How to Create a Digital Planner Using Affinity Publisher

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Create a digital planner using Affinity Publisher! This is my favorite tool for creating digital planners is Affinity Publisher. It can be a little challenging to learn because it’s a professional design tool, but the time it takes to learn is worth it and shows in the quality of it’s digital planner that is created. In this blog post, I’ll cover some tips for creating digital planners, using Affinity Publisher to make the process even easier.

How to Create a Digital Planner Using Affinity Publisher - Benefits of Creating your own planner

Benefits of Creating Your Own Planner

Creating a personalized planner has numerous benefits that make it a great choice for bloggers, coaches and content creators. Here are some of the key advantages of creating a digital planner to sell in your shop:

1. Customize a planner for your customer – When you create a digital planner, you can turn any process or workflow into a planner, making it unique for your audience. You can choose the size and number of pages and decide how much detail you want to include in each section. With a custom planner, you can tailor it to suit your exact workflow to help your audience (or yourself accomplish a task).

2. Choose How and What To Track for Progress – When you create your own planner, you can decide exactly how to track progress throughout the year and what is important to track. Whether it’s color-coding tasks or using checklists to mark off what you’ve accomplished, having an easy way to view progress makes staying organized even easier.

3. Get Creative with The Design – A custom planner gives you the freedom to get creative with its design and layout. You can add pictures or illustrations, different fonts or colors, or anything else that will keep your planner visually appealing while helping your audience stay motivated and on task throughout the day!

Creating a custom planner isn’t just about organizing tasks; it’s also about expressing yourself creatively! With Affinity Publisher’s and some simple shortcuts for making planners tailored for any lifestyle, anyone can make their own unique design!

How to Create a Digital Planner Using Affinity Publisher - Choose Your Design

Choose Your Design

The first step in creating a custom planner is deciding what type of design will work best for your audience. The design should reflect the personality, lifestyle or possibly brand. This is dependent upon the purpose of the planner. You can even decide whether you want something more traditional or experimental.

I know this can sound overwhelming. This is the point I suggest to start basic and build on that basic design.

There are several areas of flexibility. Think about color schemes and layout options when choosing a design, such as choosing between vertical, horizontal, or do you want a daily or weekly layout.

I suggest starting with a layout your comfortable with, you can expand your planner to other layouts later.

You can also get creative with page designs and add elements like charts and graphs to help track progress or visualize goals. And don’t forget those really fun stickers.

Tips for Choosing Your Design

Choosing a design for your planner can be an exciting but daunting task. There are so many options out there!

To get started, take a peek at Pinterest or check out some planners on Amazon for inspiration. Keep a notepad handy and jot down what catches your eye.

So go ahead and unleash your inner artist!

How to Create a Digital Planner Using Affinity Publisher - Choose Your Digital Planner Style

Choose Your Style

Choosing a style for your planner is just as important as choosing the design. Think about the problem or process you are trying to help your audience with. What is going to help them solve the problem or complete the process.

Are there guiding questions you need to ask, specific trackers they need, time frames that they need to follow. Answering these questions will help you determine the best style for your digital planner.

I maybe using style slightly different than others, so let me talk about that…

When I’m referencing the style, I mean the type of templates you are going to include and the format of the individual pages. The style can also be the look and feel, including the fonts, colors and table styles in the planner. The most important design feature to include may just be icons with hyperlinks for navigation. So think about this during this phase as well.

How do you want your user to navigate the planner?

With this in mind, a creator that encourages time blocking would want to include a weekly time blocking template in their planner. But others may only want monthly and daily pages.

It’s even possible that the planner is made of a set of guided to-do list. This is the joy of creating a custom digital planner.

A custom digital planner can include the activities you want to track, such as work tasks, personal goals, or even meal planning. The key is to choose a style and format that will help your audience complete a process or solve a problem. Help them with that thing you’re know for…

How to Create a Digital Planner Using Affinity Publisher - Organize the Content in a digital planner

Organize Your Content

Once you have decided on the design and style of your planner, it’s time to get down to business by organizing the content. This includes allocating sections for tasks, goals, guided journals, affirmations, habit tracking, meal planning, budgeting, and monthly and yearly overview calendars—whatever works for you!

