Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Perfect Planner

Every year I go through the same struggle...paper or digital? Online lesson planner or Google Docs? Outlook or Calendar?

I don't know that I will ever arrive at the perfect solution, but I do have a few thoughts that guided my decision for this year (to be revealed at the end of this list).

  • I can't have more than 1 platform going at once. My district provides access to both Microsoft and Google products, as well as Adobe Cloud. This year I had some appointments on Outlook, a few on paper, and some in Google calendar. Needless to say, I missed some meetings.
  • It is easy for me to miss things on my digital calendars because I'm not always at my computer and I don't always remember to check all of the calendars listed above.
  • I need something I can change up pretty easily if I make a mistake or change my mind.

To make things even trickier, a fabulous co-worker made me a homemade bullet journal this year and got me totally hooked on the process of daily to-do lists. So while I was considering my options this summer, I wanted to find something that would allow me to combine planning and bullet journaling.
I don't want separate systems this year. I'm too scattered to keep track of multiple things. This is key for me, and part of my effort to simplify my life and adopt some minimalist practices. 

Enter... the ARC PLANNER

Ok, I don't work for Staples and I am not getting anything from them for sharing my new planner with you. Just want to make that clear. I believe there is another company that does something similar called The Happy Planner. I happened to be at Staples anyway and saw ARC, and was able to physically see each and every piece, so I went with it.

Basically my ARC planner is customizable and the pages can be removed and put back in without punching or tearing anything. So it's easy to re-arrange (much better than a spiral or a 3-ring binder).

This is the cover and rings I chose. There were lots of options, but I just really liked this one!

I purchased the calendar inserts. Here you can see the monthly spread. My plan is to keep appointments in here, as well as weekly department and faculty meetings.

This is the weekly view. I am going to use it for lesson plans. I know this probably wouldn't work for everyone, but as the librarian I don't have to follow a specific format. I only see kids for 20 minutes at a time. I plan to sketch in the theme for each week, the read-alouds I have planned, and the booktalk titles I want to focus on. 

The ARC system has dividers you can add, so my next section is my bullet journal. You can see my index page and my first set of bullets in these photos.

Finally, I added some accessories, like top-loading page protectors (for handouts, cards, etc) and zip pockets (pens, highlighters)

So that's my setup for my planner. Obviously it's not really PERFECT, but I think you have to find what works for you. I'll keep you updated as the year progresses on the status of my ARC planner! What are you all using for the upcoming school year?

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