As much as I loved paper planning and journaling, I just didn’t have the budget to buy new $20 notebooks every time I used up my notebook or needed a new one (not to mention, the new supplies).
I don’t know about you, but spending that much money every few months takes a serious toll on your wallet.
I’ve been journaling and planning traditionally for years. I’ve kept paper agendas, multiple bullet journals, and paper diaries.
The organization and journaling system really helped my day-to-day life, but as a recent college graduate trying to pay my bills, I was lacking the proper resources to keep up with my stationary hobby.
On top of that, I felt pressured to create aesthetic and social media-worthy journaling spreads. I mean, I just spent hundreds of dollars on journaling and planning supplies, I had to at least make them look nice right?
Journaling and planning became harder and more stressful, so I eventually stopped.
My perfectionism, on top of the costs of maintaining my paper hobby, discouraged me from continuing any further.
That is until I made the switch to digital planning.
What is Digital Journaling and Planning?
Digital Journaling and Planning is like paper planning but done on a device like an iPad and Apple Pencil.
I’ve done a lot of research to find a journaling and planning system that would work for me, and decided to give digital planning a try.
I am so grateful I did as there are countless benefits to digital planning and journaling.
With this digital medium, I was able to mix traditional and new digital technology. All the worries I felt from using my paper planner and journal went away.
In the article, I will explain why I made the switch to digital planning and why you should too.
1. Digital Planning is portable and convenient
For me, I want to journal anywhere and everywhere I go.
In the past, I carried with me my paper planner, my ruler, a hefty pouch full of markers, stickers, and more, in my small backpack.
I’d carry my insanely heavy backpack, which took a toll on my back. My backpack was always so messy and finding things was near impossible.
My backpack was so messy, that I’d lose things within it.
Does this sound familiar to you? Because that was my reality for a while.
However, now, I just carry around my iPad and Apple pencil 2.
Everything I need is in my planner: yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily planner pages, pages for wellness, goals, and routines, habit tracker, mood, tracker, finance tracker, logs, a notebook, and so much more.
I can now travel lightly and freely and although it seems insignificant, walking with a light load feels amazing.
2. It’s sustainable and environmentally friendly
Landfills are constantly being filled up from our never-ending stream of trash. We use things and throw them away once they become obsolete.
That’s exactly what happened to my old journaling supplies. Once the ink ran out of my pens and markers, I’d trash them. And I had hundreds of them. Imagine all that waste.
With a digital planner, you don’t have to buy countless brush markers, ball-point pens, fine-liners, and more. Your one Apple pencil/stylus can serve as hundreds of different pen and marker styles.
Imagine all the money and space you’ll save.
On the same topic, we all know about the countless trees being cut down for paper. Deforestation displaces homes for animals, people, and natural wildlife.
I’ve thrown away so many sheets of paper because I made a small mistake. I feel bad looking back now, but I am glad I switched over to a more sustainable method of planning.
Once you go paperless, you cut down your paper use and waste.
3. Save money
This probably won’t make sense to you at first because to be completely honest, iPads are expensive.
They are an investment and aren’t easy to impulse buy like a new marker or notebook.
However, in the long run, you will be saving a lot more money than you would expect.
One nice notebook, such as Moleskine or Leuchtturm, is about $20, oftentimes more. I kept multiple, as I like to keep one for bullet journaling and one for normal journaling/scrapbooking/sketchbooks.
Don’t even get me started on planners — one nice planner for me would cost nearly $50 and I only got to use it once!
Purchasing bullet journal supplies aren’t cheap either.
If you like to do brush lettering, each pen is around $3.00. Not only that, these pens needed to be replaced, unlike your apple pencil.
I probably spent a few hundred alone on markers and pens, one-time sticker sheets/packs, and washi-tape.
Before investing in my iPad, I kept having to buy more notebooks and planners because they were single-use and I would run through them fast.
Unfortunately, notebooks, especially good-quality ones, aren’t cheap anymore. For my college classes, I expected to spend $30 for all my notebooks.
