The Ultimate Digital Bullet Journal Guide for Beginners

The Ultimate Digital Bullet Journal Guide for Beginners

Are you looking for a flexible, environmentally-friendly, and effective way of bullet journaling?

If that’s the case, then digital bullet journaling is a great option for you.

When I first started my digital bullet journal, I couldn’t find any tutorials or help on the subject. I searched on Google, Pinterest, Youtube, and more, but couldn’t find the specific, nitty-gritty answers I was looking for.

I wanted to know what digital bullet journaling is, the benefits of it, and how I could start one quickly and easily.

That’s why I compiled everything that I know and have learned about digital bullet journaling in this blog post.

I will be sharing what digital bullet journaling is and how you can start in a few simple steps.

Full Disclosure: I use affiliate links for book recommendations, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you.

What is a Digital Bullet Journal? 

Digital bullet journals use modern technology, such as an iPad and an Apple Pencil, for your bullet journal instead of a traditional notebook and pen. 

Digital journals are beneficial to everyone. However, they are especially great for busy individuals. Whether you’re a mother, full-time employee, entrepreneur, or all of those combined, you will benefit from using a digital bullet journal.

Digital bullet journals will keep all your notes, tasks, and notebooks in one place. If you ever need to refer to an older journal, you can easily access it on your device.

There are so many perks to digital bullet journaling. If you’re still hesitant about starting one, here are some game-changing benefits.

Perks of Digital Bullet Journaling

  • No bleeding and/or ghosting

You don’t have to worry about bleeding or ghosting. With the Apple Pencil and its brush sensitivity capabilities, you can apply as much pressure as you want without worrying about bleeding or ghosting.

  • You can use as many pages as you want

Is running out of space in your bullet journal a reoccurring problem for you? It was for me.

Rather than starting a new notebook because you ran out of space, you can just add another page or section in your digital bullet journal.

There is no limit to how many pages you can use. This means you can fully indulge and use as many spreads as you want.

  • Unlimited Sticker Usage

You can only use physical stickers once. On top of that, if you make a mistake, it’s difficult to remove that sticker.

With digital stickers, you can use one sticker as many times as you like. You can resize, rotate, and adjust them however you like.

The best part is if you misplaced a sticker or made a mistake, you can simply move it with the lasso tool (or just undo). 

  • It’s Insanely Flexible

There have been so many incidents when I completed butchered a page, messed up the ordering of my journal, and so much more. Because I used a physical notebook, I couldn’t just tear the page out and move it without it being noticeable.

With digital bullet journaling, moving pages have never been easier. Instead of ripping out pages or spending hours transforming your pages, you can simply delete or move pages around in a matter of seconds.

Also, you can easily undo a mistake you made, which you can’t do with physical bullet journaling. You don’t have to worry about erasing or using a copious amount of white-out. 

  • Ability to Back up Files

Sometimes I forget to bring my bullet journal with me when I go out. If I want to write something down, I have to wait until I get back home to do so.

Additionally, there’s no way of recovering a physical bullet journal if you lose it. If you damage your bullet journal, it’ll be incredibly difficult to restore it back to its original state. 

With digital journals, you can back your files up through a hard drive or the Cloud! You don’t have to worry about losing your journals and the precious memories inside of it ever again.

  • It’s Environmentally Friendly

Unless you’re living under a rock, you’re probably aware of the major environmental issues our planet is currently undergoing.

Digital planning will cut back on the amount of paper you use. Going green and being environmentally friendly is especially important at this time.

Digital Bullet Journal Supplies

One upside to digital journaling is that you don’t need to constantly buy new supplies. There’s no need to buy a new journal, pen, tape, glue, and whatnot. You only need a few key things that will last you for years

  1. iPad Pro 11 inch 
  2. Apple Pencil
  3. GoodNotes 

I use the iPad Pro 12.9 inch and the Apple Pencil 2 for my digital bullet journaling activities. I love the amount of space I have to work with. However, you don’t need to get the 12.9-inch size; 11 inches is more than enough. 

The Apple pencil 2 is like using an actual pencil or pen. The pressure sensitivity is top-notch — drawing and writing are effortless and enjoyable. It’s like writing with a real pencil or pen but 10xs better. 

On the other hand, if you prefer android tablets, you can opt for that as well. However, I do not have any experience using android, so I cannot make a truthful recommendation regarding this.

Recommended Resource: Best iPad to get for Digital Planning, Bullet Journaling, and Note-taking

Why GoodNotes for Digital Bullet Journaling?

There are a plethora of notetaking and planning apps available out there. For this tutorial, I will be recommending GoodNotes.

GoodNotes is widely used by many people and is the industry standard for note-taking applications. Most people who make digital bullet journal templates and digital planners design with GoodNotes in mind. 

If you want a more in-depth analysis of why GoodNotes is the best digital planning application, read my blog post, Best Digital Planning Application for Beginners.

Basic Overview of GoodNotes

GoodNotes is a note-taking app — It allows you to handwrite or type notes within the application. Your notes are organized by notebooks and documents. 

Using the GoodNotes app is like using an actual notebook. Better yet, with GoodNotes, you can create an infinite amount of notebooks and that can hold as many pages as you need. 

