Picking a Planner

I should start out by saying that I LOVE planning.  Yes, there are challenging parts to the process, but thinking about what I need to teach and how my students will learn best, really gets the gears in my mind moving.

Watch my Facebook Live on this topic here:
Choosing a teacher planner can be tricky!  You need to find one that works best for you and your teaching style.  Here are some tips to help you decide whether you want a printable teacher planner or purchase one from a store or even make your own!
Let's start with the basics.  Picking a planner.  More specifically, picking one that works for you.  If you have one that doesn't mesh with the way you are teaching, you are going to run into a lot of frustrations before you even get started.

I want to share a couple different options to get you thinking about which teacher planner will work best for YOU.  Start by thinking about how you want to set it up and then how where you want to purchase it from.

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Do I Purchase a Hard Planner?

Most teachers I know purchase an already-built planner from Amazon (I love this one!) or a teacher store.  This is the simplest way to get started.  It comes with a basic template, that you fill in with your own information. It's a great beginning point, especially if you are new to teaching, new to a grade-level or are not quite sure how you want to set up your own planner.

Once I got more confident in my planning skills, I found that purchasing a planner from a store was actually costing me more time.  I had to sit down and write out the basics of my schedule every week.  I started creating my own templates so that I didn't have to do this.

Do I Purchase a Printable Planner?

If you browse Teachers pay Teachers or Etsy, you will find a plethora of printable planners that you can purchase and download.  There are some amazing ones!  Some sellers even have planner pages that you can edit to your specific needs.

You just need to take into account that you will be printing all the pages and binding them together yourself.

Do I Build My Own Planner?

First, you need to ask yourself - do you know how to create your own planner template?  It's not too hard!  However, it could cause some stress and frustration if you are not comfortable with the designing process.

If you do know how to use even just Microsoft Excel, you can create your own schedule that you can print out to create your own planner.  This will save you a lot of time in the long run, especially when you need to change your schedule.  And if you are super picky, like me, this allows you to decide what you want your planner to look like.

If you chose either of the last two options, we have to decide how you are going to put your planner together...

Teacher Binder

When I first started teaching, a binder was my go-to.  It is a great way to put your planner together if you create your own pages or you are purchasing a downloadable one.  It's easy to just print your pages and place them into the binder.  It takes no time to add pages or take them out.  This is helpful if your schedule changes often.  I used the Better Binders because they are super durable.
Choosing a teacher planner can be tricky!  You need to find one that works best for you and your teaching style.  Here are some tips to help you decide whether you want a printable teacher planner or purchase one from a store or even make your own!
However, it can also be very bulky.  It was easy to fill it up with lots of extra data pages and shove papers in there.  I ended up putting wayyy too much in my binder (I'll be posting about this at a later date).  If I needed to bring my planner to a meeting or was taking it home, it was just too difficult to carry.  And things got lost in there.

Spiral Bound Planner

After giving up my teacher binder, I moved onto a spiral-bound planner.  I created my own pages and had them bound at Staples before the school year began.  This worked really well for me when I taught 2nd grade.  I loved being able to flip the pages and fold the planner over on itself (does that make sense?).  It was much slimmer than a binder and was easy to carry around or place in my teacher bag.  I also found it easier to write in than a binder.
Choosing a teacher planner can be tricky!  You need to find one that works best for you and your teaching style.  Here are some tips to help you decide whether you want a printable teacher planner or purchase one from a store or even make your own!
The downside to a spiral bound planner, though, was that I couldn't switch out pages.  If my schedule changed, I wasn't able to add new pages or take out ones that I didn't need anymore.
Choosing a teacher planner can be tricky!  You need to find one that works best for you and your teaching style.  Here are some tips to help you decide whether you want a printable teacher planner or purchase one from a store or even make your own!

Disc Planner

I just discovered disc planners and whoa!  Game changer.    This is by far my favorite way to hold my teaching plans.  I found this to be a happy medium between a binder and a spiral bound planner.  You can purchase an already built Happy Planner.  I just purchased the cover and discs.  Then I customized it my needs.  
Choosing a teacher planner can be tricky!  You need to find one that works best for you and your teaching style.  Here are some tips to help you decide whether you want a printable teacher planner or purchase one from a store or even make your own!
The discs allow you to easily interchange pages.  You can also flip the planner backwards, keeping it from taking up too much space.
Choosing a teacher planner can be tricky!  You need to find one that works best for you and your teaching style.  Here are some tips to help you decide whether you want a printable teacher planner or purchase one from a store or even make your own!
I don't recommend the disc option if you tend to be rough on your planner.  If it gets tossed around a lot or stuffed to the brim, your pages might fall out.  

Online Planner

A final (and very different) option would be an online planner.  I know many teachers who love planbook.com.  Using an online planner reduces your load as far as carrying materials to and from school.  It's easy to access from different computers.  Planbook.com also allows you to share your plans with colleagues and easily access standards.  So helpful!

However, when you don't have access to a computer (at a meeting, professional development, etc) or your computer is experiencing tech difficulties, you might struggle.  You are able to print the plans out, though, as a backup.  

I will say that I tried it out and it just wasn't for me.  I am someone who needs to write stuff down with pencil and paper.

Phew!  That was a lot of information.  I hope that it will help you make an informed decision as you decide which teacher planner will be best for you.

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Choosing a teacher planner can be tricky!  You need to find one that works best for you and your teaching style.  Here are some tips to help you decide whether you want a printable teacher planner or purchase one from a store or even make your own!


1 comment

  1. Planner is a must have for every student and not only for student, but for everyone. I am a writer,and now I am working on dissertations help guide I have a lot of tasks to do. So, Planner is the best decision for me.

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