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Having a paperless office is a dream I have had for several years (especially as I sit here surround by scraps of paper!) But one way I have found to help make this transition is to make use of a digital planner.
Being creative in a digital planner is just as easy, if not easier, than a paper planner. So I thought I would share a guide on how to get started using your digital notes app.
If you are unsure which digital app to use for digital planning I will review a few in a future post to help work out which digital app is right for you.
GoodNotes is a good choice for a reasonably priced app that can cater for all your creative planning needs.
Get the GoodNotes 5 app here.
When is a digital planner the same as a paper planner?
By default, GoodNotes comes with a lot of single ‘paper’ page templates. You then simply add your selected template to your digital Notebook. You will need to do this on a page by page basis. If you are happy to start from scratch then this is a great starting point. Just create a new Notebook and select whichever page templates you want to use and start making your notes.
If, however, you want something more like a paper planner or diary, then there are many pre-designed digital planners to choose from on Etsy.
You are looking for digital notebook files that are in a PDF format or say they are GoodNotes compatible. This is like shopping for a new paper planner, but with the added advantage of being able to use it many times.
All GoodNotes compatible digital planners in our shop have pre-formatted pages and linked tabs for easy access to each section. (Please note, you don’t need a GoodNotes file to import into GoodNotes, any PDF file will also work).
In case you are unsure of how to import our planners, here is a video that walks through importing one of our planners.
Step by step actions on how to import digital planners into GoodNotes
Once you have purchased one of our digital planners, download the file from Etsy and unzip it. This will result in potentially 3 different file types for the same planner:
- 1 pdf file
- 1 .goodnotes file
- multiple jpg files for each page
You only need to use one file type, as one file type is the complete planner. The file type you use depends on which digital app you are using, but as this post is about GoodNotes we will only consider this option.
Here are the steps I took in the video:
- Place the downloaded .goodnotes file (or pdf file if that is the only one available) somewhere that your tablet has access to. I use Dropbox, as I can access the files on both my desktop and my iPad. Some other methods of file transfer could be: email yourself the file for access on your tablet, use airdrop (if you are transferring between apple devices), or download the files from Etsy directly onto your tablet.
2. Open the GoodNotes app. This should open on the ‘Documents’ page.
3. To create a new Notebook, select + in the documents section (the yellow circle above). This then shows a drop-down menu.
4. From the drop-down menu select the Import option.
5. This will take you to your file browser. Locate the downloaded .goodnotes file you created in step 1 and select it.
6. This will import the file and create a new Notebook on your Documents page.
7. If you select this Notebook it will open and you can then scroll through the planner to use the pages.
If you want to get to a specific point in the document you can use the linked tabs. To use the links you need to make sure you are NOT in Edit mode. The first picture below shows the Notebook NOT in Edit mode (the pencil in the top right-hand corner does not have a line through it). If you click on any of the tabs it will take you to the corresponding page in the planner.
In the second image, below, the Notebook is in Edit mode (pencil in the right-hand corner has a line through it, plus header is blue). Now if you click on any of the tabs the tool thinks you want to add text, etc and will not move the notebook to the correct point.
Once you have your Notebook imported you can start adding more to it, to make it your own.
If you want to personalise it with pretty covers check out this post.
If you want to personalise it with pretty stickers check out this post.