Hey everyone! I’m super excited to bring you this series about how to make a digital planner in Keynote. I was going to do it as one huge post, but #1 that would read like a novel and #2 it would be extremely overwhelming to make an entire digital planner in one sitting. By breaking it up you can take your time! Here are the areas I’ll be covering, I’ll be updating the links as I go so be sure to bookmark this post to reference later once the next section is uploaded.
- Getting Started: Setting Up & Laying Out Your First Slides <— You’re Here!
- Adding Tabs & Text
- Adding Hyperlinks
- Adding Dividers & More Planner Pages
- Creating Planner Layouts
- Exporting Your Planner
- Using Your Planner in Goodnotes (coming soon)
How To Make A Digital Planner In Keynote
Just so we are on the same page, I will be using Keynote on my mac (but you can also use keynote on your iPad). Later on in the series, I am going to move to Keynote on iCloud, but I’ll get into the reasoning behind that in part 3. I’m creating this planner to use in Goodnotes on my iPad, but technically all a digital planner is, is a PDF document with links. That being said – if you are a windows/android user I’m sure you can follow along with this series using Microsoft Powerpoint, and a PDF annotating app on an Android device.
Part 1: Getting Started
First things first, you want to open up Keynote and create a new presentation.
I always start with the white presentation, as it’s completely customizable. I then delete all the text.
If you want a planner with a white background you can ignore the next step. I like my planner pages to be white, so it won’t stand out on a white background.
In this series, I’m just going to choose a colour for the background, but it’s very popular to find a photo of a desk-like surface to make your planner look more lifelike. If you’re planning on creating your planner to sell it, and you’re using a photo you’ve found, please make sure you have a commercial license to use the image!
Adding Your Planner Page
Now that I have my background, I want to add a shape that will be the actual page of my planner. In this example, I’m creating a page with sharp corners, but as you know some journals have rounded corners so you could choose that shape too.
I’ve resized the shape to take up almost the whole presentation, as I like as much planning room as possible when on my iPad. You’ll notice that I’m leaving space along 3 sides of the planner. I’m going to be putting “rings” to the left of the rectangle, and I’m saving space for tabs to the right and the top of the planner page.
I change the shape colour to white, as you can see above. I also added a border and a drop shadow. If you want your planner page to look like mine you can copy the specifics in the photo above. However, there are tons of different ways to make your page look – so I suggest playing around to find what combination of settings you most enjoy.
Creating Planner Rings in Your Digital Planner
If you want your planner to resemble a Leuchtturm or similar planner, you can skip this step as your planner already appears to have a binding. However, I really like the looks of rings in my digital planner, so these next couple of steps will walk you through how to create those rings.
First thing, I insert a square shape with rounded edges.
I then change the thickness of my ring. Depending on how thin or thick you want your rings to appear yours may look different.
I pull my ‘ring’ over to the left of the planner page. You’ll notice that I also changed the colour of my ring. To give it a curved appearance I select “advanced gradient fill” under the Fill setting. I select it so the gradient starts in the centre of the ring – and I chose grey as that’s a typical colour for rings. However you can, of course, choose any colour you want! I also added a line border and a drop shadow.
You can’t have rings without holes in your planner! I insert a circle from the shapes option.
I shrink the circle down a lot smaller and line it up with the ring I’ve created. Here’s a hint: click shift on your computer as you resize the shape to keep the dimensions (this way it stays a circle and doesn’t become an oval). I also arrange the circle so that it is above my paper, but below my planner ring by clicking the backward button.
I then shift-click and select the planner ring and circle. I group them together and then copy the selection. This makes it super easy as you can paste the remaining rings down your planner page – Keynote has arrows that pop up when you are moving shapes so you can ensure that your rings are all lined up and an equal distance apart.
Yay! Now your planner has rings.
Creating the Cover Page for Your Planner
To create the cover page I simply copy the slide I just created and paste it above.
You could, of course, keep your cover white, but I like it to look different from my planner so I simply click on the page and change the colour. You could also insert an image for your planner cover or a pattern of some kind. The possibilities are endless!
Another optional tip: creating a label for your planner, where you can write your name or the dates of the planner.
You simply select a shape, resize it, and change the colour if desired.
Wow! Were you able to follow along? That’s it for Part 1 of my How to Create a Digital Planner in Keynote Series. Stay tuned for Part 2! If you want to be notified when it gets posted you can sign up for The Zoo – you will get a weekly newsletter with blog and other updates + access to a completely free resource library. Who doesn’t love that? Sign up below!
If you have any questions at all about Part 1 of creating a digital planner – please ask them below in the comments! I’d also love to see how your planner is looking so far, tag me in photos on instagram using #zigzagsandzebras.