A Guide To Digital Planning: Meaning, Steps And Benefits
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 23 September 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Digital planning helps you plan your days on a digital device. With the help of a planner, you can organise all your personal and professional tasks down to the most minute detail. Knowing all the intricacies of planning digitally can liberate you from the constraints of paper planning and benefit you from many additional features that the digital medium can offer. In this article, we discuss what a digital plan is, share the steps to make one for yourself, list its advantages for professionals and also mention some useful practices for making a digital plan.
What Is Digital Planning?
Digital planning is the process of keeping a digital record of your daily schedule and notes, which helps you organise your daily chores and manage your time effectively. For managing daily schedules and remaining organised, planners and weekly, daily and monthly to-do lists are essential. People typically use paper to arrange their schedules, where they list their daily or weekly tasks, forthcoming events or other important information. Digital schedule planning accomplishes the same goal as paper planning but employs a digital format, such as an online document or application, known as a digital planner, rather than a physical paper planner.
Digital planners operate electronically and have the appearance and feel of traditional planners. To write on and customise your planners, you usually require a planning app or a portable document format (PDF) annotator app. You can then import these PDF files into your favourite note-taking app, allowing you to carry your planner with you wherever you go. Typically, the app allows you to write on the document with a stylus pen, just like you do on paper.
How To Plan Digitally?
You can easily make a digital plan by following these steps:
1. Choose a device
To start planning digitally, first select the type of device you want to use. You can use a smartphone, tablet, desktop computer or laptop. Consider your planning objectives to determine which device is most useful. For example, if you want to organise your daily events on the go, a mobile app may be an ideal option because it allows you to make quick changes whenever required. If you usually plan at specific times of the day, you may prefer a computer or a portable tablet. The screen size of the device is also an important factor to consider here.
2. Explore different planning applications
A great number of apps can function as digital planners. There are mobile apps, browser-based planners, word processors, PDF annotators, note-taking applications and planning apps easily available. After choosing the device, research the planning software options available on the device and choose one that best suits your requirements. It is advisable to select software that is accessible across all your devices for greater convenience.
3. Pick a digital planner and import
A digital planner is a pre-made PDF template which you can use with your planning app. They are available in a variety of layouts, including dated and undated, bullet journal, portrait, landscape and landscape split. You can import one of these pre-made PDFs or digital planners into a PDF editing app so you can plan your schedule and to-do lists or take notes in the planner across all your devices.
4. Transfer essential information
If you use a physical planner, it may contain important information that you want to save. Examine your current planner and transfer any critical information to your new digital planner. This can include information about upcoming events or meetings, phone numbers or reminders. Keeping all of your previous information in your new planner ensures you remember all of your important tasks during the transition.
5. Get accustomed
Experiment with your digital planner to explore all the features it has and the different ways you can use them. The better you know your planner, the more efficiently you can use it and use your digital planner regularly. If you currently use a physical planner, make a note for yourself to use the digital one and place it in your physical planner as a reminder.
Contrarily, if you never used a planner before, pick a specific time to use it every day and work to make it a habit. When performing this action, it often helps to pair it with an already-established routine or task, like when you wake up or when you get to work. Create shortcuts to your digital planner on your desktop computer, on the home screen of your mobile device or the in the favourites bar of your web browser to make it more visible. The more you use your digital planner, the more accustomed you get to it.
6. Customise your planner
Digital planners are usually customisable and allow you to modify the look and feel of the planner per your preferences. You can change fonts, colours, layouts and formats and make the planner more attractive by using stickers and templates. You can also do digital memory keeping and scrapbooking in your planner for different planning and recording purposes. If you can make your planner fun to use, you may find that you are using it more often.
7. Integrate with other digital tools
You can also integrate your daily planner with other online resources to make it more functional. Start by looking over the list of features for your digital planner and discovering which software programmes it can integrate with. You can save time by integrating with other tools because they can automatically update and read data from your planner. For instance, if you schedule a meeting using the calendar application that is integrated with your planner, the planner automatically adds the meeting to your schedule.
Tips For Making A Digital Plan
Below are some tips you can follow for making an efficient digital plan:
Choose a digital planner that meets your requirements. As there are many options available, searching for an ideal planner can get time-consuming. It is better to find one with good reviews and then slowly test more planners as you go to find out a more suitable one.
Avoid focusing excessively on your handwriting. It is not usually necessary for your handwriting to be neat or perfect to write in a digital planner with a stylus. Digital handwriting can get better as you practice and you can always use fonts if you prefer.
Give more attention to the contents than to the looks. There is no necessity of overtly decorating the planner with too many stickers and templates, as this can consume your time and energy and can become an enduring task. A neat and simple planner can be effective.
Make sure your hyperlinks work. If you have any doubts, try long-pressing or getting into the reading mode to use the embedded hyperlinks. This functionality changes depending on the application you use.
Try adapting your planner to your requirements. Digital planners are usually customisable, which allows you to change certain aspects that may not be useful to you. It saves time and can also be economical to modify your existing planner than switch planners too frequently.
Make time for planning. Chalking out your entire day or week in advance takes some time and careful thought. It is necessary to allocate time, especially for digital planning, instead of doing it haphazardly.
Benefits Of Planning Digitally
Planning digitally can produce the following benefits for you, especially if you are thinking of switching from a paper planner:
Ease of use: It is easier to record a lot of information and rearrange or rewrite notes when using a digital planner. It also has several digital features, like searching, grouping, hyperlinking and highlighting, which can make it easier to organise and locate essential data.
No errors: If you make a mistake, you can easily delete actions and elements with a digital planner. It is a clean and convenient way to plan.
Portability: If you have a digital device with you, you can access your digital planner anywhere, anytime. It is weightless and does not require continued attention. This can be especially useful if you use separate planners for different purposes.
Reusability: Once you are done with your paper planner, you are likely to throw it away, but you can keep reusing the same digital planner for as long as you require it. It is a greener approach, as it prevents you from buying resources repeatedly.
Affordability: If you choose to use a paid application, the amount you spend can be lesser when you compare it to how much you may spend on physical paper planning over a longer period. Because of this, it can be a more cost-effective decision to switch to a digital mode when planning your schedule.
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