Braxton Stowe’s Together Tour: Issue #105

Mar 19, 2024

Together Friends,

Today we are back with another showcase of how someone keeps himself Together. You may have been inspired by Juan’s AI-supported calendar, Crystal’s low-traffic focus spot, MaryKate’s Marriage Meeting, or Versha’s OneNote priorities. So let’s peek into yet another adult Trapper Keeper – this time using the spectacular Tul system.

Want more Together Tours? Nominate yourself or others by  . We are looking for a few more teachers to showcase in the coming months, especially with the school year coming to a close. Fine print: We will not be able to showcase all nominations, but we will read them all in depth and reply!

PS Some of you are likely into March Madness, but we were struck by March Meowness. It sent this cat lover into giggles.

Together Tour: Braxton Stowe

I first met Braxton somewhere close to 2017 with an amazing group of leaders in the Mississippi Delta. I was immediately very curious how this high school principal kept himself Together while getting a doctorate and having a new baby at home. We actually shot some footage of Braxton that day in a hallway of a venue in Southaven, and to this day, Together course participants oooh and aaah at how Braxton uses Togetherness to monitor staff appreciation efforts with careful tracking of team members’ names and shout-outs.

Braxton joined his high school students on a summer trip to Scotland!

Why is Togetherness essential in your role? 

I have 145 faculty members and 200 staff total, and a student body of 1900. I want to be able to strategically plan my daily schedule to address any instructional leadership priorities and support the ongoing development of teacher quality, effective staff collaboration, data analysis, and other schoolwide priorities!

What are your Top Three Together Tools and why?

The first is my Weekly Worksheet. Here’s what it looks like at the beginning of the week, and what it looks like at the end.

My second tool is my Later List. This is my basic outline for the remainder of the school year. I will definitely add more to it as things come up.

And my third tool is my Google Calendar . . . I was so reluctant to go digital with my calendar, but I was spending time duplicating into my Weekly Worksheet. It was too much work so I had to modify. When I got to Ocean Springs (my current school district in Mississippi), I went all-in on my Google calendar. It is shared with my assistant principals, counselors, and support staff.

What is the first and last thing you do at work each day?

When I arrive, I look at my calendar and emails because when I leave work, I leave work.

Before I leave, I always check emails, ensure my desk is organized, and tell my leadership team goodbye because it is a great way to end the day. I have a young toddler at home, and you just never know what the evening or morning can bring. I put my work phone, email, and calendar away when I get home, and I tell my admin team, “You can call me!” if there is an issue, but I’m not going to stay glued to my phone the entire evening checking texts and emails. This has taken loads of practice, but I now have two phones for this reason.

Watch Braxton share 2 minutes’ worth of wisdom on the power of saying goodbye, and how he actually manages to put his phone away at night.


How do you use Togetherness with colleagues, students, managers, and others?

All of my assistant principals have been trained to be Together Leaders. Hence, the expectation is that in their weekly Google Calendar, they have “work time” and have blocked out times to deal with student issues and instructional items.

Some areas that you are NOT Together and fine with this are. . . 

Things at home like cleaning, laundry, yard maintenance, etc. (Editor’s Note: I feel your pain on laundry, Braxton!)

When you are at your most Together, your lunch at work is _________!

Every day! I prioritize this and I make my assistant principals prioritize lunch too. We have to take care of our bodies! Eating is essential! I have my admin team put lunch in their weekly schedules. I meal prep on Sundays, and I bring my lunch to school.

If you could recommend one purchase from an office supply store, it would be . . .

A TUL notebook because it’s unique and an easier way to keep up with all my paper documents. Plus, you can also use tabs! I am old school, still using pen and paper. (Editor’s Note: Our thoughts on the Tul system here!)

Here’s a picture of the cover and the tabs!

Braxton, thank you for sharing your principal Together Trapper Keeper with us. Anyone else using a disc-bound notebook situation like a Tul or an Arc? 

We’ll be back in April with another Together Tour. Who should I feature next time?

Together Treasure Box

  • Need a one-stop shop for Togetherness? We love an all-in-one organizational tool at The Together Group, and ClickUp is just that—a digital version! Learn how our friend Erica uses this tool to keep herself Together!
  • Maybe you’re Together, but your boss…not so much. What to do? We have six tips to put into practice in order to adapt to less-than-Together leadership and create an environment where you can influence, convince, cajole, and support others toward Togetherness.
  • Sometimes (…a lot of the time?!) life gets messy. Instead of giving up on Togetherness completely, a little Together Triage might be in order. Anyone need a sloppy list today? We don’t care how things look; we just care that they work!