Best Teacher Planners of 2020: Complete Reviews With Buying Guide


Teaching requires superhuman organization abilities. From keeping track of the school year calendar to organizing lessons and district testing, there’s so much to remember that a single teacher can’t be expected to remember everything without some help.

In most cases, that help comes in the form of a teacher’s planner!

These handy organizational tools do more than just organize dates; they provide the space needed to plan better lessons and make any teacher’s job more focused on teaching and less focused on keeping track of 30 different pieces of info.

Let’s learn about what makes the best teacher planners great and which are the best today.

Quick Overview: Best Teacher Planners

Image

Name

Size

Price

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Santa Barbara Specialties Purse-Size Planner

Santa Barbara Specialties Purse-Size Planner

9"x7”

$$

Lemome Planner with Pen Loop

Lemome Planner with Pen Loop

5.75" x 8.25"

$

Shiplies 2020 Daily, Weekly and Monthly Planner Academic Planner

Shiplies 2020 Daily, Weekly and Monthly Planner Academic Planner

8.5''x11''

$$

Blue Sky 2020 Weekly & Monthly Planner

Blue Sky 2020 Weekly & Monthly Planner

8.5" x 11"

$$$

7 Period Teacher Lesson Plan

7 Period Teacher Lesson Plan

8.5"x11"

$

Top 5 Best Teacher Planners in 2020

1. Santa Barbara Specialties Purse-Size Planner

This purse-sized planner from Santa Barbara Specialties is printed with various, vibrant colors for each academic year and is available at an incredibly affordable price.

This pre-dated planner includes sections for daily, weekly and monthly planning on heavyweight, off-white paper in a sturdy binding that is sure to last all year.

It’s vibrant color and positive messages keep your mood up while going through the busy year.

What I Like

This planner is divided into daily, weekly and monthly sections and each section has plenty of room for writing. This makes it easy to write about your tasks, goals and events without having to cram. Additionally, there are many blank writing pages included so you can add extra trackers to your planner with ease.

Another great thing about this binder is that it is sturdy. The paper itself is a heavyweight paper, so it can stand up to some wear and tear without ripping. The ring binding doesn’t allow you to remove pages, but it does make it possible to lay the planner open flat for ease-of-writing.

What I Didn’t Like

The date range on this planner is confusing to some teachers, as it starts in early 2019 and goes through early 2020. While this is unusual, it’s actually beneficial to teachers who teach on a different timeline than standard American teachers or those who are getting into their planner a bit late this academic year!

Because it is published by a smaller publishing house, there are some continuity errors in terms of dates and labels. While these are easily fixed with a marker, it can be frustrating if you don't notice them right away! A planner should have the correct dates, so you will want to check this.

Pros

  • Lots of writing room
  • Daily, weekly and monthly pages
  • Sturdy binding and paperweight

Cons

  • Inconsistent dates
  • Non-standard date range
  • Easily bent cover

2. Lemome Planner 2020 with Pen Loop

This planner by Lemome is a mid-range product that can work for a teacher, student or busy parent who needs to organize their days, weeks and months.

The paper and inside layout of this planner is top-of-the-line.

The paper can stand up to fountain pens and more, and you will see very little ghosting, while the actual hardcover is a soft leather that looks and feels great.

What I Like

The paper is the best part of this notebook. It’s thick, sturdy and organized properly. The back note pages have lines and very faint dots which allow for any type of add-on pages you might want to include in the book.

This planner also has a pen carrying slot, an accordion paper holder in the back, and even some stickers which can be used to create fast-access monthly tabs for easier navigation. These add-ons can make a big difference in how much you want to use the planner.

What I Didn’t Like

One major issue with this planner is that it lacks any pre-made, teacher-specific pages. There is no attendance rooster or scorecard to speak of, but there are 58 blank pages which can be used to add these pages in.

Another potential problem is that some batches of this planner have been misprinted, with duplicate or missing months. This shouldn’t be a huge issue, however, as the company will replace any faulty products of this nature.

Pros

  • Heavyweight paper
  • Soft, leather cover
  • Pen holder
  • Monthly tabs
  • Accordion storage folder

Cons

  • Duplicated and missing months
  • No teacher specific pages
  • Cover dents easily

3. Shiplies 2020 Daily, Weekly and Monthly Planner Academic Planner

A fantastic planner at this price point, the Academic Planner from Shiplies features simple navigation tools and easy-to-read pages for straightforward planning convenience.

This planner has dedicated sections for daily, weekly and monthly planning, and they are divided into months with coated tabs.

The planner has blank bonus pages that can be used to add in supplemental trackers by hand, and the overall construction is durable

What I Like

Each day of the week section of this academic planner is separated by time and includes a daily task area as well. This enables teachers to use the timed section to write out their lesson schedule and events, while the to-do section can be used for prep period planning. Monthly and weekly layouts include similar sections so you can work unit and long-term planning in too.

The Shiplies planner also has coated tabs, a coated cover and double reinforced bindings. This means that this book is built to last! The tabs won’t bend or break very easily, and the bindings are made to take a beating in your bag. You can expect this planner to survive its full date range.