Furthermore, the price is reasonable and affordable at $7.99 on the App store. It costs less than most notebooks and you can add as many digital notebooks and journals as you want. You could create hundreds of journals if you so desire.

You can also download the app on your mobile device and Macbook, truly taking your journal wherever you go. 

Recommended Resource: Key GoodNotes Features to Know for Digital Planning and Journaling

Getting Started with your Digital Bullet Journal

  1. Install Goodnotes onto your iPad 

GoodNotes is available on the App Store and Android store for $7.99.

2. Create a notebook in GoodNotes

The next step is creating your bullet journal notebook within the GoodNotes app. You can use the covers and templates provided in the app.

However, if you were like me when I first started, you are probably wondering where the double spread template was. I saw many people use templates that emulated a real-life bullet journal and wanted to use one too. 

Green Digital Bullet Journal

I spent the longest time looking for a template like this in the GoodNotes library.

Unfortunately, GoodNotes doesn’t have double spread templates — you have to make or buy your own.

To make this easier for you, I have a few templates in the VIP Library that you can download for free so that you can get started straight away. 

To get access to them, all you need to do is to join the VIP Community. It’s free and you’ll get access to dozens of digital goodies!

Importing your template into GoodNotes

To import your template, you want to get the PDF file onto your iPad. You can directly download my templates in the VIP Library onto your iPad. Here are the instructions to import a template into GoodNotes.

  1. Go to the VIP Library. (Join the VIP Community if you aren’t already in it)
  2. Download the template of your choice
  3. Open GoodNotes and click on the + symbol
  4. Select the import option

Importing Files GoodNotes

5. Select the PDF you wish to import.

And that’s it. You can now start adding in and creating spreads for your digital bullet journal!

Digital Bullet Journal Components 

Your digital bullet journal consists of the same things as a physical bullet journal. There is no difference between what goes into any of your bullet journals! Below, I will walk you what I have in my digital bullet journal. 

In the bullet points below, I quickly go over what each of these is. However, if you want to learn about each concept in-depth, check out my blog post about setting up a bullet journaling for beginners. 

  • Key

Digital Bullet journal key

In the key, you will list out the symbols you use and what they stand for. If you’re not sure what symbols to use, check out my blog post, 20 Easy Bullet Journal Symbol Ideas for your Key, for inspiration.

  • Index

Digital Bullet Journal Index

The index tells you where each section is located in your bullet journal.

  • Monthly Log

goodnotes monthly log

This where I list all my tasks for the month. It gives me an overview of what I have to do and what I can expect.

  • Daily Log

Digital Bullet Journal Daily Logs

The daily log is where you write down what you have to do every day: you can put your tasks, notes, and events here.

  • Optional Collections

Include collections that you find helpful. If you need some ideas for what collections to include, you can check out my bullet journal guide blog post, where I go over easy collection ideas and setups.

Featured Resource: You can find the journal template I am using in the VIP Library!

Adding Pages with GoodNotes

You can easily add a page wherever you want, even if you download a template with links. Adding pages will not mess up or affect the links in your PDF.

Adding pages with GoodNotes

To add new pages, simply click on the page icon with the + symbol. A window should open up as shown above. You can add a page of the current template or one of the page options GoodNotes provides.

Key Features of GoodNotes

These are the basic tools you’ll be using the most in the GoodNotes app.

Writing Tool(s)

GoodNotes Pens

There are three different types of pens:

  • Fountain Pen

This pen is pressure-sensitive. You can affect the width of your strokes with this pen.

  • Ball Pen

This pen has no pressure sensitivity. I enjoy using this pen to write down my daily tasks and other quick notes.

  • Brush pens

Pressure-sensitive — appropriate for more artistic-like strokes. This pen is perfect for hand-lettering.

For all of these pens, you can use either the Apple pencil or just your fingers.

Highlighter

GoodNotes Highlighter

If you want to make certain parts of your journal stand out, you can use the highlighter tool in GoodNotes. You can choose whatever color suits your needs along with the highlighter size.

Text

You can also type with GoodNotes! To type, you just need to select on the type tool and tap anywhere you want your text to go.

You can also style your text; there is a wide selection of fonts and font weights you can choose from. There are serif, sans-serif, script, and hand-writing fonts.

Images

Adding images on GoodNotes is extremely easy. Just click on the image icon and select an image from your image library/photos.

After you add your image, you can resize, rotate, and move it however you wish.

Lasso

GoodNotes Lasso Tool

With the lasso tool, you can select objects you want to resize or move. The lasso tool is how digital journalers move and resize their digital stickers. 

To use it, use your Apple Pencil or finger and draw around the graphic to select it. After you draw around it, you should be able to move, resize, rotate, or copy it.

Conclusion

If you’re considering starting a digital bullet journal, let me give you that push and say just do it.

There are so many perks to having a digital bullet journal; you’ll save money, avoid the troubles that come with traditional journals while reaping the benefits that technology has to offer.

It’s truly the perfect organizer for busy individuals. 

If you’re serious about starting your digital planning journey and making time for the things you love, then join our email list! You will receive a free digital notebook and exclusive tips that will launch you to success, as well as other free digital goodies, resources, and more.

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