10 Tips for Organizing Your Teacher Planner You’ll Want to Try A.S.A.P.

In other words—how I gained “me” time each week.

Planner obsessed? We are too. We are overjoyed each year when it’s time to pick out a new planner, and one thing is for sure: Teachers HEART Erin Condren. Just check out #ErinCondren and #TeacherPlanner on Instagram…you’ve never seen such beauty! That’s why we polled our teacher audience and got their best teacher planner tips. (Psst: If you don’t have a planner, grab one here.)

1. Start with importance.

“Identify the most important dates in the beginning of the year, and add those in.” —Sarah P., via Facebook

Easy enough! Think: Teacher institute day, conferences, holidays (hello Presidents’ Day!), and even things like the first fire drill. You (and your ears) will be thankful for the reminder. We like using these colorful dual tip markers.

Start with Importance - 10 Tips for Organizing Your Teacher Planner

2. Use sticky notes when a date is not confirmed.

You think you might have an appointment on Monday the 11th, but don’t know for sure? Avoid scribbling on your pretty pages—jot down the info on a sticky note and add it to your page. If it changes, it’s easy to move around, or toss out. Not into wasting paper? Write in pencil—classic.

Use sticky notes for unconfirmed dates - 10 Tips for Organizing Your Teacher Planner
Source: My Erin Condren

3. Never miss a student’s birthday again.

One of our favorite things about an Erin Condren planner is the stickers! Use stickers to indicate birthdays by simply writing the student’s name and sticking it to the top of said day. It’ll be the first thing you see each morning.

Erin Condren Planner Stickers

4. Make a list of EVERY contact you have with EVERY parent.

This one’s important. Use your back pages to quickly jot down that 5-minute phone call you had with a parent while rushing out of the door, or the quick email exchange you already deleted. The next time you hear from them, you’ll have a handy reference to easily recall the last time you spoke.

5. Use clear address labels for lesson planning.

We love this tip from blogger Meghan. Instead of going marker crazy, use online templates to type your subjects or class periods and times on clear address labels. You’ll have them on hand for each week, and won’t have to repeatedly rewrite your schedule.

Use clear address labels for lesson planning - 10 Tips for Organizing Your Teacher Planner
Source: Keeping Up With Mrs. Harris

6. Create back-of-book lists.

Have you ever found yourself wondering, “What was that one book that Hannah (no wait, was it Amira?) suggested I read on my next vacation because it was SO good? I think it was a YA novel. Was it the one they are making into a movie?” Sigh. It happens, we forget. Use your planner to make lists of all things good—books, movies, easy weekday lunch ideas…you name it.

7. Make daily to-dos.

Use a page in the front of your planner to list your everyday must-dos, for both the morning and after school. Here’s mine:

Morning: Check email, lesson refresh, materials check

After school: Tomorrow’s copies, clean boards, materials set-up

Voila!

Make daily to-dos - 10 Tips for Organizing Your Teacher Planner

8. Color-code meeting types.

Simple, but important. Write in black pen, highlight in various colors. Talk about seeing things at a glance!

9. Use washi tape as binding.

Forget planner tabs—washi it! Make it easier to turn the page by using washi tape on the edges of each page to divide by quarters. Seriously brilliant!

Use washi tape as binding - 10 Tips for Organizing Your Teacher Planner
Source: Flipping for First

10. Make time for life.

This might be our favorite: Book time with yourself each week. Grab your favorite sticker, and plop it on the page—this is your cue. “It’s amazing how 7 minutes of reflection can improve your teaching.” —Kimberly, via Facebook

 

What are your best teacher planner tips? Please share in the comments.

10 Tips for Organizing Your Teacher Planner

Danielle N. Barr

Posted by Danielle N. Barr

Danielle Barr is the director of social strategy at WeAreTeachers and loves being a part of the thriving teacher community online. She's a writer, reader & dog-lover, who spends her free time renovating her 1920s bungalow.