Introduction to Digital Planner Creation

If you're here, it's probably because you've heard the buzz about digital planners and are eager to join the party. This is your introduction to digital planner creation – we will cover the basics and get you ready to create digital planners that actually sell!

**Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase at no additional cost to you**

What is a Digital Planner?

A digital planner is a virtual, interactive version of your traditional paper planner, designed to help you organize your life and keep track of your goals, appointments, and tasks. Think of it as the cool, tech-savvy cousin of the paper planner that's always up for a good time. It can be customized to your heart's content and used on various digital devices, such as tablets, smartphones, and computers.

The best part? Any PDF can be a digital planner – what you are selling is simply the ease of navigation. The note annotation app that your end user uses will do most of the work for you!

Digital planner layout for January 2023 featuring a month view with individual days, a 'TO DO' list section on the right, and small overview calendars for December the previous year and February the following year, all designed in a clean and organized style.

Why Go Digital?

In case you're wondering why you should opt for a digital planner over a paper one, here are some fabulous benefits that might sway you:

  • Eco-friendly: Save trees by ditching the paper, and show Mother Earth some love.
  • Customizable: Personalize your planner with colors, fonts, and designs that make your heart sing.
  • Convenient: Access your planner anytime, anywhere, on any device.
  • Efficient: Easily make changes, erase, or move things around without a fuss.
  • Less clutter: Say goodbye to the chaos of loose papers and misplaced notes.

Types of Digital Planners

Now that we've covered the basics, let's explore the different types of digital planners you can create:

  • Daily Planners: Ideal for the uber-organized folks who love to plan their day down to the minute.
  • Weekly Planners: For those who prefer a broader view of their week's tasks and appointments.
  • Monthly Planners: Perfect for the big-picture thinkers who like to see their plans laid out month by month.
  • Goal Planners: Designed to help users break down their goals into manageable steps and track progress.
  • Specialty Planners: Tailored for specific purposes, such as fitness, finance, meal planning, or self-care.
A vibrant digital garden planner layout featuring a 'Monthly Harvest Calendar' on the left with columns for month, crop variety, sow, plant, harvest, weight, and quantity, and a 'Garden Ideas' section on the right for listing plants to plant and a garden layout vision board, all on a sunny yellow background."

Canva: Your Digital Planner BFF

When it comes to designing your digital planner, Canva is like that trusty friend who's always got your back. This user-friendly graphic design platform offers a wide array of templates and tools to help you create a stunning digital planner that's uniquely yours.

Here's a quick rundown of how you can use Canva for digital planner design:

  • Templates: Choose from a variety of digital planner templates as a starting point.
  • Elements: Add shapes, lines, icons, and more to customize your design.
  • Text: Experiment with various fonts and text styles to create the perfect aesthetic.
  • Colors: Select from Canva's color palettes or create your own to match your planner's theme.

The only downside to using Canva, is if you are creating a large digital planner that has a page for each day of the year, Canva's 300-page limit will impede your progress. You can work around it, by using a platform like PDFLinkr that enables you to merge the PDFs and hyperlink at once, but if you are looking to make 301+ page planners, you may want to look at Adobe InDesign or a similar platform.

Creating Your First Digital Planner

Alright, it's time to roll up your sleeves and start designing and customizing your digital planner. The basic steps are:

Choose a template:

Browse through Canva's library of digital planner templates and select one that resonates with you. If you are creating a planner for personal use, you can edit the templates and export as is. However, if you are a digital product creator, it's best to use the templates as inspiration. Simply see what you like about the templates, and then use the elements in Canva to create your own layout.

If you want to speed up the creation process, you can check out Creative Fabrica. They offer commercial use templates that you can add to your planners and then sell in your shop or on Etsy.


Personalize your planner by changing colors, fonts, and elements. Don't be afraid to let your creativity shine! Think about what you are trying to plan or track, or better yet what your ideal customer needs to, and add those pages and elements to the planner.

This is the time to consider adding elements like a Google Calendar link, home page link, or even stickers. If you are a digital product creator and aren't sure what to include – ask your audience!

Add interactivity:

Make your planner functional by incorporating clickable links and tabs for easy navigation. Consider the tabs as the main form of navigation, but adding other elements can provide ease of use for your end user as well.

Remember, hyperlinking is not that hard, but it can be tedious. To add a hyperlink in Canva, select the text or element you want to link, choose the “Link” button, and then select the page within your digital planner that you want to link to.

Export and share:

Once you're happy with your design, export your digital planner as a PDF file, ensuring not to flatten. Now, it's ready to be sold on Etsy or the platform of your choosing.

Tips for Designing a Winning Digital Planner

Creating a digital planner is a fun and rewarding process, but it can also be a bit overwhelming. Outside of choosing the best resources and tools for your digital planner creation, here are some other areas to focus on:

  • Keep it user-friendly: Make sure your planner is easy to navigate with clickable links, clear headings, and a consistent layout.
  • Choose a theme: Select a theme or aesthetic that reflects your personality and target audience. This will make your planner more appealing and unique.
  • Organize your content: Break down your planner into sections, such as daily, weekly, or monthly pages, to help users stay organized and focused.
  • Stay on trend: Keep an eye on the latest design trends and incorporate them into your planner to ensure it stays fresh and appealing.
  • Test your planner: Use your digital planner yourself or ask for feedback from friends and family to identify any areas for improvement.

Your Digital Planner Creation Journey Begins!

Congratulations! You're now equipped with the knowledge and tools to create your very own digital planner. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don't be afraid to experiment with different designs and layouts until you find your winning formula.

As you venture into the world of digital planner creation, remember to have fun, stay true to your unique style, and let your creativity run wild. The digital planning community is full of inspiration and support, so don't be afraid to reach out, share your work, and learn from your fellow creators. You can join me in our Facebook group and I'll be there to help!

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