she gives away quite a few freebies. This planner is the one I recommend if you want an academic digital planner design. It’s also for anyone who wants to be able to completely customize and/or draw their weekly or daily spreads. If you are a bullet journaler, this planner will likely be the best choice for you.
As a teacher, one aspect of my teaching that I plan out carefully is my grading schedule. If you want to make grading a quicker activity, here are some strategies I use.
If you like the look of Erin Condren and Happy Planner vertical weekly layouts, then this digital planner ($18.88) might be the best choice for you. If you have no idea what I mean by that, check out this link and this link. It’s also intended for Good Notes, though it should work in other PDF annotation apps. I’ve never used any products from this shop, but the reviews are pretty great. I love the look of vertical layouts, as it’s basically designed to help compartmentalize your life. Each day of the week has a column of three rectangles, so you can organize your life into three categories easily (i.e. “teach, research, serve” or “events, tasks, reminders”). But, if you don’t want so much structure built into your planner, one of the above designers will be a better fit.
Resource: Carrie Crista’s How-To Video
Here’s a video devoted to showing how to make a digital planner using Keynote. I used LLovesMac89’s videos to create my first planner, so her playlist would be good to check out, as well. This video, though, includes all the basic steps for creating a planner, rather than individual mini videos. The only step missing here that I recommend is compressing the PDF file before importing it into Good Notes (or whatever app you’re using). The planners I made in Keynote went from 45 MB to about 7 MB after I compressed it using this site.
Search for keywords like “digital planner” “digital planning” “free planner stickers” etc. and you will get so many resources to look through that you can be on there for days. I made a board of a few I thought were a good place to start, in case you’re overwhelmed by the results of your keyword searches. For free stickers, I suggest checking out Victoria Thatcher’s site. You can easily turn her free planner stickers into digital stickers using the Good Notes crop function and the Magic Eraser app (more on that in my last post).
Bonus Resource: My “Customizable Digital Teaching Journal” Course
After a couple of years trying my hand at creating digital planners and journals (you can see and download them for free by going to my “Create” page), I’ve finally created one specifically for my main audience: college instructors/teachers. [If you’re not an educator, but your schedule fluctuates pretty heavily while still being quite structured, the templates included in the journal will likely work well for you, too.] The journal is similar to the ones I’ve created before. But, this journal comes in a course that includes nine video tutorials on customizing the journal using the 37 templates I’ve created for it. The course costs $20 (though it might be selling on a discount depending on when you’re reading this post!), and comes with a 30 day money back guarantee. If you want to see a free video preview of the journal and check out what topics I cover in the tutorials, here’s the page with all the details. [Or try a free sample.]
I hope these resources help you on the next stage of your planning journey. There are plenty more out there, just check the usual options: YouTube, Pinterest, and Etsy. Also, if you are looking for a digital bullet journal or notebook, I’ve made a few options that I discuss in this post.
If you’re not just a planner lover but also a teacher, you might want to check out this post about organizing your digital files into a system that works for you. My blog is all about teaching tips, tools, and resources, so you might also want to look around my blog for more teaching-related advice.
If you have other resources to share about digital planning, please share in the comments below!