Meet Michelle—and Her Arc Notebook

Jan 31, 2013

We’ve been teasing you for awhile now with references to the great Arc Notebook, and now it’s high time we go into detail.

Loyal blog followers have already met many teachers and their Flexy-Friends, Jocelyn and her binder, and Keith and his clipboard. But so far, we’ve neglected to shine a good spotlight on the Arc.

Given that the Arc is one of our favorite tools (though pricier than other options), the time has come to show off its stuff!

Meet Michelle H., a special education coordinator in Washington, DC. Michelle is in the process of shifting from paper-based to digital organization, and the Arc is proving to be the perfect transition tool for her. The Arc allows her to use a combination of electronic and paper-based tools—a necessity for those of us who work in schools and don’t always have ready access to our technology.

Let’s walk tab-by-tab through Michelle’s Arc.

  • The Cover. Michelle chose purple leather, a great combination of professional and fun!

Now, let’s open it up. . .

  • Tab 1. Printed Daily Outlook calendar—a clean copy before the day begins and a well-loved one after it ends!

  • Tab 2—Upcoming To-Do List. Michelle keeps her short and long-term To-Do list combined in Microsoft OneNote.

  • Tab 3—Action Items. This is where Michelle puts Meeting Notes or anything else that’s hard copy that she needs to process later.
  • Tab 4—Regular Notebook Paper. Michelle uses this for classroom observations or other meeting notes.

Tab 5—Reference documents in sheet protectors.  Here Michelle stores multiple copies of items she frequently uses, such as the school’s Code of Character, observation rubrics, and more.

Michelle, we so appreciate you sharing your ENTIRE system with us, particularly as you are in transition from paper to digital!

 Other reasons we like the Arc by Staples more than any other commercial planner:

  • You can customize it in all sorts of ways.
  • It’s sold at various price points. Go vinyl for about 12 bucks or upgrade to leather for a few more bucks.
  • It comes in a variety of sizes. We like the 8.5 X 11 version for easy printing of electronic tools.
  • You can add lots of neato accessories . . . pencil pouches, tabs, and folders!

 But there are a few challenges:

  • The specialized hole punch is not cheap. Forty dollars seems like a lot of money for a single-use device. However, the Arc is still way less expensive than its cousin over at Levenger, the Circa.
  • The Arc can become less than portable pretty quickly if you stuff it too full.

Together Teacher Discussion Question: Anyone else have an Arc they love? What’s in YOUR Arc?