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why you need a digital teacher planner

Online Teacher Planners Explained

I know… this is an unpopular opinion for my diehard Erin Condren or Happy Planner fans. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a good paper planner. However, last year I realized how much more use I could get out of a online teacher planner and how much time it saved me once I got the hang of it. I immediately felt more organized and more productive, which is what we all need, isn’t it?

using a digital teacher planner ipad goodnotes planner

What kinds of online teacher planners are there?

Currently, there are three main types of online teacher planners being offered. You can choose to purchase one that has been made for Google Slides, Google Sheets or Goodnotes/Notability if you have an iPad or a tablet.

Google Slides
Pros: easy to use, accessible anywhere
Cons: less flexibility/features than the other platforms

Google Sheets
Pros: more flexibility/options (e.g., checkboxes, formulas), accessible anywhere
Cons: larger learning curve if you aren’t familiar with sheets/excel

Pros: feels like a paper planner, easy to add your own pages/templates in
Cons: can only use with iPad/tablet and stylus

online teacher planner goodnotes planner example

Why are digital planners better?

There are a few reasons why I LOVE using online teacher planners > everything else.

  1. Your planner is accessible ANYWHERE.
    Gone are the days where you need to lug your huge planner or binder back and forth from school. The planners that are compatible with Google Slides/Sheets can be accessed and edited from your computer, iPad/tablet, smartphone.. etc. The Goodnotes planners can be accessed through your tablet/phone. Reducing the amount of physical “clutter” and stuff that we as teachers have can be an absolute game-changer.
  2. You will have access to your plans for as long as you want, WITHOUT having to hoard binders/planners in your garage.
    Want to know what you did on this day last year? Open your Google Drive or iPad.
  3. You can change your plans without having to scratch out all your pretty hand-writing.
    Now, I know that you will miss the satisfaction of opening a new set of flair pens and writing in your planner. However… you will NOT miss having to scratch out that beautiful writing when your plans change because let’s face it, nothing goes exactly as planned in a week. With a digital planner, you can get the same neat & pretty looking plans AND erase them and change them on the fly.
  4. Share your plans with supply teachers, admin or support teachers quickly.
    Rather than worrying about re-writing or typing out your plans, you can simply give other people access to the document(s).
digital teacher planner google slides google sheets retro

My experience with online teacher planners

I have used ALL three of the planners I listed above and loved them all for different reasons. Now, I stick with my Goodnotes planner and use my Sheets planner for supply plans. I love the organization and flexibility both of these planners give me.

I also LOVE impressing admin in meetings when they ask a question they don’t think I’d be able to answer immediately (e.g., when have you called parents?) and I pull out my iPad, click on the page and answer it. It’s impressive and it feels good to finally be the teacher that has her sh*t together.

online teacher planner two goodnotes/notability ipad and tablet options

Ready to try a digital teacher planner for yourself?

If you’re ready to make the switch from paper to digital, take a look at the planner options I have below. Google slides/sheets for those who prefer computer planning or don’t have a tablet OR Goodnotes for my iPad/tablet friends!

Google Drive Planner (Slides & Sheets included)

Goodnotes Planner Undated

Goodnotes Planner Dated

Want more teacher organization tips?

Check out my blog post on creating a morning routine that WORKS here.

Or, follow me on Instagram for daily tips.

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I’m Katarina and I teach elementary students in Toronto, Canada. I’m passionate about creating authentic learning experiences that students will love and remember. If you are looking to improve your classroom management and engage your students with easy-to-implement resources and tools, you’re in the right place!

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