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The Best 5 Programs To Create Digital Planners Easily

Looking for a great app or program to use to create digital planners? Here’s a list of the 5 most popular programs used to design and create your custom digital planners.

Want to create your own digital planner but have no idea which program or app to use? There are so many programs to create digital planners. Each with its own unique features and user tools.

The most popular programs for creating digital planners are:

  1. Google Slides
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Keynote
  4. Affinity Publisher
  5. Adobe InDesign

But which one is the best program to make digital planners and how can you decide on which one is the right one for you to use?

Below I will show you some things that can help you decide.

From the pros and cons of each software, whether they are for beginners or more advanced users and compare their prices. Everyone prefers and feels more comfortable using different software so you will find these things can help you choose which is the best program for you to use.

Ready to start creating digital planners now? Check out the PDF Glow Up course. It’s a very affordable mini-course that walks you through all the steps of creating a digital planner. Perfect for beginners and pros alike.

What is a digital planner?

Before we take a deeper look at what programs are best for digital planner creation let’s quickly go through what a digital planner is.

A digital planner is a hyperlinked PDF file designed pretty much like a paper planner. Generally, it contains calendar pages, monthly planner days, weekly, daily, and notes. The hyperlinks ensure that you can easily navigate through the most important pages in the PDF file without having to scroll through the entire document. And you add your personal notes by using a note-taking app on your device.

So, any program that can create an interactive PDF with hyperlinks connecting the document’s own pages can be used to create a digital planner.

However, some programs offer other features that are just as important for creating a well-designed digital planner. This includes the ability to create master pages, change the typeface over the entire document, and edit features for images and graphics.

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    What are the best programs to create digital planners?

    At the end of the day, the best program will be a personal choice based on your own priorities and demands.

    If you looking into programs to create your own digital planner I’d definitely recommend looking at the different options and trying a couple that appeal to you until you find the right one for you.

    Here are some ideas to try:

    1. Google Slides

    Google Slides is one of the best programs to create digital planners for beginners.

    The first program I am going to talk about is Google Slides.

    Google Slides is a free cloud-based software that requires no installation.

    Any person can start creating planners with Google Slides in a matter of seconds as the platform is very user-friendly. If may find that you are already familiar with the controls interface in Slides, as they are very similar to Google Docs.

    However, the minimalism style of Google Slides comes at the expense of advanced features that you may find in software that is paid for.

    Some of the drawbacks might not affect you creating a simpler digital planner but in general Google Slides offers fewer options for customization when compared to other programs mentioned below, especially when it comes to creating different shaped text boxes, merging shapes, aligning objects, adding 3D effects, downloading custom fonts, etc.

    Depending on your style, editing skills, and how used you are to other programs you may not even notice some of the missing features.

    This is not the program I use for creating my digital planners but it’s definitely a place to get started and you won’t be disappointed by how much you can actually create here. I also enjoy creating stickers with Google Slides.


    • Free
    • Perfect for both Windows and Mac users
    • Easy to use


    • Less advanced features for shapes and effects
    • No custom fonts

    2. PowerPoint

    Create a digital planner with PowerPoint

    PowerPoint is an advanced program with many years of development, which means it offers lots more functions than Google Slides. This is the program I personally use and recommend for any Windows user that wants to create their own digital planner.

    The features I love most when it comes to digital notebooks and planner creation are the ability to use custom fonts as well as the array of shape and icon formatting options that allow me to create amazing planners effortlessly. I also love using this program to create digital stickers.

    Most people are familiar with PowerPoint’s interface and can start creating pages straight away without any problem. However, even if you haven’t extensively used this program before once you master the basics of it, it will serve you beautifully in creating a professional-looking designed planner.

    If you are a Windows user and are looking for a more comprehensive program than Google Slides, then PowerPoint is a great choice.

    The only drawback of PowerPoint is the current subscription price.

    Even though I use PowerPoint a lot, I was reluctant to have a recurring payment option and kept using my old PowerPoint version for way longer than I should (that old version didn’t have some of the features I now cannot live without!).

    What drove me to change my mind about the price was the fact that first; the product is amazing and full of features I need to create a better product in less time, and second; since I create digital planners to sell I see the Microsoft 365 subscription as a business investment and now wouldn’t do it any other way.

    Another massive advantage of the subscription is that it comes with 1TB of cloud space. You will definitely need this once you start creating all your amazing graphics and designs. The storage alone is worth the subscription price as it’s cheaper than the same amount of cloud storage in GoogleOne or iCloud.

