Get started with digital planning

How to use a digital planner in Goodnotes

This post will show you the basics of using a digital planner in Goodnotes: importing, navigating, editing, using hyperlinks, etc.

What is a digital planner?

They are basically a PDF versions of an actual planner that can be imported into a note-taking app just like Goodnotes app.

Things you need to start using a digital planner

To get started with digital planning you need to invest in a few products.

Unfortunately, an iPad is a big investment, especially an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil.

You will also need a note-taking app. I organize almost every aspect of my life on the iPad almost exclusively within the Goodnotes App (I also use Procreate a lot for drawing and sketching).

How to import a digital planner into Goodnotes app

It depends on where you saved the file.

From GoodNotes app on the Ipad

  1. Open the Goodnotes app on the IPad or IPad pro. Choose a category where you want to save the file.
  2. Then Tap the “ + ” button in the library on the top left corner.
  3. Select “Import“.
  4. Locate where you saved the file.
  5. Tap on the File.
  6. It will take a few seconds to load.


From an Email on the Ipad

  1. Open the email that has the file you want to import into GoodNotes. 
  2. Tap and hold for one sec on the file.
  3. A menu will appear and select ” Copy to GoodNotes “
  4. Tap on the file to open.
  5. Tap on the ” Share button ” on the top right corner.
  6. Select ” Copy to GoodNotes “
  7. Once you’re in GoodNotes app, choose a category where you want to save your file.


How to navigate in a digital planner? 

Goodnotes has two modes: Navigation Mode and Editing Mode.

In Navigation Mode the links within the document are active. This is what makes it interactive. When the pencil is white it is in Navigation mode — and the links are all active.

How to use a digital planner: navigation mode

Editing mode is when you can write, draw, move things around, etc. When the pencil is blue with a crossed line through it, it is in Editing Mode and you can write on the pages.

How to use a digital planner: editing mode

To switch between these two modes simply click on the pencil icon in the top right corner of the screen.

In Navigation Mode you can click on the interactive links, but you can also swipe left or right in the planner to go to the previous or next sheet.

How to use hyperlinks in Goodnotes

In ‘editing mode’, the hyperlinks don’t work. If you click on them, the link just won’t take you anywhere.

This is what you need to do:

Make sure the pen tool isn’t selected when clicking on the hyperlink (if you are able to write on the page then the pen tool is on).

If you look on the blue margin right at the top there is an icon of a pen with a line going through it. That’s the tool you need the click on to turn the pen off.

Once you click on it, the margin should turn white and the line through the pen will disappear and to indicate that you’re no longer in edit mode.

How to duplicate pages in Goodnotes

You can always add additional pages to you digital notebook.

Goodnotes automatically picks up on the template you are using so that it can easily duplicated.

Go on the page of the planner that you’d like to duplicate.

Click on ‘+’ icon on the top-right hand corner of the page.

You’ll see the current template you are using on the pop-up box that appears.

You can choose to either insert the new template before or after the page you are currently on.

To choose, click on the option so that it turns blue.

How do I edit the name of The Digital Planner? 

Navigate to your documents list and click on the downward arrow on the right side. Then click on the name and type in the new one.

How do I copy and paste something into Goodnotes? 

Simply select the lasso tool from the toolbar (looks like a dotted line in the shape of a lasso).

You can now draw a circle/box around any object or text and it will select it automatically so that you can move it around.

To copy it simply draw the circle around it, then place your pencil back on the screen and hold until the menu pops up. From this menu, you can copy, paste, resize, cut and so on.

You can watch the video on TikTok!

How can I improve my handwriting in Goodnotes? 

Experiment with different pen options. Across the top of the toolbar, you’ll see icons for a Pen, an Eraser, and a Highlighter.

Clicking on them once will select that tool, but double-tapping on them will open up a menu with additional options, like Fountain Pen, Ball Pen, or Brush Pen.

Experiment with the line thickness of the pen and store some default sizes that you prefer. 

How to change fonts in Goodnotes?

I have an ugly handwriting so it’s nice have the option to change the font in Goodnotes.

There are two ways that you can do this.

Method for short text

You will see a ‘Aa’ icon towards the top-right of the page. When you click on the icon, a ‘Styling’ box will appear.

To change the font, you can click on ‘Font’ and a list of available fonts will appear which you can change. To save the particular font as your default font, just hit the ‘save as default’ button at the bottom of the pop-up styling box.

Method for notes

I use my iPad Apple Pencil to write the notes down and then covert to font later.

Hit the lasso tool and draw around your handwriting.

Hold down your circled text and several bubbles will appear, click on ‘Convert’.

You will see that your handwriting has been converted to font (sometime you might need to tidy it up). Once you’ve checked the spellings, hold the text, hit ‘Select All’ and ‘Copy’.

Press ‘Cancel’ and you’ll be taken back to your planner page. Use the ‘eraser tool’ to erase your handwriting.

Hold down anywhere on the page and when the two bubbles appear, click on ‘Paste’. Move your text around on the page where you like it to appear.

How can I use colors? 

How to use colors in Goodnotes

You can create a custom color palette for any of the pens by following these steps:

  1. Click the pen or hightlighter pen tool you want to create a palette for
  2. You should then see three colorful circles near the center-right of the Tool Bar. Double-click on any one of them.
  3. You’ll see a handful of “preset” colors already populated there. Click on any that you would like to change and a new menu will appear.
  4. You can enter the HEX code for specific colors or select from the “rainbow grid” that automatically appears.
  5. You can also remove colors by clicking on the color and then selecting “Remove Color”.
  6. Repeat this until you have a palette you like.

Is there anything else you would like to know about digital planners? Just add a comment and I will help! 

Check out my other posts about digital planning!

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