You will want to spend some time thinking on your hyperlink navigation. This maybe the most important aspect of a good planner!

I choose to organize my planner in a google sheet like the one shown below. You can check out my google sheet that includes my workflow, and organization guides here.

Below you will see just one of the templates in that guide.

Digital Planner Organizer

To go along with your outline, you’ll also want to think about the content on the page. Look back at your inspiration, do you need more or less room on the page? How do you want your page organized? Remove the stuff you don’t need and make room for the areas you use often and run out of space.

This process will help keep the content organized while still allowing flexibility to adjust when needed. Having too many sections could lead to clutter and overwhelm which isn’t very helpful in keeping things organized in the long run!

How to Create a Digital Planner Using Affinity Publisher - How you can make a digital and printable planner with the same template easily.

Digital vs Printed Planners

When it comes to creating planners, there are two main options: digital or printed planners. The good news is that with Affinity Publisher, you don’t have to choose one over the other! You can create one planner that works for both scenarios with just the click of a checkbox.

Digital planners offer endless possibilities for customization, with zoomable writing surfaces and drag-and-drop stickers that allow you to unleash your creativity. With Affinity Publisher, you can easily create hyperlinked tabs that let you navigate your planner just like a traditional planner.

Printed planners, on the other hand, offer the satisfaction of writing directly onto paper and don’t require digital tools like expensive Apple Pencils and an iPad. I must admit I like both.

Whether you prefer the convenience of a digital planner or the tactile experience of a printed planner,  Affinity Publisher can help you create an amazing planner.

Ultimately it comes down to personal preference as both types of planners have their benefits depending on what kind of user experience you are looking for!

How to Create a Digital Planner Using Affinity Publisher - Steps to Create a Digital Planner in Affinity Publisher

Creating Your Planner in Affinity Publisher

In reality, there are just a few tech-related steps to creating a planner in Affinity Publisher.

So let’s talk about some basic steps…

Setting Up the Page

The first hurdle is choosing a planner size. You can use the same size if you are doing a printable and digital planner with just a few special setup tweaks. Take some time with this one if you want to use the same planner layout for both a digital and printable planner.

If you are going for a digital layout and a printable layout you will want to use facing pages.

Don’t be me. When I started this process I didn’t realize this and I did a 11×8.5 inch layout for all my digital horizontal planners. Huge mistake. I am now reworking them because they don’t provide the flexibility of doing both printed and digital planners.

Thank goodness I used digital assets and I’m able to just plop all my templates back on the page.

Setting Up Your Master Pages in Affinity Publisher

Now it’s time to set up Master Pages. Master Pages can be complex or simple. The first time I read the Affinity Help on Master Pages, (Affinity Publisher 2.5 Help) it was more than a bit daunting. And I read tech manuals for a living.

So I want to make this simple.

You want a master page for anything that is going to repeat in your planner. A few examples of this would be daily pages, weekly pages, monthly pages, and dated to-do lists. You can expand this to budget trackers and the list goes on. If the page is going to repeat and/or you want it dated make a master page.

Below are the four master pages we use in Affinity Publisher: Shortcut to Create a Dated Planner. I use this sample planner to create a 30-day dated daily to-do list planner and I show you how to import the dates and link the tabs. You know, all the things.

Create Your Pages

Now the next fun part. Create your actual pages. This is really easy if you have master pages for most of your stuff, and you should have that. 🙂

This is where it starts to come together and look like a planner. It’s time to create the pages, and add your Master Page to them.

I do have a mini-course that teaches how to create master pages and apply them. You can find it below.

This really is the quickest part.

Import Your Data

It’s time for the total magic that makes Affinity Publisher the choice for creating planners, particularly if you have ADHD and dyslexia as I do. With Affinity Publisher, you can import the dates into your planner.

