Principal John’s Daily Worksheet

Feb 9, 2017

Cody’s Weekly Worksheet caught a ton of hype on the blog, and so naturally I wanted to showcase a Daily Worksheet as well in case that happens to give more float to your boat. [Reminder: Produce a plan for either the entire week OR by day. Don’t do both. Overkill.]

I recently spent time with John A., a principal in Denver, who Frankensteined up a Daily Worksheet that caught my eye. John says, “I used to print my calendar from Outlook and choose the option to ‘leave space for notes.’ I realized that I was essentially splitting up this section into different boxes of categories. I decided to create my own template and just take a screenshot of my calendar to make my worksheets more consistent and easier to use.”


With his Daily Worksheet in hand, John goes about his day, catching To-Do’s from email, texts, meetings, and hallway conversations along the way!



Looking at this, I became very curious if John was more of a What-er or a When-er.

He says, “I try desperately to be a ‘when-er’ but that’s hard to do in my role as a principal. Therefore, I keep track of all my ‘whats’ on my Daily Worksheets or Later List. On my best days, I start to transfer my ‘whats’ into the free space I have on my calendar.”

John says the process of taking his screenshot and pasting it into his template for each day takes no more than 15-20 minutes. He usually prints out an entire week’s worth at one time to make it easier to add stuff throughout the week!

In fact, this is all part of John’s daily Closing Routine, like the ones we’ve read about here and here:

“Before going home for the day I look over my worksheet and either cross out anything that’s been accomplished or transfer any tasks over to the next day that I wasn’t able to complete.”

There are so many things I love about John’s approach, but just to name a few:

  • Utilization of existing technology—In John’s case, Outlook. This is a perfect way for a school leader to blend digital and paper options.
  • Recognition of the types of information he captures all day long, resulting in a customized template. Less clean up later!
  • A great balance of “whats” and “whens.” As John noted, it makes sense to “When Up” some of his template, but not all of it. This way he retains some flexibility.

Thanks, John! So inspiring!