Why Do You Need a School Counselor Planner?
As a school counselor, I am always looking to improve my efficiency and organization. Although I consider myself to be pretty tech-savvy, I prefer to use an old school paper planner when it comes to my daily schedule. I love having a printed planner that I can easily add events to without having to rely on technology. I also like being able to quickly write (and reschedule!) events in my planner that sits right on my desk.
I decided to make my own School Counselor Planner after trying out several store-bought planners. Although they looked pretty, they did not help me stay organized and I found that I quickly stopped using them. Because I have always had a knack for organization and design, I wanted to create a planner with a clean and simple design that only contained the features that I needed.
I created the perfect School Counselor Planner to help counselors stay organized! One thing that makes my planner unique is that I offer FREE yearly updates. If you purchase my planner on TPT, simply re-download the file each year and you will have access to the updated planner for FREE!
FYI: I named my planner “School Counselor Planner” simply because I am a school counselor. However, my planner is perfect for anyone who is looking for a daily planner with a simple, clean design. If you are a school social worker, school psychologist, or educator, this planner will be great for you, too!
(Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission when someone makes a purchase through one of my links, which helps support my blog. All opinions are my own.)
What is Included?
The School Counselor Planner is a practical, ink-saving weekly planner designed for documenting individual sessions, groups, classroom lessons, meetings, and more!
Add your personal style to your planner by choosing one of the 40 customizable covers. The planner has a clean, modern design to allow your events to stand out. Each two-page spread contains a weekly view for you to document your daily events. The day is divided into 15 minute intervals (7:00-4:00) with additional space to record events before and after school.
In addition to being a weekly planner, this product also contains 16 types of bonus pages to help you stay organized for the year:
- Monthly Calendars with 1-page and 2-page spread options (editable)
- Sticky Note “To Do” Pages (editable)
- Daily School Schedule (editable)
- Curriculum Maps (editable)
- Year at a Glance (12 month view) (editable)
- Goal Setting Pages
- Reflections for Next Year
- Self Care Pages: Favorite Quotes, Feelings Tracker, Stress Relief Coloring
- Lined Note Pages
- Phone Call Log
- Daily Planning Page
The School Counselor Planner comes with 40 cover designs. There is a wide variety of covers to choose from — flowers, geometric designs, boho designs, animals, motivational quotes, and more! You can quickly print your favorite cover from the included PDF file, or you can customize your cover with your name and title using the editable PowerPoint file.
Printing Your Planner
The School Counselor Planner is a digital file, so you will need to choose how you would like to print and bind it. I like to print the inside pages of my planner at work since they are already greyscale images and I do not need colored ink.
Over the years, I have experimented with different paper for my planner. Traditional copy paper that you have at school will work great for the pages. I use Flair Pens to write in my planner and they barely show through. For the past 2 years, I have used Premium Printer Paper (28 lb) because it is a bit thicker than the paper we have at school. It works very well for the pages, but it is not a necessity.
The nice thing about printing your own planner is that you can decide exactly how many of each page you need. For example, I like to print 10 notes pages, 6 phone call logs, and 1 reflection page. Simply print more or less of each page to meet your needs!
I print my custom cover at Office Max because their print quality is much better than what I could print at home or school. If you have never used their print services on their website, it is very easy! Simply upload your image, choose the paper type, and choose full color or black and white. I like to have my cover printed on 110 lb card stock for extra durability. In addition, I like to choose a cover for the back of my planner since I use a clear cover on top of it. Here is a screenshot of the options I choose:
Binding Your Planner
When it comes to binding your planner, there are several options to choose from. Some counselors like to hole punch their planner and put it in a binder, so they can add pages to it throughout the school year. Other counselors like to use a disc binding system to allow the removal and addition of pages.
Personally, I always choose to use spiral binding at Office Max because it makes the planner look professional and it is a great size to be able to take to meetings or toss in my bag each day. Since I print all of my inside pages at work, I simply take them with me to Office Max when I go to pick up my colored covers.
When you use their custom binding option, you can also choose a front and back plastic cover to protect your planner. They have several options to choose from. I always choose to use a clear, frosted plastic cover for both the front and the back. I like using the clear cover for the back because it allows me to add a colored back cover just for fun.
Wondering how much all of this costs? It is cheaper than you would think. Here is the cost break-down for my planner this year:
2 Colored Covers on 110 lb Card Stock: $1.30
Coil Binding: $2.99
2 Clear Frosted Covers: $1.58
Inside pages printed at school: Free!