This process is similar to the old word processing feature called mail merge. In order to import you need to put placeholders for your data like was done in a mail merge. And an Excel Spreadsheet holds all the data that is merged with the Publisher file.

Although this process is simple it can feel daunting, after explaining it several times I created a tech walkthrough for the daily to-do’s planner I show in this post. The videos in the course are short, actionable, and detailed walking you through each step.

Linking For Digital Planners Only

The final creative step for creating a digital planner is adding the links. This can be a time-consuming task. And to be honest, if you have memory issues, ADHD, or dyslexia like I do it can feel like a never-ending task filled with errors. I did find a tool called PDF LinkR (👈learn more at that link) that helps to automate adding the hyperlinks – it works great as long as you are selling the final copy of the planner, not the template itself.

So I created some shortcuts and added those shortcuts to the class. In reality, the process is easy. You choose what you want to link, click command K and choose Type: Page, and then choose the page number to link.

But the reality is, it’s really easy to link the wrong page number, and then your planner is a total mess. So we use a planning spreadsheet that takes about 5 minutes to create (less if you take the class and have our template), and it makes linking a lot easier and less error-prone.

Planner Organizer & workflow.

Good luck with your linking! Let us know in the comments how it goes.

Export to PDF

Both printable planners and digital planners require the PDF format. Affinity Publisher has the ability to export to several “types” of PDF. And no not all PDF exports are the same. When you go to export you will want to choose the “correct” export.

The export for digital planners I use is the PDF (digital – high quality). This works great. There is one caveat. And all planners should be less than 50 MB if you are selling them. So for the planners in our shop, we may compress them if the file size is too big.

My favorite free tool for compressing is This tool has been reliable for us, but there are plenty of other options if you search “Free Online PDF Compression software”.

Print or Upload to Device

Your final step is to print your printable planner or upload the PDF to your annotation software of choice.

If you are looking for more information on using a digital planner definitely check out my post over on –Digital Planning For Beginners – What is digital Planning? In this post, I help you get started with digital planning and talk about different annotation software you can use for your new planner.

If you’re going to print out your planner, I must say I love our new printer that prints double-sided! I’m really enjoying printing out my planner and turning it into my own disc-bound planner. It’s my own version of a Happy Planner and it works amazing for me. I have my weekly layout and to-do list in there. But oh my, I love the automatic double-sided printing.

Shortcuts to Create a Dated Digital Planner in Affinity Publisher

Learn To Create A Dated Planner In Affinity Publisher

Affinity Publisher shortcuts that will allow you to import dates into your planner saving you hours. Time equals money if you are creating planners for your shop or your life you need these shortcuts to make the best custom planner for you.

Get Yours Today!

How to Create a Digital Planner Using Affinity Publisher - Technology makes creating a digital planner easier!

Creating A Dated Planner Has Never Been Easier

Thanks to technology creating a dated planner has never been easier, and nothing beats the satisfaction of designing your own planner from start-to-finish!

This fun and creative process goes so much smoother with Affinity Publisher. It allows you to easily design and customize your planner to fit your unique needs and style.

Whether you prefer a digital or printed planner, the possibilities are endless.

Your choice depends completely upon what type of user experience appeals most to you. So take some time over this decision and feel confident that whatever option works best for you will make all the difference in helping plan out your life effectively!

Just know if you’re feeling overwhelmed or don’t know where to start, don’t worry! Shortcuts to Creating a Dated Planner is the perfect course to help you get started. With step-by-step guidance and expert tips, you’ll learn how to create a planner that’s tailored to your preferences and lifestyle.

With these few tips in mind, I hope that creating your own personal planner is an enjoyable journey full of creative exploration while staying organized at the same time! Good luck!

Affiliate Disclaimer

Disclaimer: Links on this site maybe affiliates links. This means I may get a commission if you choose to purchase after clicking my link. I only share software, tools and templates that I personally use and love.

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