Step-by-step tutorial to learn how to create a digital planner in PowerPoint. The tutorial also offers an editable digital planner PowerPoint template that you can use on your computer or tablet.
How to make a digital planner in PowerPoint to use in the apps GoodNotes, Notability, Xodo, and more! This tutorial teaches you how to make a digital planner that looks like an open notebook with hyperlinks and tabs. Keep reading to learn more!
Apple users, follow the instructions on this tutorial.
Use the table of contents below to jump to specific parts of the tutorial:
New to digital planning? Check out my digital planner tutorials!
This page contains affiliate links to products I use, love, and highly recommend. I receive a small commission for purchases made through links in this blog post. Thank you for your support!
About My Digital Planner
I love creating digital planners that look like an open notebook where I can decorate the blank pages with pictures and drawings. Click here to see pictures of all the layouts I have created in my digital planner.
In the picture below, the numbers on the index are hyperlinked, which means that you can click on any numbers and the planner will automatically take you to a specific page. Keep reading to learn how to make a digital planner on your computer.
In the Shop
Skip the DIY part of this tutorial, purchase this PowerPoint Digital Planner template. The planner is in a PowerPoint format that you can edit on your tablet or computer. You can edit everything on the planner!
What can I change on this planner?
- Change the purple cover to ANY color or image
- Change the names, text, and colors on all the tabs
- Edit all the hyperlinks
- Change the fonts and text on all the spreads
- You can use ALL my blog printables as spreads or edit the spreads that come with the planner
- The planner also includes: blank, graph, and ruled papers that you can duplicate as many times as you need
Use code BRILLIANT20 to get 20% OFF your purchase!
How to create a Digital Planner in PowerPoint
1. Open PowerPoint and select a blank template > In the design tab select the standard paper. See the picture below for reference.
2. You can use any image or color for the background of your planner. An easy way to find specific patterns is to type on Google: “Flowery patterns” or “pink patterns”.
In the picture below, I put PowerPoint and my patterns folder side to side, as it’s easier to drag and drop images. Select the image or pattern that you are going to use, drag and drop it into PowerPoint. Since the image I used was long, I rotated it to fit the landscape of the white canvas.
Note: If the image is longer than the canvas, use the crop tool in the “picture format” tab to cut the part that doesn’t fit the canvas.
3. Here is the dot paper that I’m using on this step. Save it on your computer and drag and drop it into PowerPoint. If dot paper is not your thing, here is a list of different papers that you can use on your digital planner.
If you are having problems dragging and dropping the dot paper. Follow these steps: Save the dot paper on your computer > in Powerpoint go to > insert > select “pictures” > picture from file. Now you should be able to add the dot paper as an image without problems.
4. If you look at the image below, I don’t align my paper to the edge of the planner. I like to leave a small gap between the paper and the pattern image to see the cover/back of the planner.
Once you align the paper where you want it to be, use the crop tool to cut the part that you don’t need from the image. As you move the cropping tool towards the paper, PowerPoint will show you lines/guides to make sure your paper is aligned in the middle of the canvas.
Another option is to look at the number zero in the ruler (the ruler is on top and on the left side of the planner) to make sure I cut the paper exactly in the middle of the canvas.
To activate the ruler click on the “view” option in the toolbar of PowerPoint (not the view on the tabs) > select ruler.
How to add a border to the planner:
This step is optional, but I love adding little details to my planners. The little details make a big difference to me. You can skip to step 6 if you don’t want to add a border to your planner.
5. To add a border to the planner, click on the “insert” tab > shapes > choose the square and create big square across the canvas. Notice that I’m leaving a small gap between the edge of the planner and the border.
In the top right of the insert tab, click on “format page”. See the image below for reference.
These are the settings that I used for the border of the planner:
6. If you zoom in the image below, you’ll notice that there is a faint gray line in the middle of the planner which makes the planner look more realistic when you use it on your iPad or tablet.
In the “insert” tab, select the straight line shape > place the line from the top of the paper to the bottom.