Total Cost: $5.87
Helpful hint: Make sure you use Ebates any time you shop online! Right now, Office Max is offering 4% back, which means you instantly get money back just by clicking on the Ebates link before you order your printing services through Office Max.
Inside the School Counselor Planner
The School Counselor Planner contains many types of pages to help you stay organized throughout the school year! Here is a photo and a quick description of some of the pages.
Perhaps the most important pages of the planner are the weekly schedule pages. These pages are already customized with the months and dates and are ready for you to write in all of your daily events. Each week is designed as a two-page spread for a peek at the week. The days are divided into 15 minute intervals (7:00-4:00) with additional space to record events before and after school.
I do my best to color code my daily events so I can peek at my week and see my schedule at a glance. I love using Papermate Flair Pens because their colors are bright, the ink is smooth, and they hardly bleed through the page. Here is the color coding system I use:
Blue: Small Groups
Green: Classroom Lessons
Pink: Special Events
Pencil: Individual student sessions (I always write these in pencil because they are most frequently re-scheduled!)
See the little box below each day? It is one of my favorite spots in the planner because it is perfectly sized for Post-It Notes. Often, I write my “to do” list for each day on a tiny Post-It and then re-locate it to the next day if all of the tasks do not get completed!
Weekly Checklist and Follow Up Boxes
The checklist and follow up boxes can be used in a variety of ways:
- List the names of students you need to schedule for the week
- Create a To Do list for the week
- Document phone calls or follow up appointments with teachers and students
Year At A Glance and Monthly Calendars
I like to use the Year at a Glance page for staff birthdays, but it could be used for recording school events. I use the monthly view for major school events and tasks to complete each month.
Post-It Note To Do Pages
The Post-It Note To Do Pages are some of the most frequently used pages in my planner! In the first image, you will see the page that I use to simply store my Post-It Notes. I keep about 10 of each style in a stack, which allows me to easily pull one out of my planner at meetings. The second image shows the editable Post-It Note page that is included with the planner. You can customize the headings above each box to say anything you’d like!
Goal Setting Pages
Need a quick spot to write down your yearly goals? Jot them down right in your planner! I duplex these two pages with each other. On one side, I list my short-term and long-term goals for the year. On the other side, I pick a few goals and break them down into manageable action steps.
Phone Call Log
I created this page after I realized that I was always taking notes on random Post-It Notes when I talked with guardians or caseworkers on the phone. Now, I jot down brief notes from the call directly in my planner, which makes them very easy to find!
Notes and Reflections Pages
I keep these pages at the back of my planner to allow me to have an easy spot to record notes throughout the school year. I use the reflection page to record any thoughts about areas I would like to improve or change the following school year.
School Counselor Planner Bonus Pages
Feedback from Other Counselors
I am so grateful that my planner has been helpful to other counselors! Here is some of the feedback I have gotten from counselors:
“This is my favorite TPT purchase to date. I am so in love with the options given and having access to free yearly updates makes this even more worth it. I am already preparing for next school year and this is super fun and customizable. I so appreciate this product because I am really picky when it comes to planners. I say if you are considering this purchase, definitely go for it.”
“I love this planner! I have been using it for about three years now. This is by far the best purchase I’ve ever made on TPT! I love having access to the yearly updates, and get so excited about the different cover page options each year. Love, love, love everything about this!”
“I downloaded this planner and had it printed through my district print shop for less than $5. BEST decision ever. I love the simple setup of each week. I’m an elementary school counselor and this resource has proved to be a great way to make sure I’m staying on top of things while I run around the building! Looking forward to any updates and using this again next school year 🙂 2021 UPDATE: I am so impressed with this planner and its simplicity and flexibility. Last year I used the “ready to print” option, and this year I wanted to personalize it a little bit more to my own needs and goals. Kate made it SUPER easy to do this. I’m picking up my new planner from the print shop today!”
“I love the layout of this planner! Most planners with the times like this sacrifice the ‘to do’ space that is so crucial – those little boxes as well as the column on the right (perfect for individual students on your weekly caseload) make this awesome.”
Looking for more help with organization?
Want to read more tips about organization? Check out these posts:
- Google Docs for School Counselors
- School Counselor Office Tour
- How to Organize Your School Counseling Library
Here are a few of my favorite organization resources: