What Is Digital Planning? (Plus Tips on How to Get Started)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published May 29, 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.

Many people depend on various plans and planning tools to keep their daily activities organized. When it's important to remember several tasks and projects, a digital outline or journal can be very helpful. Understanding how to use these various digital tools to plan your day can help you coordinate your personal and professional life efficiently. In this article, we explore digital planning, outline its benefits, identify how to get started using electronic tools for planning your day, and provide some useful tips to improve your use of digital planners.

What is digital planning?

Digital planning typically involves highlighting tasks and events electronically to help you maximize your time. Most people record their daily or weekly schedules on notepads or books. They identify both information to remember or upcoming events. Digital scheduling or planning involves doing the same act for the same purposes, only in a digital format to enhance accessibility and functionality. For instance, you might use an online application or document as a substitute for a physical planner or format.

Read more: How to Stay Organized and Why It's Important (With Tips)

Benefits of a digital planner

Here are some of the advantages of having a digital planner:

Coordination

A digital planner can be very useful if you have several tasks to carry out. These digital tools can allow you to stay organized and coordinated while completing tasks as fast as possible. You can group tasks or agendas into sections such as events, deadlines, reminders, and essential details to make them easier to locate. Having a digital planner can also help you ensure that your document and information are on a single page with no unnecessary duplication.

Read more: What Is Project Coordination and Why Is It Important?

Easy to use

Digital planners are usually easier to use compared to physical planners. You can easily list numerous records and tasks faster without getting exhausted, increasing your efficiency. It's also easier to edit on your digital planner than to rewrite or erase your physical format, allowing you to optimize the organizational structure without restarting the entire format. For instance, you can rearrange notes based on their priority when there's any change compared to rewriting them on a physical medium. You can also access the entire palette of colours with a single click and avoid spending money on colour pens.

Availability and accessibility

Most digital planners are readily available and easy to access. They typically allow you to use your applications and edit documents through your mobile phone, laptop, and computer. Most digital planners also operate through cloud storage, allowing you to effect a change on one device and access the changed files on another. You can quickly record a task or event and trust that you can access your notes or recordings on all your devices.

Integration

Digital planners can sync with other software apps, providing extra functions. For instance, you can easily sync your digital planner with your work calendar, which automatically groups and organizes events to avoid your appointments clashing with each other. You can also incorporate your digital planner into your daily life to increase its usefulness, such as by organizing when you take a bath or go to bed through your planning app.

Alternative

Digital planners can provide you with an alternative of either choosing to handwrite or type. Your planning application can allow you to experience both the physical planner and the digital world. For instance, when using a matte screen protector, you can get the same texture and friction between screen and stylus as when writing on a paper note.

Privacy

One of the benefits of having a digital planner is that it gives you privacy. Tablets, mobile devices, and computers usually have passwords and face recognition. You can easily use this password to keep your personal and professional information hidden. With this feature, you can set up goals in a digital planner and keep them private.

How to start digital scheduling

To get started on digital scheduling, you may follow these steps:

1. Select an application

It's important to select an application you like when planning digitally to ensure you use it often and become familiar with its features. Popular options include mobile applications, team management software, word processing programs, and browser-based planners. To select the most effective digital tool, you can consider your planning tasks and goals, then research and try various planning applications. You can easily choose another digital planner to help you organize yourself or the team more efficiently.

For instance, if you have a busy schedule and require a digital planner, a mobile application can be fast and convenient for organizing. With a mobile application, you can easily access your tasks and make necessary changes. Similarly, if you plan at a specific time, whether early in the morning or before your bedtime, you can use a document on your computer.

Read more: Computer Literacy in the Workplace: What You Need to Know

2. Transfer vital information

Suppose you're currently using a physical planner or notepad that contains important details you want to save. You can review and transfer your important details to your new digital planner. Some details may include phone numbers, reminders, tasks, upcoming events, or meetings. Transferring your previous details in your new planning application helps you remember important schedules during your transition to a digital planner.

3. Get used to a digital planner

To get familiar with your planning application, using it continuously is vital. This is because adjusting to a digital method from a physical planner or a notebook may take some time. Try reading guides on using a digital planner to maximize its functions and understand how to use it.

You can also leave notes in your physical planner to remind yourself about your digital planner. When you can, select a specific time to use your planning application each day to help you develop and optimize your planning habits. You can also create shortcuts to your planning application on your mobile device's home screen, computer's desktop, or your browser's favourite bar to make it more noticeable.

4. Integrate with several software tools

It's important to examine the lists and features in the planning app you've chosen and research what digital tool you can integrate with it. Integrating your digital planner with other software tools can help you read and update records from your planning app automatically. For instance, if you schedule an appointment using the calendar software you've integrated with your planning app, the planner automatically updates the appointment to your schedule.

Tips to improve your digital planner

Here are some tips to help you improve and maximize the use of your digital planner:

Use multiple digital features

You can use multiple digital features when setting up your tasks and events. For instance, you can colour-coordinate your note by highlighting the text and changing the font colour in a single click. You can also add links and edit your note's formatting to your preference. By trying out several features, you can know how these tools can help you stay more organized.

Use different planning applications

Try out different planning applications to determine the most suitable option for you. Your planning application may not immediately attend to your needs after using it for a few days, so you can go for other planning options that exist. If you prefer, you can start using a previous digital planner again, or try different planners simultaneously to determine which works best for you within a short while.

Maintain the same principles

While using a digital planner may appear different from the traditional method, maintaining the same principles you apply to physical planning can help you use your digital planners more effectively. For instance, you can prioritize tasks using available features like colour-coding on your digital tool. You may also develop an efficient means to organize your activities by integrating time-management tools.

Read more: How to Prioritize Work Tasks

Sync across devices

Digital planners can sync with multiple devices even if using an application or document. You can sync them to your phone, tablet, laptop, and computer, including storing details on your digital planner on a cloud storage system. Doing this can help you access your planning application and its information on any device at any point in time. For instance, if you're away from the office or travelling for a meeting, you can still keep in touch with your plan for the day.

Use pictures

You can download photos from the internet and insert them into your planning application without saving them on your camera roll. Including photos in your digital planner can make your layout look organized. Keeping an organized digital planner can provide positive feelings when using the planner during your day-to-day activities. This can help you stay motivated and increase your productivity.

Try custom fonts

You can search and download free fonts for professional and personal use. After downloading one, you may click on "Open," select "Font," and follow the app's instructions to use the next text style. You can also customize your font using different applications. Just like with pictures, customizing your fonts can help your digital planner look attractive, keeping you motivated and enthusiastic.

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