Posted in apps, Bullet Journal

My 10 favorite new features from the Zinnia Digital Planning App

I have been a longtime fan of the Zinnia Digital Planning app. After trying a few other digital planners over the years, Zinnia is just doing it all and I love it. I’ve had the great opportunity to work with Zinnia over the years as well, which has given be an even deeper respect for what the app is doing in the planner space.

It’s been a bit since my last features recap, so I wanted to give an update on what Zinnia has been up to and share my top 10 new features.

1.Handoff

Zinnia is available on your iPad, iPhone, and now also on the Mac so you can plan and use your journals on any devices. Now I can start my day in my planner on my desktop and switch off as I go about my day. Depending on where I am, I can always be connected and using my journals in Zinnia.

The iPad is where Zinnia was born and the app continues to perform it it’s truest form here. Type, touch, write, tap – it does it all.

Zinnia on the iPhone takes the app to a whole new place. The ability to plan on teh go is amazing. Before the iPhone app, it felt like you could only plan at home or at a desk. The ability to check things off, take notes, and really make your digital planner what it needs to be at any time is very refreshing.

I love that everything is avilalbe and the navigation is easy. It can be a little difficult to try and get a full view of your week at a glance with a double page spread, but you are on a phone, but Zinnia makes it as optimal as it can be.

I also need to mention that having Zinnia on my desktop is pretty damn awesome. Most apps have only been for a single device, and that is usually fine, but it makes it hard to always use a planner in different situations. I love the bigger screen on my desktop for designing and getting pages together. I love that I can pick up my ipad and write out my notes easily. Using the apple pencil is awesome. And having Zinnia on my iPhone is really the best because I can take my notes on the go. No more taking a note in my phone and having to translate it in the app later on.

2. Split Screen

Taking advantage of iOS, you can now use split screen while using Zinnia. It’s almost like having the app open twice and it makes it really easy to translate notes and work between multiple journals pages this way. I find this most helpful when creating new monthly or weekly spreads in Zinnia. I can reference the future log or monthly overview in my bullet journal while setting up the week and no need to flip back and forth.

3. Offline Mode

Offline mode has been a highly requested feature for Zinnia and now it’s here. If you are like me, my iPad doesn’t have cellular connection, and unless I am sharing my hotspot with my iPad, I was kind of dead in the water to use Zinnia when there wasn’t a connection available. Now you can download your journal to your device and use it offline while traveling or when you will not be able to connect to the internet.

4. Updates to “My Stuff”

My Stuff was a cool addition to Zinnia a while back. You can import your own art work, stickers, as well as save your favorite grouped items. To add an extra level of organization, you can now tag your items in the My Stuff folder. Use tags that already exist or create new custom tags to better identify what is in your “My Stuff” folder.

5. Adding Calendar Events

This new feature really takes Zinnia Digital Planning to the next level! You can now add calendar events to Zinnia that will also sync with your devices calendar. There is no need to create a whole new event – you can do it all at once. You can add all the details you need, like start and end dates, invitees, and alerts. And this new event will now live in your app and in your calendar. It’s so easy, it kind of makes me rethink analog planning 😉

6. Links in your journal

The linking feature in Zinnia is, in my opinion, one of the best ones recently. I love it so much because it really makes digital Bullet Journaling possible by allowing you to link to pages and index collections. You can link anything too, text, images, stickers – it really is cool. Now you can create a useable index and future log in Zinnia and reference pages and collections easily. You can connect back and forth between notes, ideas, and collections. I really love this feature so much.

7. Line smoothing

This feature was added a while ago, but it has been such a game changer in how I use Zinnia, I have to share it. Before smoothing was added, I really did not like to write with my Apple pencil in Zinnia. My handwriting was always a mess. It didn’t look clean or smooth, just bleh. So, after smoothing was added, my handwriting has totally changed. You can control how much your lines are smoothed. I have found that about 60% is my preference for writing. Going too far, like 90% or higher makes the lines too constricted and when you write your letters look all crazy.