In the “format shape” tab, play with the settings to create a drop-down shadow. These are the settings that I used on the line that goes in the middle of the page:
You can either create an index at the beginning of the planner or you can create tabs on the edges of the planner. Scroll down to step 8 to learn more about adding tabs to your planner.
7. How to add an index to your planner:
First, select the text box option in the insert tab and then click on the symbol tool. Select the bullet that you like and paste it several times to make a row of bullet points.
Repeat the same steps for the number of pages in the index.
8. How to add tabs to your planner:
You can create an index and also add tabs to your planner, it’s all up to your imagination and how you want the planner to look.
To add tabs, in the shapes tool select the rounded rectangle >
Resize the rectangle and use the options in the “format pane” to change the color and style of the tabs. You can make them colorful or just one color.
If you want to move the tabs to the back of the paper, in the “shape format” tab click on the “send backward” option. See the image below for reference.
How to make the pages inside the digital planner
9. Create a new slide, add the pattern image, and the dot paper you saved.
Using the shape tools to add a line in the middle of the paper to make the planner look like is an open notebook.
These are the settings I used on my planner to make the line in the middle look 3D.
Adding a border to the edges of the digital planner
10. This step is optional, but I like to add a border to the edges of the planner to make the open notebook look less simple. If you want to skip this step, simply duplicate the slide that you just created and go to step 11.
These are the settings that I used in the borders of the open notebook:
11. Once you are done creating the slide with the open notebook, duplicate the slide 3 or 4 times. The first 3 slides are going to be used for the index and the other slides for the blank pages of the planner.
I create my planner with up to 100 pages which means that my index is going to have 100 hyperlinks. You can add more than 100 pages to your planner. Repeating the steps that I did in step 7, use the textbox tool to add bullet point and numbers of the pages to the index.
12. Once you are done creating the index, go to the next slides and add the page numbers to the bottom of the planner. I like to include the word index at the bottom right of my planner. When I click on that word the planner automatically takes me back to the main index.
You can use any shape, word, or image to link to a specific page on your planner.
13. Select the word that is going to be hyperlinked > right click on the word > select hyperlink >
> From “this document”, select the slide that when you click on that word or number the planner will automatically take you to that page/slide. In the image below, I want the word index to take me to the first slide of my planner.
Once the hyperlink is added, duplicate the slide as many times as you need. The only thing you need to change is the numbers at the bottom of the planner.
A quick way to duplicate slides is to select the slides that you duplicated using the command or shift key > right click on the selected slides and select the duplicate slide option.
Note: The first page of my planner ends on page 21. For pages 22 and forward, I changed the hyperlink in the index (see image below) to point to slide 2. Slide two are for pages 22 through 55. I did the same thing when I reached pages 56 to 89 and 90 to 100.
14. After I finished setting up all the pages in my planner, 100 pages in total. I went to the main index to start adding the hyperlinks. Page 1 points to slide 4, page 2 and 3 points to slide 5, page 3 and 4 points to slide 6… etc.
Setting up the planner and adding the hyperlinks is a little bit time-consuming, but once the planner is set up and ready to be exported into the GoodNotes app decorating the planner is easy!
15. To make the back cover of the planner, copy the first slide and paste it in the last slide you created.
Delete the numbers and the bullet points from the slide you copied.
To make the last slide look like the back cover of the planner, move the page towards the left. You might also need to move the shadow line.
The last page in my digital planner is page 100 (see image below).
How to export the planner:
In the toolbar select the “file” option > export > save the PDF in your Dropbox folder or favorite cloud folder. Follow the steps on this tutorial to learn how to import the planner from Dropbox into the apps GoodNotes and Notability.
16. The last step is to learn how to decorate your planner! Check out this tutorial to learn how to decorate a digital planner in the GoodNotes app.
I hope this tutorial was helpful to learn how to create your own digital planner in PowerPoint! If you have any questions leave them in the comment section. Join my Facebook group where my readers share pictures of their planner layouts and ask questions about digital planning and bullet journaling.
– Let’s Connect –