Today, as part of our “Planning for a New School Year Week,” we are going to talk about a traditional paper and pencil planner. Tomorrow we’ll chat about another option: digitizing your lessons and plans. Be sure to come back tomorrow to see the differences between these two strategies and weigh in with your own opinion on the matter!
The Benefits of Using a Traditional Paper and Pencil Planner
A lesson plan book is a very important item to every teacher. This is where the daily planning is recorded, or where creativity is organized. My lesson plan book is very important to me, it helps me stay organized at work. I also am an advocate for using a planner to help me stay organized personally.
The great thing about technology is the ability to keep your calendar with you at all times. Your calendar can be synched up to your phone and or e-mail. I love this feature of my smart phone and I use it for appointments and important events. But an electronic calendar doesn’t meet all my needs like a good old fashioned paper planner does.
Each year I purchase the same brand of planner. I have tried others, but none compare to the House of Doolittle Recycled Weekly Academic Planner since 2001. (Check out their website here) This brand of planner can be found at various colleges around the country. I started using them when I was in college. Every June since, I have driven to the local University bookstore to get a new one every June. Here is a photo of my last four planners. (Apparently I like blue and black!)
The House of Doolittle planner has thick pages so I can use funky colored markers and it won’t bleed through. At the top of the page for each week there is an inspirational quote or a word with definition. There is adequate amount of room to write for each day and the planner is small enough to carry around if you choose.
Look at the quote at the top of the page. “To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, that is to have succeeded.” Ralph Waldo Emerson. Isn’t this a perfect quote for back to school?
Here are 6 different ways to use a planner to help you personally and professionally:
1. Planners help create a visual layout of your week. You can look and see what activities or obligations you have Monday through Sunday.
2. You can record daily or weekly appointments, memories, quotes or goals.
3. Cross off your goals once you accomplish them. There is nothing better than going back through your planner to see how successful you have been.
4. They help you remember events that happened in your life on any particular day. They are excellent references.
5. You can write professional obligations on your calendar and personal obligations so they’re all in one location. For example, I write what night conference are in my lesson plan book and my planner. I also write the end of the quarter dates in my planner so I can be sure I don’t schedule doctor’s appointments or other days off near those days.
6. Planners allow you to doodle. Buy funky markers and add color and drawings to your days. My favorite pens to use in my planner are the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner 0.3 mm pens.
Even with the benefits of technology at my fingertips, am still sold on the old fashioned planner for some of my personal and professional needs. How about you?
Do you use a traditional paper and pencil planner?
Do you have a favorite brand of planner?