From the Magazine

Planners for Planners

1. 4THELOVEOFPI

The 4theloveofPi planner is fairly customizable, allowing teachers to create a planner that meets the needs of their teaching schedule. With layouts specifically designed to accommodate one to eight subjects, there is truly something for everyone. 

This planner also includes weekends, allowing for coaches and sponsors to add in weekend events, or for teachers to combine their work and personal activities. In addition, 4theloveofPi offers a Teacher Resource Package, which has four sections — teacher, student, notes, and checklists — to help keep teachers organized throughout the year. With a 9” by 12” laminated cover, 80 pound paper, and aluminum spiral binding, this planner is comparable to other popular brands. The 4theloveofPi planners start at $60 and offer a lot of customizations at this price point. 

What We Love

We love that 4theloveofPi planners offer layouts for anywhere from one to eight subjects, so any teacher can find something that feels tailored to their teaching schedule. With the inclusion of weekend planning space, it’s possible to keep track of extra-curricular or personal weekend obligations easily, within the same planbook. Added bonus? Purchasing this planner supports a small business. 

Not So Much

There are fewer accessories available than with some other brands, but this can always be supplemented. 

The Take-Away

4theloveofPi is a great option for teachers looking to purchase a planner customized for the exact number of subjects they teach and the best option for any teacher who wishes to include weekend planning in their teacher planner. 

2. Erin Condren

The Erin Condren teacher planner is the ultimate all-in-one lesson planner. Their teacher planners feature weekly, monthly, and yearly planning, checklist pages, communication logs, lined note pages, graph pages, and more. Their coiled option, which is their most popular, is an 8.5” by 11” book, covering the span of 12 months in 210 pages. 

There are many customizable cover options. The coil is plated aluminum and the interior pages are 80 pound paper, which can withstand erasing easily. It offers two interior design options, three calendar months to choose from, the ability to personalize your cover and select your coil color, and has interchangeable covers and snap-in accessories. 

It comes in a six-subject layout, which is more than enough for most secondary teachers. One major difference between this and the 4theloveofPi planner is that the subjects run across the top, rather than down the side. Erin Condren’s teacher planners only include weekdays, which is ideal for the teacher who wants to separate their work and personal planning. Without any customizations, the Erin Condren teacher planners start at $55-$60, plus shipping. Customizations such as a different color spiral or additional gradebook pages will increase the price. 

What We Love

We love the wide variety of interchangeable covers and snap-in accessories, which can be used from year to year if the same brand of planner is purchased each year. 

Not So Much

Although the six-subject layout is enough for most teachers, it’s not the exact right number of subjects for many; most teachers will end up having some wasted space on their weekly spreads. 

The Take-Away

With a variety of interchangeable and customizable cover options that don’t require a lot of internal design choices, the Erin Condren planner is a high-quality choice for you. 

3. Purple Trail

Purple Trail’s teacher planners offer three fully personalizable cover types — hardcover, laminated, or synthetic. There are two sizes, 6” by 8” and 8.5” by 11”. Their planners can have coil binding or be hand sewn. The pages are printed on 80 pound paper. Additionally, there are two color and layout options, with either five or seven days per week. 

Customers can select their start month and planner length, making the Purple 

Trail planner an ideal mid-semester purchase. There are more than 20 types of add-on pages available, which can be added to the back of the planner or distributed throughout. Another unique feature is that teachers can print their class subjects on the internal pages, eliminating the need to write them each week like in most planners. Prices start at $54.95. 

What We Love

The ability to customize class schedules on internal pages is unique, as well as a time saver. It’s also great to have maximum flexibility in terms of start month, so pages are never wasted. It’s possible to start from any month! 

Not So Much

The hardcover option feels less luxurious than one might expect from the price point and scuffs easily. 

The Take-Away

Purple Trail is an ideal choice for teachers looking to purchase a planner now because of the flexible start months. It’s a solid lesson plan book, with the added bonus of being able to print the subjects directly in the planner. 

4. Plum Paper

The Plum Paper teacher planner can be tailored to each type of teacher. Customers can design a planner that is specific to their grade level and the type of classes they teach. In addition to the planning pages, the Plum paper planner offers parent communication logs, behavior logs, professional development sheets, and more. One customization option of note is the ability to select the size of the planner. Although most of its competitors offer only one size, the Plum Paper teacher planner offers a 5.8” by 8.3”, a 7” by 9”, and an 8.5” by 11”. 

Another customization option worth mentioning is that each of the sizes comes in multiple layouts, with multiple options for early childhood, elementary, secondary, and homeschool. With this many choices, there is sure to be a layout that works for most teachers. The paper is 70 pounds, which is enough to avoid pen or marker bleed, but is lighter than many of its competitors. However, the price point is also lower, with 

the 5.8” by 8.3” starting at $20, the 7” by 9” at $23, and the 8.5” by 11” at $45. The Plum Planner is suggested for any teacher looking for a customizable size of planner or anyone looking for a specific layout that they have been unable to find elsewhere. 

What We Love

Plum Paper allows customers to create a fully customizable planner in three different sizes, so teachers can order the exact planner they want, down to the internal layout and size. 

Not So Much

The number of options may be overwhelming for a teacher customizing a planner for the first time. 

The Take-Away

Plum Paper is an ideal choice for teachers looking to purchase a planner now, because of the flexible start months.

5. Happy Planner

The Happy Planner offers many premade covers to choose from, but they are not custom-made, so the choices are more limited than with most of the major planner companies. Where the Happy Planner shines, though, is in its ability to customize the inside with pages that are unique to a teacher’s class and school. The Happy Planner is a non-standard 9-hole punch, so it does require the purchase of the Happy Planner Punch, which is a worthwhile investment, especially if you will use a Happy Planner for several years. 

With this punch, any paper can be added to the planner, including class lists, school calendars, school phone numbers, to-do lists, and more. Each page is broken up into three daily boxes. Although this is enough for some secondary teachers, those with four or more preps would be better off picking a different planner. The weight of the pages is notably less than most teacher planners, but that is to be expected at this price point. Another area where the Happy Planner is lacking is in its teacher-specific pages. 

The Happy Planner does not feature student checklists or conference logs. Sure, the pages can be added if designed, printed, and added using the specialized hole punch, but that might not be everyone’s cup of tea. It is worth mentioning that many TpT sellers have printable pages for sale that fit in this planner for a few dollars each, though. For teachers willing to design or buy and print these teacher pages, this planner is a bargain compared to many of the others, with prices generally around $29-$39. This planner is sold at many places, including Michael’s (which offers a teacher discount) and Amazon. The Happy Planner is recommended for any teacher who wants to add a lot of pages that pertain to their own school and classroom and don’t mind putting some work in to accomplish that, as well as for those looking for a bargain planner. 

What We Love

Adding customized pages, like a school calendar, PD schedule, and seating charts, makes this one of the most flexible planners on the market for teachers. Plus, it’s one of the cheapest. 

Not So Much

The Happy Planner lacks teacher-specific pages, so teachers who do not want to spend their time purchasing and printing these pages through online sites might be better off buying another planner. 

The Take-Away

The Happy Planner offers a flexible and affordable plan book, which is great for teachers looking to customize their planners by hand. 

Suzanne Williams is a high school teacher and publications director in Indiana. When she’s not teaching her students Journalism or Japanese, she’s reporting on education-related topics, crafting, longboarding or playing with her corgi.