January 24, 2022 Cari Saiki-Dela Cruz

Digital Planning
Apps and Tools

Published: January 25, 2022

There are so many ways to incorporate digital planning apps into your routine. Another blog post (link here) goes over some of the basics of digital planning with a note taking app (like GoodNotes, Xodo, and Notability). But there are so many other useful apps and online platforms that supplement (or even supplant) digital planners.

Here’s a quick list of my favorites to help you get started.

FUNDAMENTAL APPS

You probably already know and/or use these but any list about digital planning apps would be incomplete without them.

The Google Suite – Calendar, Docs, Numbers, Etc.
Apple Suite – Calendar, Notes, To-Do, Etc.

While all of these apps are basic, you can create an amazing organizational routine using them alone or with a traditional/digital planner.

The Google suite is free for everyone with an internet connection and a Google account. It is easy to use on Apple devices as well.

Apple apps come free with every Apple device. Though, they are a bit more cumbersome to use if you also have Windows devices.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Not interested in using a whole suite of apps to supplement your main planner? Below is a list of apps that can also be used alone or with a planner. They are available on desktop, iOS, and Android and have free or paid account options.

NOTION
This is currently my favorite productivity tool to use with a digital planner. (This blog post was drafted using Notion!) It’s a database program meaning you have a lot of flexibility to create just about anything! From task planning, project management, writing, and note taking, to calendars, to-do lists, blog drafts, kanban boards, gantt charts, and more! And even though it can do a lot, it isn’t too difficult to learn.

TRELLO  +  ASANA
These are not database programs but are still powerful project management software. Trello is the more basic of the two that uses Kanban boards to keep you organized. Asana also has a Kanban option, but incorporates more robust project and task management options too.

TIME MANAGEMENT APPS

Do you ever find yourself procrastinating on your phone or iPad? I do. All the time. These apps are designed to keep you focused on tasks. Plus they can track how much time you spend on any given activity.

FOREST($3.99US)
Plant a digital tree in Forest! If you leave the app during the timer, the tree withers. If you don’t, you get coins which can be used to purchase other types of digital trees. Because the company that made “Forest” works with a non-profit, you can even purchase the planting of a real tree in exchange for coins!
Freemium alternatives: Flora, Focus Dog, Study Bunny

STRAIGHT FORWARD TIMER APPS (POMODORO TIMERS)Forest and the other apps listed above are great timer apps with a twist (plant a tree, level a character, etc…), but if you’re looking for something more straightforward try these apps.

Tomato Timer
Focus To-Do
For more on the Pomodoro method check out our blog post here.

BONUS TIP
The Focus tool in iOS has also been great for eliminating distractions from my phone and iPad. During certain hours of the day you can set who can or can’t contact you and what apps can send notifications.

DESIGN APPS

Decorate your digital planner with the help of these apps.

PROCREATE ($9.99)
Create art and stickers for your digital planner.

There are other digital drawing apps out there but Procreate is by far my favorite, especially for creating drawings to include in my digital planner. It’s a powerful tool that is favored by many artists. Learning the basics is easy and the app includes over 100+ pencil and brush options for you to get started with. Also, the app is always getting updates that add amazing new features and quality-of-life changes free of charge.

ANYFONT ($1.99US)
Allows you to install fonts from your computer onto your iPad to use in digital planners. Other freemium options include: iFont and Font Installer.

BONUS TIP
Find great free fonts to use in your planner from Google Font, Font Squirrel, and Da Font. (If you’re going to use them for commercial purposes, double check to make sure the license allows for it.)

PLANNER INSPIRATION

If you’re looking for planner inspiration try these apps.
PINTEREST

PASTEL + DESIGN SEEDS (Website)
Color palette inspiration

There are so many other apps that can help you incorporate digital planning into your routine. These are just some of my favorites. Are there any I missed that you recommend? Leave your answer in the comments!

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