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I blog on Brain-Based Learning, Metacognition, EdTech, and Social-Emotional Learning. I am the author of the Crush School Series of Books, which help students understand how their brains process information and learn. I also wrote The Power of Three: How to Simplify Your Life to Amplify Your Personal and Professional Success, but be warned that it's meant for adults who want to thrive and are comfortable with four letter words.

How to Pick the Right School Planner for Your Teen

The right school planner can make a big difference in your child’s learning, productivity, and organization. This is especially true if you a parent of teens. However, not all planners are equal.

 right student planner

Actually, if you look at standard planners, they are kind of equal. If you buy one brand, the cover color might differ but the guts are all the same. Even between different brands, most planners are similar. That’s a problem. Just as your kids wear the clothes that fit their style, they should have a planner they buy into. Buy in is why they’ll use it. If it’s just another lame thing we encourage (read: force) them to use, they won’t.

Thus, my suggestion is… Don’t go to the store. Don’t buy the planner yourself. Ask your teen to go online, find a vendor, and customize the planner to fit who he or she is.

I found one such vendor online called Plum Paper, which seems to offer the best combination of price, versatility, and customization. There are 3 sizes to pick from, various cover designs, horizontal and vertical layouts, and other inside-of-the-planner personalization. Check it out here. It will cost you $25+.

I looked on Amazon and found it hard to recommend a planner because none could be customized to both fit your teens needs and preferences. I liked this one because it is only $8.95, allows for planning for up to 7 school classes, has colorful pages, and a cool cover.

Again, I think that the more your son or daughter can make the planner “their own” the more likely are they to use and benefit from it.

If you’re a teacher, consider the Intentional Educator Planner developed by Nicollete James an English teacher and instructional coach from New York. You can pick between elementary and middle/high school layouts and 8 cover designs. What I especially like is that the planner includes weekly prompts to reflect on your teaching practice and prompts to assess your effectiveness and improve as a professional. You can find it here.


Just a quick reminder that Crush School Student Guide, my new learning how to learn hands-on guide for teens, is now available on Amazon.

You can find it here.

And you can share it with other teachers and parents of teens by clicking the share links below.

You have the power to change lives. Use it often so they can change the world.