6 Best Paper & Paperless Teacher Planners to Stay Organized

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Teacher Planners to Stay Organized

The upcoming 2020 school year is poised to be one of the most unique and challenging school years that we may have for quite some time.

Whether you’re a preschool teacher, an elementary school teacher, a high school teacher, or a college teacher, you need to kick off the year with a planner that is ready to face the year with you.

In this article, we will highlight the best planners we were able to get our hands on and talk about what makes each one stand out to us.

The Top Pick

Erin Condren Teacher Planners

With an Erin Condren planner you will be ready to motivate and inspire.

These 12-month planners have plenty of space to spread out and be thorough. Featuring weekly, monthly, and even annual planning spreads, the Erin Condren lesson planners make sure you always know where you stand, and what deadlines are coming up.

Among the planning aides in these lesson planners, are extra pages for notes, checklists, and communication logs.

Whether you prefer coil-bound or binder-type planners, you will enjoy extras like holiday and planning stickers, and inspirational quotes.

Each teacher lesson planner can be as unique as the teacher who carries it. Not only can you customize the interior and exterior designs, pick your own starting month, binding coil color, and even personalize it with your name, your school’s name, or even a quote.

These lesson planners are a great way to show off your color and creativity to the classroom while keeping on track with productivity and organization.

Pros

  • Beautiful Designs
  • Sturdy Construction
  • Heavyweight Paper
  • Highly Customizable

Cons

  • Relatively High Price Point Of Approx $60

Blue Sky Teacher Planners

An absolutely great lineup for less than $40 are the planners from Blue Sky. These expertly-assembled planners will help you maintain a high degree of organization without micromanaging your days.

They have an array of sizes and visual styles, each one is tightly coil bound for strength and durability. Not only does this line of planners give you a two-month bonus planning area before the school year starts.

Pros

  • CYO (create your own) Clear Cover to display photos, artwork, or other inspiration for your daily life.
  • Class Birthday section to prepare for those in-class festivities!
  • Twin Wire Coil Binding For Added Strength.
  • Tabbed Months for quick access.

Cons

  • No noticeable cons

Other Great Finds

Planbook – Online Lesson Planning Tool (Paperless)

Price: $9-$15 Per Year

Planbook is arguably one of the most versatile paperless lesson planners. Not only do you have access to lesson plans and multimedia files that can be attached, but there are also tabs for other functions as well.

Things like the lesson, notes, discussions, and a corresponding homework assignment can all be tracked simultaneously.

Scheduling is effortless. Assign dates and times to activities, and should discussion run too long, or perhaps the kids have a lot of questions or are uniquely interested and you want to allow time for them to explore the subject more, you can even extend the lesson. Not only does this allow you to track scheduling discrepancies, and adjust or reconcile if needed.

If you collaborate with other faculty, this can make that easier and more intuitive. If you do not collaborate much, this could be the key to changing that.

With pricing that gives deep discounts for volume licenses, Planbook has the potential to make planning and lesson tracking as easy as pretty much everything else that has gone paperless.

Pros

  • Paperless
  • Full feature set
  • Low yearly price
  • Knowledgebase

Cons

  • No paper copy
  • Requires internet access

Me and My Big Ideas Happy Planners

If you are like many teachers you’re on the look out for creative ways to stretch a dollar. These planners will allow you to do just that.

They look great and will provide you with 12 months’ worth of space to record your lessons, attendance, notes, and so on. The laminated covers can stand up to repeated rough treatment, and the artwork and quotes will leave you in a state of inspired relaxation and creativity.

The vertical layout will encourage you to leave organized and detailed plans for your lessons while not forcing you to micromanage yourself.

The only complaint we had was that there did not seem to be any teacher-specific features.

Features like checklists, attendance list pages, planning spaces, and discussion notes would have been great options for some of these planners. But when they start at under six bucks, it is really hard to go wrong with one of these.

Pros

  • Contemporary and inspiring designs
  • 12-month span, January through December

Cons

  • Not Specifically geared towards teachers

Common Curriculum – Online Lesson Planning Tool (Paperless)

Price: $4.89-$6.99 Per Month

Here is another great paperless option for those who prefer it.

Common Curriculum offers the prospect of never having to use paper planning books ever again. They have templates for nearly everything, and the flexibility of those templates means that you can add standards, rearrange at the drop of a hat, and even incorporate collaboration into your plans going forward.

Your planning not only becomes more flexible but more effective overall when you use Common Curriculum.

Perhaps a discussion activity ran long because there was a lot of interest in it, and you did not get to explain the homework, you can schedule a simpler alternate task, and move the homework to an early quiz the next day.

Lose or gain a whole day somehow? Simply shift your lesson or lessons an entire day or more, forward, or backward.

Pros

  • One of the highest technology and most versatile options, as well as simply paperless
  • Unlimited formatting options
  • Attach files from Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive

Cons

  • Costs money on a subscription basis

Plum Paper Teacher Planners

Not only is Plum Pater Teacher Planners absolutely gorgeous, but they are almost everything you could want in a planbook.

To start, each planner contains tools that are designed for the type of teaching you do. So if you teach, there will be grade-appropriate stickers, a My Class section that is specific to your teaching area. Like class schedules and even seating chart pages.

Additional features include Student Health Information, Substitute Information, Full Spread of student birthdays, class resources and class expenses, Parent Contacts and Communication Log, Behavior Log, even a section for professional development, passwords, and goals for next year.

The possibilities for cover personalization and the options for layout customization are wonderful and really come together to create a unique but cohesive lesson planner for the upcoming 2020 school year.

These lesson planners can easily stand up next to the expensive showy planners, at a fraction of the cost, with everything you might need and a little more.

Pros

  • Beautiful in their simplicity
  • Specifically created and built for teachers
  • Multiple special interest sections to ensure important info is tracked
  •  

Cons

  • No significant cons

Wrapping Up

If you are a teacher gearing up for the 2020 school year, you need a planner. Having a good lesson planner can take so much stress out of your day and your lessons, that it’s almost a no-brainer.

Take a good look at the various paper and paperless planners available, and what makes each one good at what it does. Do not forget to take into account the ease of use, as this year’s events may require you to constantly sterilize or disinfect your frequently touched items.

You may find that you prefer the traditional paper planners that give you exactly what you are used to and function best with. They have been the standard for decades, and for good reason. They have everything you have always needed to get the results you require.

On the other hand, the paper options only allow so much room for newer collaborative techniques surfacing in the next-generation classroom.

If you find that your classroom, school, or even entire district is transforming to a more digital way of educating, then getting familiar with a paperless option might put you ahead of the pack when the changeover inevitably happens.

In addition to being ready, you will have become familiar with doing everything and anything you would ever need your paper book for, online. Making the transition just that much easier for your students. The media and lesson integration is one of the greatest boons of the paperless model.

Author Profile

Christina Amerson has an English degree from the University of Austin, Texas. And she's obsessed with all things arts & crafts.

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