    Microsoft does offer a free cloud-based version of PowerPoint that everyone can use but PowerPoint Online comes with a lot fewer features than the advanced desktop version. Many of these features are extremely important for streamlining your digital planner creation process such as the option of creating master slides! The online version lacks so much that I don’t recommend using the free version for making your planners – if you are looking for a free program you find Google Slides a much better option.

    Here is a review of the pros and cons of PowerPoint as a tool for creating digital planners:


    • Many advanced features
    • Easy to use
    • Subscription comes with 1TB cloud storage space that is perfect to keep all your important files
    • Best for Windows users


    • Recurring subscription fee
    • Free cloud-based version does not include many features

    3. Keynote

    Create a digital planner with Keynote

    Another great tool for creating digital planners is Keynote. Especially if you are an Apple product user as it comes free on your device.

    Keynote does many of the same things PowerPoint does.

    I honestly don’t think you need any other program if you use a Mac or even want to try creating your planner on your iPad.

    However, it is important to note that will take you a lot longer to produce the same planner on an iPad compared to how much faster you can create slides, add links, and edit shapes on a desktop or laptop.

    The only drawback of Keynote is that you must be an Apple user to access it. Just like Microsoft, Apple also offers a free version of Keynote for iCloud online but that version lacks so many features that it is almost embarrassing to even try to use it. For instance, you can not even change your slide size in Keynote for iCloud….which is a vital feature for Digital Planners.

    Obviously, you can create digital planners using Keynote for iCloud, but many features that make the process of creating a large, fully hyperlinked planner, easier are only present in the laptop/desktop version of the program.

    So, for these reasons I normally recommend Keynote for Apple users and PowerPoint for Windows users. This keeps things simple and it’s always good to make life as easy as you can!

    So here are the pros and cons for Keynote:


    • It’s free
    • Easy to use
    • Perfect for Mac users


    • Free cloud-based version does not include many features

    4. Adobe InDesign

    Adobe InDesign is the industry-leading layout and page design software for print and digital media. It has so many features that allows you to create beautiful graphic designs with great typography and imagery. It also allows you to quickly share content in PDF.

    It truly is a powerful program like all Adobe programs are.

    However, having all of these features does not come cheaply. To get InDesign you have to subscribe to Adobe’s Creative Cloud plan which will set you back almost 60 dollars every month.

    Another disadvantage of InDesign is that by being a powerful advanced program you’ll probably need some training before you can get started with creating digital planners.

    Unlikely the other programs I have mentioned above which are user-friendly and intuitive, InDesign has a much steeper learning curve because the program has such a vast range of features.

    Although all these features are amazing, the truth is that you don’t need all the features to create your digital planner. This is on of the reasons I don’t recommend InDesign for beginners.

    I would only recommend InDesign for people who have the Creative Cloud subscription and already use and know InDesign. This avoids you wasting money and time learning a more advanced program where you will not use some of the features.

    So here are the pros and cons of InDesign for creating digital planners:


    • Advanced features
    • Great for both Windows and Mac users


    • Expensive subscription plan
    • Steep learning curve

    5. Affinity Publisher

    Create a digital planner with Affinity Publisher

    Affinity Publisher is professional publishing software that comes with a range of advanced features for designing publications.

    Similarly to InDesign, it offers some very powerful elements for document formatting, creating templates, and much more. However, just like InDesign many of the features are not needed for creating digital planners. And also like InDesign,because it’s a much more robust program in terms of features, the learning curve can be quite steep you’ve never used it before.

    Though Affinity Publisher is a paid product with comparable advanced features to Adobe InDesign, the price tag is not as heavy. You can get this program with a one-time payment. There is no subscription fee which is a great deal and excellent value for money.

    Affinity is also compatible with both macOS and Microsoft Windows. I recommend Affinity Publisher for any Windows user who does not need Office programs and is not keen to pay the OneDrive subscription plan. You have to be willing to learn how to use this more advanced program though as it’s not as simple or intuitive as Microsoft programs.


    • Advanced features
    • No payment subscription
    • Great for both Windows and mac users


    • Steep learning curve

    Ready to create your own digital planner?

    When it comes to creating beautiful and unique digital planners, you should not only consider the design part of the planner but the functionality, marketing, and promotion of your planner too!

    That’s why I recommend investing in the Passive Income Planner Girl course.

    This online course isn’t just about using the programs to create your planner (although they do have tutorials for a range of programs) but more about creating your heart-centered business with fans that love your products.

    Ready to start your own online business you love? Want a passive income that you enjoy creating products for? Click below to find out more the Planner Girls.

    how to create and sell digital planners

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