8. Line Straightening

This is another feature that was highly requested, and it was so nice to see it added to the app. Getting a straight line was impossible before this feature was added. No matter how steady your hand, it was difficult. Now you can draw out a line and hold your line at the end and Zinnia will automatically snap your line straight. You do need to be careful with how curved your line is. The straight line snapping only works to a certain threshold. If the line is too wavy, Zinnia thinks it is on purpose and keeps it that way. I use this feature mostly for creating easy dividers in my rapid log, but you could use it for shapes or drawing.

9. Narrow Pages

Zinnia has been broadening their pages, allowing for more customization of how you use your journal. You can now choose more than just your standard Zinnia sized page and opt for something narrow, more like a traveler’s notebook. I love how Zinnia isn’t limiting you to one type of page. Each journal might have different needs, and a traveler’s size just feels different when you have those slim pages to work in. Zinnia also has pre-made templates to use with these slimmer sizes.

10. Enhanced Search

Zinnia’s digital planning library is absolutely massive, in the bast way. There is so much to choose from, and it just feels like a never-ending supply if ideas and inspiration. The search feature has been my best friend from the start, so when I saw that they made some enhancements, I got really excited. Now the enhanced search brings up more than just stickers and items from your libraries. It also now brings up articles and special features in search. If you have an idea for a spread, now you can read and get inspiration from new sticker and content announcements at any time.

I really love how many new features Zinnia continues to come out with. You can download the Zinnia Digital Planning App for your iPhone, iPad, and Desktop. And like I mentioned, you can use them all together across the different platforms. It’s pretty incredible.

Posted in apps, Bullet Journal, digital, planning

Returning to Zinnia

Seven months after the release of Pixite’s Digital Planning App, Zinnia, I take a look into all the new features the tools have to offer.

Zinnia continues to impress me with the continuous content and feature updates to their app. I mean, I was already impressed when I first started using it. All of the same features still exist, like the categories, drawing tool, and stickers (and can’t forget the washi tape!!). But Zinnia has continued to push its self.

The 1.2.1 Release happened in early October and here are the updates that we got!

  • Line Smoothing with the drawing tools
  • A trash bin for deleted pages and journals
  • A vertical Pinch to page view
  • Color Opacity and Color change for studio items
  • A recents search
  • New ways to share

Posted in apps, Bullet Journal, digital

Zinnia Journal – New Digital Journaling App.

I’m really excited to share a new creative journal app that just hit the Apple App Store, Zinnia Journal. Zinnia Journal is a digital app for the iPad, that lets you create any type of layout, sketch, or type of notebook you want – all digitally and with a full suite of stickers, text styles, pre designed layouts, and even digital washi tape.

At first, you might be questioning why I am even talking about a digital journal when Bullet Journaling has classically be done in a physical notebook. The truth is, Bullet Journaling isn’t about where you do it. A notebook is just one type of vessel for all your thoughts, notes, and to-dos. You can practice the Bullet Journal Method in anything. I myself have used pocket notebooks, lined notebooks, and even tried using a digital notebook in the past.

A little background, I used to be a hardcore digital notetaker back in the day. This was before I even knew what bullet journaling was. It wasn’t a very creative outlet to be honest, but I knew where I was keeping my thoughts and notes. I love technology and utilizing anything that can help me be more organized. On top of being organized, it’s also important for me to be able to be creative in my journal. When I had the opportunity to try out a new app that was about to hit the app store, that was being designed for people who like to plan, bullet journal, and be super creative, I had to jump at the chance.


So let’s talk about how Zinnia Journal is changing the game for digital planning.

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Taking a look into the app, Zinnia Journal is made up of 2 main parts.

The Journals. This is where you are creating and working inside of your notebooks.

The Studio. The Studio is your ability to look at the vast collection of items that you can use in your notebooks. It’s really amazing how much is available in this app now and even more amazing when you understand that it’s just going to keep getting bigger and better. All of the things you see in the studio are available for use in your notebooks. So let’s get stared at taking a look at the app.


