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The Best Apps for Your Digital Planner PDF

August 08, 2022 6 min read

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for more info. All digital downloads are for personal use only.

If you're like most people, you probably use your smartphone or tablet for just about everything. Why not use it to help organize your life? There are a number of great apps out there that can help you manage your time and keep track of your important tasks. When you're using a digital planner, it's important to have the right app for your needs. If not all note-taking apps are compatible with digital planners then what good is having one? The answer lies in finding an app where handwriting capabilities can be used alongside other features like dates and tasks so that a paper-like experience isn't lost when working on projects or goals digitally!


In this blog post, we will discuss the best apps for your digital planner (interactive pdf). Whether you're using an iPad or an Android device, we have the perfect app for you!

the best apps for your digital planner pdf

When making our list of The Best Apps for Your Digital Planner PDF, we took many common needs and questions into consideration:

  • What app is good for a digital planner? 
  • What pdf annotation apps work on iPad (iOS)?
  • What pdf annotation apps work on Android?
  • What pdf annotation apps work on Windows (PC)?
  • Do hyperlinked tabs work within the app?
  • Which apps do Buttons (interactive PDF) work in?

We also looked at a number of factors including:

  • Ease of use
  • Functionality
  • Compatibility
  • Price

There are many different types of apps out there for you to choose from, but before downloading any one app it's important that we talk about what kind will work with your device. 


Before we dive into the details, here is a useful chart to quickly show you! 


iOS Android Windows
GoodNotes 5 😍
🚫
🚫
Notability 😍
🚫
🚫
Noteshelf 😍
😍
🚫
Xodo 😍
😍
😍
Penly 🚫
😍
🚫

Without further ado, here are the best apps for your digital planner PDF

5 of the Best Apps for Your Digital Planner PDF

1. GoodNotes 5


GoodNotes 5 is one of the most popular note-taking apps available used for digital planners - and for good reason. It's feature-rich yet still easy to use, making it a great choice for anyone who wants to get the most out of their digital planner. 


You can create custom templates, add images and PDFs, and even use hyperlinked tabs to quickly jump between pages. You can search your handwritten notes. With the new Elements feature, you can import your digital stickers to save and reuse them!

Pros

  • GoodNotes 5 has a ton of digital planning features. Their intuitive user interface makes it easy to import a new digital planner document and sync it across devices using iCloud. 
  • Free to use for your first 3 notebooks. Then it only costs $7.99 one time.
  • This may be the perfect choice if you're looking for a more paper-like experience. You can choose from different types of pens, and adjust color and sharpness with ease!
  • You can search your handwritten notes.
  • The Elements feature is amazing for digital sticker PNGs. You can import your precropped digital stickers and save them to use over and over. You can still use the lasso tool to crop digital stickers yourself, but importing precropped PNGs is so much more convenient. 

Cons

  • GoodNotes is currently available for iOS only.
  • When it comes to line spacing, most digital planners have various options, and changing the line spacing on the app each time you create a new text box might be time-consuming!
  • You can only create one unique color palette, and it doesn't work with text boxes, just your handwritten notes.

2. Notability


Notability is a fantastic note-taking app that's also great for digital planners. You can arrange your text files, photographs, handwritten notes, and snarky GIFs in a well-designed file or simply throw everything in and figure it out later. In either case, Notability shines as a place to store all your stuff. Notability has a Starter (Free) version and a Plus (Paid Subscription) version.

Pros

  • Notability is a simple digital planning software that can help you get organized and make better decisions. It comes with all of the tools you'll need, including handwritten notes, text tools, and the ability to import and edit digital stickers.
  • The app allows you to import new documents straight from all major cloud services. And you can sync your digital planners across devices using iCloud. 
  • You can search your handwritten notes.

Cons

  • Notability is currently available for iOS only.
  • You may only import photos or digital stickers from your photo library, which is inconvenient if you have precropped digital sticker PNGs on a Google Drive or Files folder.
  • When it comes to selecting and moving layer elements, cropping and resizing digital stickers, their lasso tool is lacking!

3. Noteshelf


Noteshelf is a powerful note-taking app that offers a wide range of features. You can search handwritten notes, you can import PDFs, add images and videos, and even record audio notes. Noteshelf also supports hyperlinked tabs, making it easy to navigate your digital planner. Noteshelf works with major cloud services like iCloud, Google Drive, and Dropbox. 

Pros

  • Noteshelf is currently available for iOS and Android. At this time, it costs $4.99 on Google Play and $9.99 for iOS.
  • Another notable feature of Noteshelf is the ability to secure your planners with a password.
  • The lasso tool is quite flexible, allowing for things like locking elements to prevent them from being altered or deleted. Plus the option to bring an element to the front or send it to the back. 

Cons

  • The two versions of the app don't interact with one other (yet) though Noteshelf is available on Android and Apple devices.
  • The disadvantage of their lasso tool is that it doesn't restrict selection to only handwritten, picture, or text boxes. It might be difficult to move just one of the elements precisely if you have several components stacked.
  • You can't change line spacing, so if you want your text to match the template you're using, you'll need to create a new text box for every paragraph!

4. Xodo PDF


Xodo PDF is a great free app that offers many features for managing your digital planner. You can annotate PDFs, add images and notes, and even fill out forms. Xodo PDF also supports hyperlinked tabs, as well as action buttons (an interactive PDF feature) making it easy to navigate your digital planner. Xodo PDF is available for iOS, Android, and Windows.

Pros

  • Xodo is FREE!
  • It works across different devices and operating systems. It even has a web app and Chrome extension!
  • Xodo provides the basic essential tools to handwrite, add text, draw, and insert digital sticker images into your document. If you're using an iPad, it allows you to use Apple's Markup tool, which grows your possibilities in pen styles and colors.
  • If your digital planner has action buttons (different than hyperlinks), they will work.

Cons

  • The interface isn't super intuitive and may be confusing at first.
  • Customization for pen styles, colors, and text tools are minimal.
  • You can only expand or reduce digital sticker pictures proportionately, with no freehand capability.

5. Penly


Penly is an app that helps you manage your digital planner and take notes on your Android tablet. Penly offers a wide range of features, including the ability to import PDFs, add images and videos, and even record audio notes. Penly also supports hyperlinked tabs, making it easy to navigate your digital planner. 

Pros

  • Includes a digital planner and you can still import ones you already have or want to buy.
  • Easily import and organize your digital stickers.
  • You can crop, rotate, and resize your digital stickers.
  • You can create and add your own hyperlinks.
  • Easily duplicate and organize your digital planner pages.

Cons

  • Only available for Android users.
  • Reviewers report that it doesn't work well without a smart pen.
  • A few reviewers report that it's buggy and crashes.
  • Cloud syncing is not available (yet).

If you’re in the market for a new digital planner (or just looking to switch things up), check out some of these amazing digital planners. They’ll keep you organized and on track, all while looking stylish! And if you end up trying one of these popular apps for your digital planning needs, be sure to leave a comment and let us know how you like it (or what you don't!) 

We’d love to hear from you. Happy planning!


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