How to Create a Digital Planner with Links from Scratch

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Digital planners are all the rage these days. But, deciding on which planner is right for you can get kind of tricky. You may wonder how to create a digital planner that fits in with your lifestyle and your planning preferences.

Why not create your own planner? You’ll save money, choose the color scheme and templates and customize the planner rather than letting someone else choose for you.

Create a digital Planner using Canva picture of digital planners on ipad

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What Software is Needed to Create a Digital Planner?

There are several different applications you can use to create a digital planner. Here are just a few:

  1. Canva: Canva is a versatile graphic design platform that offers a user-friendly interface and a wide range of templates, elements, and tools, making it a popular choice for creating digital planners.
  2. Microsoft PowerPoint: PowerPoint is a well-known presentation software that can be used to design digital planners. It offers a variety of design options and is widely accessible.
  3. Adobe InDesign: InDesign is a professional design software that provides advanced features for creating intricate and highly customizable digital planners.
  4. GoodNotes: GoodNotes is an app specifically designed for digital note-taking and planning. It allows you to create digital planners with handwriting capabilities and other interactive elements.
  5. Notability: Similar to GoodNotes, Notability is an app that enables you to create digital planners and take handwritten notes, making it a great option for those who prefer a more hands-on approach.
  6. Google Slides: Google Slides is a cloud-based presentation software that offers collaborative features, making it convenient for creating and sharing digital planners with others.

Each of these software options has its own strengths, so you can choose the one that best suits your preferences, design capabilities, and compatibility with your devices. Whether you’re looking for simplicity or advanced customization, there’s a digital planning software out there to help you create the perfect digital planner for your needs.

How to Get CANVA for FREE

You can use CANVA free version or use CANVA Pro FREE for 30 days.

Find out more about CANVA’s pricing and learn everything you need to know with a quick 30 minute video.


Teachers, Students and Non Profits get CANVA PRO FREE!


Learning CANVA with CANVA tutorials for beginners is an absolute breeze! With their user-friendly interface and step-by-step guidance, even those new to design can quickly grasp the platform’s powerful features. The tutorials provide clear instructions on navigating the dashboard, accessing templates, and customizing designs to match individual preferences.

New to Canva? Learn how to use Learn How to Use Canva with CANVA Tutorials for Beginners.

From adding text and elements to incorporating images and applying filters, every aspect of the design process is demystified. These tutorials empower beginners to create visually stunning graphics, presentations, and more, with impressive ease. With CANVA’s comprehensive and engaging tutorials, aspiring designers can unleash their creativity and embark on an exciting journey of design exploration.

You can learn CANVA with these easy to follow tutorials. And if there is anything you would like to see explained in more details, please leave a comment below.

What is the Difference Between a Digital Planner and a Paper Planner?

Digital planners are used on devices like Samsung Tabs, iPads or other Android devices. Usually digital planners have tabs or elements that link to pages in your planner so that you can quickly go to a page or point in your planner.

You can write in digital planners like you would on paper, except erasing is much easier on a digital planner because you can literally undo what you wrote with an eraser as opposed to pen and paper which get’s messy.

With a digital planner you are using your finger, stylus or apple pencil to write, erase, navigate or move objects.

You can also add digital stickers to your digital planner and move them around as opposed to paper which is permanent.

Creating your Own Digital Planner

There is a lot of thought that goes into preparing a digital planner. Before you begin creating your planner think about what your planner might look like. Decide what application you are going to use to create your planner.

Know what you want by following these guided steps no matter what software you use:

Step 1: Decide on Your Layout & Theme

  • Choose the size of your planner
  • Choose coil bound or unbound
  • Decide on your fonts (2-3 max)
  • Decide on your color palette
  • Decide on dated or undated templates (if you go with undated templates for your daily or weekly planner pages, you’ll need to create a section page to link to)

Canva is a great tool for creating digital planners. However, Canva does have it’s limitations with the number of pages you can create to a maximum of 200 pages.

The more elements, pages and links you add to your planner will increase your planner size and decrease the number of pages you will be able to add to your digital planner.

You can get around this by using another application instead of Canva like PowerPoint, where you would be able to create a planner with more than 200 pages. Or, you can limit your design.

One way you can limit your design is by including only the necessary pages. For example, you can use undated weekly and daily planner pages.

Then, when you are in your planner you can copy the undated pages as needed, move them to where you like, date and write on them.

This is something you’ll need to decide before you choose the application you will use to create your digital planner.

Step 2: Decide on the Structure

  • Do you want a cover page?
  • Use guides to mark perimeter of your page where your tabs will go
  • Do you need an instructions page?
  • Add a square element to your page so that you can hide your tabs behind it.
  • Add a YTD (Year to Date) Calendar
  • Add a monthly calendar (decide if it will be a Monday or a Sunday start)
  • Add a weekly planner template
  • Add a daily planner template
  • Add a notes page
  • Add a sticker page where you can place all your stickers

If you decide to use undated weekly and daily planner templates, you won’t be able to directly link to the master templates. Instead, you’ll need to create a section in your planner where you’ll find these templates. (find out more from watching my video)

Don’t forget to join our Canva Facebook Group, where you can share your designs and get feedback!

Step 3: Create Tabs and Linking

  • Decide on your tab style/color
  • Size your tabs evenly
  • Make sure that there is enough room for all your tabs
  • Name your tabs
  • Names your pages
  • Create the links to pages

Step 4: Finishing and Downloading

  • Copy the tabs and binding coil
  • Paste the tabs and anything along the perimeter on all of the pages
  • Download your design as a PDF
  • Test your design and links
  • Make any adjustments necessary, then download and re-test

Once you are happy with your design, you can go ahead and import it into your note taking app.

Watch Me Create a Digital Planner with Canva from Scratch

If you are more of a visual learner, watch this video tutorial as I create a digital planner from scratch.

Get a Digital Planner FREE

If you like the digital planner I created, you can download it here absolutely free. Please note that the planner is for personal use only and cannot be resold.

Download your FREE Digital Planner, complete with links.

Importing a PDF into Goodnotes

If you are using Goodnotes, you can read this article on How to Import a PDF into Goodnotes for written and video instructions.

Conclusion: By creating your own digital planner with links, you get to customize your planner just the way you like it without spending a dime!

Don’t forget to subscribe to our Youtube Channel to get notified when new video tutorials are released!

About Us

Amy & Steph

Oh hello. Hi, I’m Amy and I’ve worked for a large educational organization with over 12,000 employees for more than 30 years.  Specializing in Human Resources Management and the field of administration, I wanted to share some of what I’ve learned throughout my career and in my spare time. 

Read more…

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