I love planners, but I have struggled to find the perfect unicorn. I fell in love with the Erin Condren Life Planner. It’s beautiful, colorful, customizable and full of inspirational quotes. Coloring pages are even included in recent years. I wish it didn’t have a coil binding because I have to use the coil clips or some other hack to add pages or other items.
I tried Filofax and love the binder ring concept. The covers are reusable, durable and some are cute and colorful. I can add whatever I want just by using my hole punch and opening the rings! The Filofax planner pages are rather plain and boring. I can always design my own pages or buy printables from Etsy, but I still have to invest time into cutting and trimming all the pages with a paper cutter to fit insde the cover. That is a lot of work!
Then I found the Happy Planner! I can add pages easily with a hold punch like Filofax, and it is full of beautiful design, color, and quotes like an Erin Condren Life Planner. I don’t like the plastic disc binding because I think it hinders its portability. The discs make the planner a little bulky, and sometimes pages come detached more easily than I would like.
I will be a student again soon and am researching paperless notes. Carrying around a stuffed bag full of books and notebooks was always cumbersome. Things have changed since I graduated. Many students buy e-Textbooks or take notes on their laptops or tablets now. I started thinking that maybe I could use a notetaking app as a planner also. If I had a paperless planner it would cut back on yet another book I would have to carry around. I still like the organization, design, and feel of a paper planner. This is why I don’t care for Google Calendar.
I experimented with a few apps but found that I like GoodNotes the most. In this blog post, I will not explain all the bells and whistles of GoodNotes but simply show how to import and use my to-do list template.
Install and open GoodNotes on your tablet or phone. I am using an iPad Pro (9.7″). Make sure you are also signed into DropBox or another cloud storage account that you use.
Create and open a new notebook. Click the + sign next to “New…”
A drop-down menu will appear from which you should choose “Notebook.”
On the next screen, give your new notebook a title. I named my notebook “To-Do List.” Also, you can select the type and color of paper to use in your notebook. I used blank white paper in mine. Any pages you add to your notebook later will be this kind of paper by default.
On this screen, you also can select the cover design you want to use. I used the solid grey cover with a green band for my notebook cover. To switch between paper and cover selections, choose the cover or paper icons to the left of the title area. Then click the “Create” button to finish creating your notebook.
After you create your notebook, it will open to the first blank page. From here, select the four tile squares icon on the menu bar to the upper left. This will take you to a tiled thumbnail view of the contents of your notebook.
From this screen, you will see both the cover and the first page of your notebook. I chose to delete the blank page because I only wanted to-do list pages in this notebook. To do this, I clicked the tiny “v” symbol below the page to open a drop-down menu. Then I selected “Move to Trash.” You could choose to keep this page or using the same menu, you could duplicate it or add pages if you also wanted additional notes pages.
Now add the to-do list template pages to the notebook. To do this, click the “+” sign.
Another drop-down menu will appear. Choose “Import.”
Navigate to your cloud storage. I use DropBox, so I navigated to DropBox and to the folder where I saved the to-do list templates. Select the file.
You will now find all the pages of the file in your notebook. My to-do list file includes two pages. I included two almost identical lists. The only difference is the list title area. One has a white bar to write on. The other list just has a line which maintains the galaxy background. I prefer the line so I can use a white pen that stands out from the background. Use whichever version you prefer. Select the tiny “v” symbol below the to-do list pages to open a drop-down menu. Click “Move to the Trash” to remove a list. Click “Duplicate” to make multiple copies of the same page. Duplicate the list as many times as you want to create multiple to-do lists.
All you have to do is use the to-do list! Select the first blank list page from the thumbnail grid, and the page will enlarge to fill the screen. Now you can write with an apple pencil or another stylus just like you would with a pen and paper in your planner, or you can choose to type.
Now you can carry just your tablet without having to carry around an additional notebook or keep up with multiple papers. I use this same method for an entire planner and include the to-do lists as a portion.
Featured Image: Stock photo, Photo Source: Metro