Starting Your Notebook

One of the many things I like about this app is that it’s for all levels of planners. If you want to start from scratch, you can can pick your paper colors and style and go right into creating. If you prefer to have a journal set up for you, you have the option of selecting a predesigned and made journal. It’s a really great way to focus on your planning and tasks. You can always add to your notebooks as you go along.

If you choose to go with a blank notebook, you get a few options up front.
You can choose your paper types and color of your pages.

Blank Page, Dot Grid, Grid, Lined, Spread

You have some really cool notebook cover designs, too.


Once you are in the journal, it’s time to get started and explore.

At the top center of your screen you will see 4 main icons.

– Sticker Icon – for access to all the app stickers, text, and lettering
– Image Icon – to insert your own photos.
– Text Tool – fonts, colors, and styles
– Drawing Tools

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Drawing Tools

The drawing tools in this app are a great feature. Zinnia is created by Pixite, who also have other cool drawing and illustration apps. The creative drawing space has 3 spots for customized drawing tools as well as an eraser. Under each of the tools, you have 8 drawing tools to select from.

– Marker
– Pencil
– Technical Pen
Highlighter

– Brush Pen
– Paint Pen
– Airbrush
– Watercolor


Next to the drawing tool you have 7 color spots, a dynamic color chooser, and color picker.


The Studio

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Under the sticker icon is a world of amazing-ness. The Studio is FILLED wish a beautifully curated and thoughtfully stocked library. The Studio is broken down into categories.

Templates – This is a library of pre-designed layouts and spreads that you can add to your journal pages and fill out as you need. My favorite feature of these templates are that many of them are already designed with areas for typing. You simply click in the blue area and start typing with your keyboard. There are also mood trackers, monthly expenses and calendars.

Stickers – This is another gigantic library of some of the coolest stickers and visual add-ons for your planning and journaling needs. There is everything from basic shapes, to watercolor icons, and beautiful florals. There are also some really fun ones like Cute Sushi, House Plants (personal favorite), and travel stamps.

Some of the other categories in The Studio to check out:

– Themes
– Cards
– Writables
– Signifiers

– Dividers
– Text
– Frames
– Paper


And I’ve saved the best for last. DIGITAL WASHI TAPE

First, let me say that in my physical journal, I’m not big on washi tape. When I use it, it’s seldom – and the only one that I have are colored wood grain patterns. I also have a hard time finding washi tapes that fit my style.

The thing that makes me so excited about the digital washi tape collection in Zinnia, is that it’s dynamic. When you click on a washi tape, you get 4 pull points that let you extend the washi tape horizontally to make it longer, or vertically to make taller or thinner. The tape keeps its pattern as it grows. It’s just a really cool and special feature that I haven’t seen anywhere else . In other apps i’ve only seen static stickers that you can bring into your digital bujos. They are not as customizable as these. WIN!!


Final Thoughts

It’s been a really great experience getting to play around inside the Zinnia Journal app. I’ve really enjoyed experimenting with all the cool background cards, text options, and looking through creative, thoughtful, and fun stickers and washi tapes.

I’ve had a few people ask me if I am giving up my paper journal for digital. And rest a sure that I am not skipping out on my paper journal. But, I can see myself using this digital version for a few things. First, straight up inspiration. What I really love about digital art and planning is that it isn’t permanent. You can lay it down, move it around, and change it if you need to. There are so many elements, shapes, and items in this app that you can use. With the ability to move them around you can really try new things out to eventually try in your paper journal.

Another idea that I have been thinking about is using Zinnia as a digital scrapbook. It’s so easy to add your own photos, and mixing them with all the great cards and stickers in the app makes really wonderful pages. Custom creating a spread for yourself or someone else is so fun to do. The features don’t exist yet, but there has been a lot of chatter about future features that would let you export and make books of your own.

Zinnia Journal is a free download, so you can give it a try. Let me know what you think!


Zinnia Journal is a free download, with both free and paid options.

Free – 3 Journals with 3 page spreads

Monthly – $9.99 – unlimited

Yearly – $39.99 – unlimited

DOWNLOAD in the Apple App Store
Zinnia Journal

Website
Zinnia by Pixite