you oughta know about planning tools!

Hey there!
I'm excited to be a part of Jasmine's You Oughta Know blog hop!
I thought it was a great idea!
Be sure to check out the link up at the bottom to see all our ideas!
No matter what you think, you need to plan!
sounds silly, I know. 
But even as I finish up my 11th year, I still have days I don't plan
and you know what?
those are the days that I'm most irritated with behavior
those are the days when I come home in a bad mood
Maybe you never have days like this
maybe you are a hard core planner 
maybe you have to turn in your plans 
fyi-I'd quit!
but I am not
never have been

So this past year I made a pact with myself because who better to make a promise to, right?!
to plan every single day
I do not mean to plan every single minute
I don't run like that
I don't teach like that
I just wanted to write down what I would be doing during each block of time
Now don't get me wrong, I always have a plan, it's just not always written down!
I know what I'm teaching, but when I do write it down, I tend to stick to it!

so how do I plan?
two ways actually!
I used to have a spreadsheet, all laid out beautifully with clipart and cool fonts, but after a couple of years, that got old. I love technology, but I'm still a fan of paper and pencils!
then a few years ago, our district purchased a license for an online planbook that we were required to use
it was a pain in the butt, but we could share it with whomever we wanted (and our admin) so my teammate and I had a great setup. She would plan math for a month or so, I'd plan ELA; then we'd switch. Loved it! Never planned better
then the site license was not renewed by our district, nor was it replaced

So for the real reason I am share some different planners I have used!

I began using after our district did not reinvest in the other site

the setup is one of the things I loved about coding! I'm a sucker for it! This is a week before any plans were added (I wasn't using the site yet on this date). is easy to navigate, easy to add standards taught which it keeps a record of, and easy to add links to videos and pdfs. This is the best feature for online planning for me, the eternal last minute copy maker! I rarely print anything til it's the day of!

 this is a weekly view and below is a specific activity with links! yippe!

PROS: accessibility-I can't leave it at school! only $12 per year, links are right there, prints in an easy to read layout
CONS: Now, I loved it! but sharing was a pain, I had to send the link to my teammate who had to have a code to view them, whereas before we could go right into each other's plans and copy and paste

Now last summer I bought my EC teacher planner-yes, I have both online and paper ones! I need them!
and here's why
I like to say I am flexible! that's a positive spin on I rarely get to what I need to get to!

PROS: dang it's pretty! I feel all grown up carrying it! Lots of note keeping and data all in one place, sturdy-I never had any problems with anything coming apart, great customer service
CONS: it is more pricy, I buy it during teacher appreciation month! I do not keep up with plans as well

and the coolest new thing out there are teachers making planners! editable and customizable...
there are lots of options on TpT

when I search on TpT alone, there are over 1800 options!
then I was contacted by sweet Kelsey at Paper and Oats about her new teacher planning kit
She makes the most clean looking products I've ever seen!

not only does she have this planner, but also a back-to-school kit that coordinates with it! Now that's every teacher's dream!
I love clean and simple!
and her short and sweet page titles are right up my alley! 
check it out!

this planner is most like the EC planner I have seen
very simple, yet includes about anything I can imagine!
I used the venture out page to plan our last field trip this year.
We have to have a plan turned in a week before leaving
I love this page!

every page is fillable in adobe, too!

so these may be the best of both worlds, print and online!
what do you think?
What are your favorite ways to plan!?
Like what you see?
Use the code TATTOOEDTEACHER at paper and oats to save 15%!
valid in her etsy shop and (not valid on prints)
and check out these other you oughta know tips!


  1. Loved reading this post about planning--such a hot topic! I have been at this 20+ years now and still feel my time is better spent creating and finding resources to meet my kids needs instead of spending hours on writing plans on paper that I never look at or that change after reflecting on the day's lessons... Appreciate your honesty in this post!


  2. I loved this post! I am just like you...the days I write down my plans are usually MUCH better days than those that I "wing" it. I have heard a lot about so I am definitely going to have to check it out. Thanks for sharing Kelsey's TPT products. Once I know what we are going have to turn in this year to our admin I will begin my such for the perfect planning accessories.

    Get Your Science on in Room 701

  3. I loved It helped me keep my lesson plans so I could easily follow and get organized!

  4. I tried out several online plan books last spring and settled on as the one I would subscribe to this next school year. Love it!
    :) Sarah from Mrs. Jones Teaches

  5. woa! so many planning options! I use a cheapo planbook from lakeshore! haha!
    and I usually stop writing in it halfway through the year...haha!
    ♥ Jen
    Teacher by the Beach

  6. I have been using for three years and I LOVE it! I really appreciate how the plans roll over and I just have to tweak them. I purchased an EC planner this summer --for the first time--and I am going to staple the plans from into the planner. I really want everything in the same spot .....sigh:)

  7. Planbook is a lifesaver. It has made planning so much faster

  8. Hi Rachel! Thank you for the great tips! I am a paper and pencil girl, however I have a color-coded weekly plan outline that I made in excel a few years ago. With the addition of new standards and more things that we have to document, my font has gotten smaller and smaller. :-) Anyway, our district is pushing the e-form through a particular company. My recent principal did not require it of us, but our new one may insist. We'll see! I definitely see advantages to both versions. I will probably be like you and have a written form as well as the e-form.

    Thank you for the tips!
    i Heart Second


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