Pump Up the Planner

Sep 10, 2013

I can count on two things happening in just about every teacher workshop I lead:

1. Someone proudly whips out an insanely organized paper-based planner that has every detail of his or her life meticulously color-coded. Then, he/she typically shakes his/her fist at me if I gently suggest any sort of digital conversion.

2. Someone else sheepishly coughs up a planner that he/she MEANT to use when he/she purchased it over the summer, but hey-teaching-life-happens-and-who-has-time-to-keep-this-updated-when-it-works-perfectly-well-to-shove-papers-in-the-bottom-of-the-backpack-and-go.

We speak to each type of paper planner here. Whether you’re committed to or dreaming of a paper-based future, we promise we are NOT trying to snatch away your beloved planner. Together Teacher is all about equal opportunity for digital and paper-lovers alike!

(In fact, awhile back, we featured Jocelyn and her paper-system  and Michelle and her Arc Notebook.)

The right planner feels like a security blanket. I still have every Day Runner I kept in college and during my first years of teaching. As for those years I lost on the Palm Pilot, well, hey. . .

It’s true that planners can have a few gaps. But they are solvable deficits.

Here are five ways you can PUMP UP YOUR PLANNER to start the year off right. Make sure you…

  • Have a monthly view that is as big as possible. This will enable a Comprehensive Calendar.

  • Have room for an Upcoming To-Do List beside the Calendar. This allows you to jot your items down in the margin without having to worry about a separate list or system.

  • Have a place for Thought Catchers. By now, most of you know how I feel about Post-It Notes, but consider this a SANCTIONED use. You have my official permission to build a page in the back.

  • Have a nice binder clip to hook in some of our Meeting and PD Note templates (since planners most definitely do not accommodate Meeting Notes.)


See?! We didn’t take the planner away. We enhanced it! To read more about planner brands we love, click here.

Now go snuggle up and have a great school year!

Discussion Question: How have you made your paper-based planner work for you?