What I Didn’t Like

One big drawback of this academic planner is that it is not specifically made for teachers, so it lacks pages for things like attendance or school event planning. There are a number of blank pages in the notebook that can be used to put these pages in by hand, but that will take extra time out of your day.

Another problem with this planner is that you cannot add pages. Because of the type of binding, it’s just not possible. Still, the binding is sturdy so it’s not a total loss.

Pros

  • Attractive design
  • Sturdy cover and tabs
  • Tabs make navigating easy

Cons

  • Not possible to add pages
  • Missing supplemental pages for attendance, etc.

4. Blue Sky 2020 Weekly & Monthly Planner

This weekly & monthly planner keeps your plans in a long-term view which is a great way for teachers to quickly rearrange their schedules while still staying on track.

The twin-wire binding on this planner keeps it sturdy throughout the year while the yearly overview and holiday pages are both laminated.

Even if it goes through tough situations with you, this monthly and weekly planner will be able to stand up to it all.

What I Like

The aforementioned sturdiness is the best thing about this planner. The binding won’t last forever, but it does the job. The laminated pages are a nice touch, and the cover itself has a coating that will help stop any small spills from seeping through to the planner pages.

Another nice thing is the broad view that this planner gives you. In addition to month-at-a-glance pages, there are weekly layouts that include all the days of the month where you can include more information. Plus, there’s space for lots of to-do lists to be added in various spots throughout the planner.

What I Didn’t Like

The main issue with this planner is that it doesn’t have the same amount of space for daily breakdowns and planning that other planners may have. Some people may be okay with this as they don’t need to write out their hourly schedule, but busy teachers with many meetings might find this to be a hindrance.

Pros

  • Twin-binding for flat view
  • Monthly views with weekly breakdowns
  • Space for added to-do lists

Cons

  • No daily pages with hours
  • Colored pages
  • Pages wrinkle easily

5. 7 Period Teacher Lesson Plan

This 7 Period Teacher Lesson Planner was made with high school and college teachers in mind.

It is designed for those teachers who teach different classes and lessons throughout a single day rather than one class.

The 7 Period Planner has the days horizontally across the top and lessons vertically down the page which makes it easy to plan for differences in class schedules and days of the week.

The inexpensive yet durable construction stands up to regular use.

What I Like

The best part of this planner for high school and college teachers is the fact that the days of the week are written horizontally over the weekly schedule. This layout makes it easier to divide the day up and is more intuitive to many teachers.

Another nice part of the planner is that there are no pre-printed dates. While this means that you have to write them for yourself, it also means you can use it over a few years if you are not teaching year-round. This flexibility can save you a lot of money.

What I Didn’t Like

While the weekly planning section of this planner is built for many lessons and students, the grade section only has room for grades for 46 students on one page. This is not enough space if you are teaching a full schedule, so you will need to photocopy the page and add more of them.

Another piece that is missing is an attendance page, and there is not an easy way to add one to this particular planner. If taking attendance is key, you’ll have to use another method if you go with this planner.

Pros

  • Sturdy
  • Days printed horizontally
  • No pre-printed dates

Cons

  • No attendance page
  • Not enough grade report pages for the number of class sections

Best Teachers Planner: Buying Guide

There’s a lot of planners, calendars and schedules in the world. But a teacher’s planner differs from a standard daily calendar in a lot of ways, so it’s important to learn about what characteristics make these planners so special.

Dimensions

The first and most important thing that you’ll want to pay attention to when choosing a teacher's planner is the dimensions. Dimensions matter in a few different ways:

  • Overall planner dimensions
  • Daily page dimensions
  • Specific section dimensions

Dimensions are more important than just looking at the overall size of the book. Sure, the overall size matters. You want it to be a convenient size for carrying to and from school, but you also want to make sure that the book isn’t so big that it becomes awkward to use. This will largely depend on personal preference.

Supplemental Pages

In addition to daily pages and monthly views, many teacher planners offer supplemental pages which can make a teacher’s life easier.

There are many supplemental pages that you may find in a planner:

  • Break planning
  • Attendance pages
  • Summer planning
  • Weekly views
  • Lesson planning
  • Disciplinary record pages
  • Future planning for homework
  • Meeting scheduler

If you can imagine it, there is probably a way to work that supplemental information into your planner!

Some planners actually allow you to add more pages on your own, and you can choose from a huge variety of additional pages to add to the planner. This makes it easy to find the perfect teacher planners because you can find precisely what you want with less effort.

If you like to be creative with your planner and create your own supplemental pages, make sure that you choose a planner which you can add more pages to or that has many blank pages for you to be creative with!

brand

The brand is by no means the most important factor when choosing a planner, but it can be beneficial to pay attention to brand when making your choice for a few reasons.

First, choosing one brand can keep your planning consistent from year-to-year. Once you find a planner brand that you think works, you can keep buying this same brand yearly. It’ll become a snap to plan if you know what to expect from your planner, and brand consistency will allow that.

