Do you have a teacher planner you love? Whether you are getting ready for the next term or the start of school, a planner can help you get focused and organized and keep yourself on the right page, week after week, term after term.
I’ll admit, I’ve tried a LOT of teacher planners. I’m still looking for the perfect planner for me, but I have found a number of planners with parts that I like. Some work better if you are a classroom teacher and others work better if you have a mixed role. And what works for me might not work for you, so I’ll explain some of the features of several of my favorites to help you explore your options.
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Teacher planner or life planner?
Since I currently do a lot of meetings, consults, and tutoring in addition to creating and sharing new teaching tools, I’ve been using a life planner instead of a traditional teacher planner. I love that the life planner fills my work and social needs.
Erin Condren life or teacher planner
One of my favorites is the Erin Condren Life Planner. Here are a few things I love about it:
- Layout choice. With this planner, you can choose a vertical, horizontal, or hourly layout. Personally, I like a vertical planner, but I need the detail of an hourly layout.
- Changeable covers. Anyone else get bored of looking at the same thing all year? I love being able to swap out my cover.
- Pockets and pouches. Having these at the back is useful for my extra bits and pieces, like a note I need to respond to or a receipt I need to track.
- Choose the right length. I got an 18-month calendar one year when I decided I wanted one mid-year, which brought me to the right starting point for a new planner. You can choose 12 months starting in July or January or 18 months that run from July to December of the following year.
- Colors and fun. I love the bright colors of this planner and the stickers that come with it. I have fun decorating it with stickers and washi tape.
- Planning space. This planner includes space for monthly and yearly planning.
- Durability. The tabs, paper and dividers last well without tatty looking bits or rips. (I bought a pouch to put it in, which helps.)
There is also an Erin Condren Teacher Planner. It includes space for
- Roll call
- Long term planning
- Weekly planning
- Sheet protectors
- Stickers and more.
You can find all the details, including size and cover options (plus so many fun extra add ons!) at the Erin Condren website. Admittedly the cost is a bit of a detractor if you are in Australia what with shipping and exchange rate, but these are beautiful, durable planners. I decided it was worth it.
Purple Trail life and teacher planners
Like Erin Condren, Purple Trail makes attractive planners with a wide variety of covers to fit your style. Features to love include:
- Choice of size. Do you prefer a bigger page so you have more planning space or a smaller book that is easier to carry around? Choose from two sizes.
- Choice of cover. Choose the design you love and the kind of cover that works for you, hard, synthetic or laminated (some designs are limited to certain cover types).
- Colors and fun. You can get colorful pages or plainer pages, whichever you prefer. I love bright pages, but some people find them distracting or want to use their own color be it washi tape or colored pens to brighten the page. Note that stickers and pocket folders are options, but cost extra.
- Choice of length. You decide if you want 12 months or 18—And choose your start date from any month.
- Choice of layout. You can choose horizontal or vertical, but one of the things I love is that you can choose hourly or 15 minute increments. Depending on the kind of schedule you have, that can be an important option! You can even customize it for the start time that works best for your schedule.
Purple Trail has a number of additional add on pages, some of which are useful for teachers. Definitely worth checking out whether you want a life planner or a specific teacher planner.
Freedom Mastery planners
Freedom Mastery doesn’t have a specific teacher planner, but their planners are inspiring — and for every planner purchased, they plant 5 trees.
These planners focus on identifying and focusing on your top priorities, achieving goals and improving time management—and they have some different features, like:
- Tear off pages in the back for removable notes
- Index and page numbers to help you track ideas for later reference
- A fold out vision board
- Questions and mindmaps
- Reflection pages
- Habit trackers
- A gratitude journal
The Freedom Mastery planner is less customizable than the others I’ve described, but if the features above and month and week overviews with half hour breakdowns of the day are your cup of tea, check it out. They also have 90-day planning pads that are quite intriguing.
Full Focus Planner
Are you familiar with Michael Hyatt? He’s created the Full Focus Planner. It isn’t a teacher planner per se, but I know a number of teachers who use them. I’ve been using it this year and I love it. It isn’t as “fun” as the Erin Condren planner, but it is streamlined and, well, as the name suggests, focused.
This planner includes space for:
- Your Big 3—This keeps you focused daily on big impact actions.
- Goal Templates—This helps you identify and break down your goals, including your whys and action steps.
- Daily Rituals—From the start of the day to end of the day, you’ll record and track your daily rituals to keep you productive.
- Reviewing—One of the things that really helps keep you on track is regular review of your plans and progress. Weekly and quarterly check in pages help you here.
- Notes and Classifying System—There is plenty of room for notes and a classifying system on each page helps you remember to delegate, delete or defer items instead of simply checking off everything.
Each planner is good for 90 days, and you can buy one or get a subscription for 4 to last you the whole year (they’ll send each one at the appropriate time). If a streamlined, focused planner is what you need, definitely check out the Full Focus Planner.
We all have different tastes and needs when it comes to a life or teacher planner. I hope one of these is exactly what you are looking for!
What’s your favorite life or teacher planner?