Conversely, with an iPad, you can reuse digital stickers and undated planners. You don’t have to buy hundreds of markers and pens and you can create a new notebook on demand for FREE.
The digital planner (Clarity Planner) I use, which you can find in my shop, is undated, so you can use it as many times as you want! If you really wanted to, you could keep using it and never have to buy a new planner ever again.
Imagine all the money and trees you’ll save.
On top of that, the iPad has more uses than just journaling and planning. You can do your homework or work, draw, watch videos, edit videos, read, and so much more.
Recommend Resource: If you’re wondering what iPad you should get, read my blog post, What iPad to get for Digital Planning (and which ones to avoid) 2020
4. Easy and effortless customization
I love customizing my notebooks and truly making it my own.
Digital Planning allows you to do that and more. I can add stickers, pages, text boxes, and more. I can also experiment with different fonts, hand-writing, brushes, colors, digital paper types, and so much more.
Not to mention, customizing your digital notebook is way less messy and fussy than customizing your paper notebooks.
In order to customize my paper journals, I would have to buy different tapes, stickers, papers, pens, etc., and all of those were all disposable after a certain amount of use.
However, with digital journaling, you can reuse digital stickers and even create your own washi-tape/stickers, which you can use as many times as you want.
The world is your oyster in the digital planning and journaling world.
5. Prone to making mistakes? No Problem!
Are you a perfectionist like I am? Agonizing over one mistake, spending hours to fix it, just to start all over again?
Mistakes involving ink pens & markers or glue were the worst. I couldn’t erase ink and couldn’t move stickers/glued pieces without ripping my paper.
Luckily, with your digital planner and iPad, the undo button is always there for you. Made a mistake? Rather than spending hours covering it up as I did, you can just undo it in a matter of seconds.
I felt discouraged to experiment with my paper journals and planners, but ever since I went digital, I never felt the need to hold back.
You’ll save paper, supplies, stress, and TIME.
6. Secure and Transferrable
A bullet journal I spent months on which held all my memories, achievements, journal entries, and more, was damaged by my hot tea.
I tried to recover it, but the text was no longer legible and the images were ruined. I was absolutely devastated.
A small mistake erased months of my precious memories and I had no way of retrieving them back.
I was afraid this would happen again. Sure, I can take as many precautions as possible, but some scenarios are inevitable.
I didn’t want to imagine what it would be like if my memory journal of 3 years were to be ruined.
With your iPad, you can back up your files to the cloud. That way, as long as you have the app, you can resume digital planning on any device.
If any circumstances arose, I felt confident that I would have a copy of my journal.
You can also keep ramblings on your iPad PRIVATE without worrying about anyone looking into it.
7. Reusable Stickers
Lately, I’ve been into minimalism and sustainability. If I purchase something, I make sure it will be:
- Something I’ll use frequently
- Add value to my life.
Despite the cost and fuss, I loved using stickers. They made my journals look so much cuter and added a lot of personality to them.
On the flip side, I felt a lot of pressure using these stickers. I was afraid of “wasting” my sticker by placing them in the wrong spot or using them for the wrong occasion.
That’s why when I found out about digital stickers, I was ecstatic.
With digital stickers, you can reuse them as many times as you want. They add so much personality, flair, and uniqueness to your planner/journal pages. Digital stickers don’t have to be limited to one page in your notebook.
Digital Sticky notes were a great addition to my personal planner. The stickers I’m using are my pastel digital sticky notes set which you can find in my shop!
Digital planning is an investment, but it’s worth investing in if you’re serious about getting your life on track. So, are you ready to make the switch to digital planning?
If so, click here to find all the resources you need to start digital planning.
Let us know why you’re considering switching to digital planning. We would love to hear from you.
Other helpful digital planning resources:
Shop Minimalist Digital Products
Key GoodNotes Features to Know for Digital Planning and Journaling
Best iPad Digital Planning App for Beginners: A Comprehensive Guide