Second, some brands make higher-quality materials than other brands. A well-known brand name like Mead or Erin Condren is likely to produce a better quality planner than a brand you’ve never heard of. We say likely because there are, of course, exceptions to this statement!

Finally, brand matters if you plan to buy supplementary materials. Some brands make a lot of companion products to go with their planners, so you can benefit from these items if you stay within the same planner brand family for all of your teaching supplies.

color

While it may not be the first thing that you think of when shopping for a planner, one year of carrying a planner that is too heavy will change your mind on how important this is!

While you want a planner that includes everything you need to track, you don’t want it to be too heavy. If you choose a planner with a hardcover or too many supplemental pages, you may find that it’s inconvenient to carry and use.

Some people prefer to choose planners which have removable pages for this reason. They can keep only a few weeks worth of paper in the planner at any given time. This flexibility allows them to control the weight as needed but requires that you have somewhere to store the extra pages while they're not in use.

Wight

A planner's binding makes a big difference in how durable and easy to use it will be.

First, you want the binding to be sturdy! If the planner falls apart in the middle of the year because the binding was too weak, you’re going to be in trouble. No matter what type of binding is used, it must be sturdy!

Another point we just touched on is the type of binding. Some binding allows you to open a planner to lie flat; other types of binding do not. Ring binding (even better if the rings open) is the most preferred type of binding because you can lie the pages open flat, making it easier to use. If they open, you can add your own pages.

Paying attention to binding when choosing teacher planners will make life much easier later on. If the binder makes it through the year, you’ve made the right choice!

binding

While it may not be the first thing that you think of when shopping for a planner, one year of carrying a planner that is too heavy will change your mind on how important this is!

While you want a planner that includes everything you need to track, you don’t want it to be too heavy. If you choose a planner with a hardcover or too many supplemental pages, you may find that it’s inconvenient to carry and use.

Some people prefer to choose planners which have removable pages for this reason. They can keep only a few weeks worth of paper in the planner at any given time. This flexibility allows them to control the weight as needed but requires that you have somewhere to store the extra pages while they're not in use.

Teacher Planners F.A.Q.

What is A Unit Plan in Teaching?

A unit plan explains the specifics of a particular concept that will be taught including the goals for the unit, what lessons it should be broken down into and what activities will make learning more effective.

The unit plan is the guideline a teacher will follow for covering that topic. A unit plan details goals and other important info so that your specific lesson plans, which you will prepare closer to the actual date of instruction, will be simpler to create.

The unit plan can be thought of as the guiding idea for connecting specific concepts that you will be teaching, such as colonial history or how to write questions.

Since unit plans cover a number of individual lessons, they are the key to making sure you as a teacher are connecting concepts to one another. Interconnected learning is essential for children, and having unit plans with long-term goals and points make this easier to achieve.

What Kind of Planner Should I Get?

There is no single answer to this question! The planner you get should have the following, according to your specific needs:

  • The right dimensions
  • Enough pages
  • A good daily lesson layout
  • Supplemental pages that suit your class

As long as you have these four items, any planner that you choose should be effective for your teaching purposes.

How to Make Your Own Planner Organizer

Are you looking to organize your personal life in addition to your teaching life? You may want to make your own planner organizer in addition to your teacher planners.

These days, many people prefer to use flexible planning methods such as bullet journaling. This method allows you to turn any notebook into a planner simply by using a pen and a ruler. This flexibility may be just what you need to suit your personal needs.

How to Organize Lesson Plans

Now that you’ve got your teacher planners handled and you are moving on to the day-to-day work of creating and maintaining lesson plans, you may be wondering what the best way to organize these plans is.

You’re not the only teacher to have this problem. Through the years, many teachers have come up with different ways to organize lesson plans:

  • Using online software that saves and edits your plans
  • Using a binder where all lesson plans are kept
  • Keeping everything in a file folder
  • Writing or stapling it all into a bound notebook

In our opinion, however, the best way to organize your lesson plans is simple. Just use a binder! Keep a thinner binder with the weekly plans with you, and keep the rest in a larger binder that you don’t have to carry around. This method is the easiest and can even be combined with online lesson planning! Just print and store.

How to Make A Teacher Planner

If you prefer to make your own teacher planners from scratch rather than buying a planner, that is possible. But remember this before you commit to this idea: it will be a lot of work!

There are a few ways you could do this:

  1. Buy and use a program specifically for teachers who want to make their own planners
  2. Use Google Docs and Google Sheets to create templates, and then print those templates to create your own planner
  3. Make everything by hand if you have a lot of time and are very creative
  4. Buy a basic, blank planner and customize it for your needs

If you have some artistic skills and spare time, it is possible to make your own teacher planners. While this might not be the ideal solution for most teachers, you may be the exception!

Final Words

One of the best teacher planners of 2020 is the Santa Barbara Specialties Purse-Size Planner. This smart-sized planner has the best design, layout and construction of any of the planners reviewed today! If you want something more teacher specific planners, the 7 Period Teacher Lesson Plan is a great alternative.

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