[Tutorial] How to Create Your Own Digital Planner On GoodNotes 5

[Tutorial] How to Create Your Own Digital Planner On GoodNotes 5

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·Dec 31, 2020·

3 min read

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2021 is just around the corner, and I am already looking for ways to make next year a little less chaotic than this one.

After going through several planner formats from a plain notebook, the Pro Clever Fox planner, and most recently, the built-in Reminders app on iOS, I have found that they all don't satisfy my needs.

GoodNotes 5 has become my latest solution. At $7.99 on the App Store, this application has become my paper and pencil replacement. The most notable features are the ability to create notebooks from custom or pre-built templates, view your creations on different devices with iCloud integration, an easy-to-use interface, and a customizable set of drawing tools.

Disclaimer: Before you keep reading, this is NOT a coding tutorial. This tutorial explains how to create your custom-designed digital planner on the GoodNotes 5 app. Unfortunately, this app is only available on the Apple App Store.

Also, this tutorial is NOT sponsored... I just really love this app.

What you will need:

  • A pdf editor or application that supports pdf files [Microsoft Word, Adobe Illustrator, Indesign, Affinity Designer, etc.]
  • GoodNotes 5 App downloaded on an iPad or MacBook


  1. Design your page templates as letter-sized (8.5 x 11 inches) pdf documents. For this part, I recommend finding color palettes, patterns, and designs you enjoy to personalize your planner. Screenshot 2020-12-30 124316.png

  2. Ensure each different type of page you create is in a separate pdf file. If they are not, you can separate them with Adobe Acrobat or this online tool: Screen Shot 2020-12-30 at 12.50.17 PM.png

  3. Download the GoodNotes 5 application from the App Store.

  4. Upload templates to GoodNotes 5. Screen Shot 2020-12-30 at 12.54.30 PM.png

  5. Create a new notebook and start planning! IMG_0668.PNG

This is a planner template I created in Adobe Illustrator using my branding:

Feel free to use it if you'd like.

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