Top 5 Programs To Create Digital Planners Easily

No idea what app or program to use to create digital planners? Here’s a list with the 5 most popular programs used to design and create your custom digital planners.

You want to create your own digital planner and have no idea which program or app to use? Then this post was written for you!

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 I decide on which one to use?

Below I will show you the pros and cons of each software, whether they are for beginners or more advanced users and compare their prices so you can chose the best program for you to use.

And if you are ready to create digital planners today, I recommend checking the PDF Glow Up course, a very affordable mini course that walks you through all the steps of creating a digital planner.

What is a digital planner?

Before analyzing what programs are best for digital planner creation let’s quickly define 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 the entire document. And you add your 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 including the ability to create master pages, change the typeface over the entire document and more editing features for images and graphics.

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 using them to create your own.

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 we will talk about is Google Slides, which is a free cloud based software that requires no installation.

Any person can start creating planners here in a matter of seconds as the platform is very user friendly and most people are already familiar with the controls interface in Slides, which are similar to Google Docs.

However, the minimalism style of Google Slides comes at the expense of advanced features that you normally find in paid products. Some of the drawbacks might not affect you creating a simpler digital planner but in general Google Slides offers less 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.

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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 behind its back, naturally offering way more functions than Slides. This is the program I personally use and recommend for any Windows user wanting to create their own digital planner.

The features I love most when it comes to digital notebooks and planner creation is the ability to use custom fonts and the array of shape and icon formatting options that allow me to create amazing planners effortlessly and great digital stickers.

Most people are familiar with PowerPoint’s interface and can start creating pages from the get go 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 professionally designed planners.

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

The only drawback of PowerPoint is the current subscription price. I, for one, 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 perspective 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 wouldn’t do it any other way now.

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

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

So here are the pros and cons of PowerPoint as a tool for creating digital planners:

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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 and it comes free in 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. It’ll 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 the computer.

The only drawback of Keynote is that you must be an Apple user to access it. Similarly to Microsoft, Apple also offers a free version of Keynote for iCloud online but that version lacks so many features that is almost embarrassing to even try to use it. For instance, you’re not even able to change your slide size in Keynote for iCloud…. like, that bad.

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 keep things simple.

So here are the pros and cons:

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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 a world of features that allows you to create beautiful graphic designs with great typography and imagery and quickly share content in PDF.

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

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

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

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

You don’t need all the features to create your digital planner though, and that is another reason why I don’t recommend InDesign for beginners.

In general I would only recommend InDesign for people who already have the Creative Cloud subscription and already use and know InDesign. This avoid the money and time wasted learning a more advanced program.

So here are the pros and cons of InDesign when it comes to creating digital planners:

Pros

  • Advanced features
  • Great for both Windows and mac users

Cons

  • Expensive subscription plan
  • Steep learning curve

5. Affinity Publisher

Create a digital planner with Affinity Publisher

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

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

Though Affinity Publisher is a paid product with comparable advanced features of Adobe InDesign, the price tag is not as heavy. You can get this program with a one time payment with 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, it’s not as simple or intuitive as Microsoft programs.

Pros

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

Cons

  • Steep learning curve

Ready to create your own digital planner?

When it comes to creating beautiful & 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: it 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 raving fans.

Ready to get into the passive income wagon? Click below to join the Planner Girls.

how to create and sell digital planners

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