Being a teacher, my schedule is constantly filled with meetings, phone calls, to-do lists, meetings, and did I mention…meetings? It can be tough to keep track of everything I have to do. I have tried a variety of ways to keep track of everything that I need to do: google calendar, outlook calendar, bullet journaling, happy planner, a random planner from Michaels, just keeping a to-do list.
Through all of my trials with different planners, I want to share some things I love about two of my favorites. If you are on the fence, hopefully by the end of this post, you will have gained some clarity on which planner might be best for you.
The way that the paper feels in a planner is something that I immediately notice (I know, most people don’t mind this). For me, I love to use markers, crayons, colored pencils, and pens to fill in my planner. Because of this, I don’t want the pages to bleed through. Well, lucky for me, the Erin Condren teacher planner has nice sturdy pages.
The 4theloveofPi planner has possibly even sturdier pages, and they are very high quality. The Erin Condren pages have more of a rough texture, while the 4theloveofPi planner’s pages are nice and smooth- the kind of smooth where you will want to run your hand over them several times.
Both my 4theloveofPi and my EC planner allows me to keep track of school in an organized, orderly way. When I was bullet journaling 1) I had way more free time, but 2) I had to design every single aspect of the page. It was great for me at the time, but with my current crazy schedule, I want to have a planner that I can easily fill in headings, the dates are already there and ready to go, and it will look the same every week.
Both planners have a great layout- I know where to look for everything I need, and there is a nice routine that comes with filling it in. Some of the differences between the layouts are:
The 4theloveofPi planner is extremely customizable. You can get it created to meet all of your needs. There are layouts for only one subject all the way to EIGHT! You can also get the subjects pre-printed onto your planner (which is AMAZING). Another GAME CHANGER about the 4theloveofPi planner is the fact that it has the weekends included. I love that I can use one planner for work and personal life, it keeps me super organized.
Something that has become more important to me over the years is supporting small and local businesses, if you buy a 4theloveofPi planner, you will be supporting an amazing small business, which is an amazing plus as well.
Erin Condren Layout
The Erin Condren planner is very design-focused. It is beautiful. The boxes to write in are slightly longer and thinner and the lines are closer together. (I personally like this, but if you have large handwriting, you probably won’t) The biggest difference in layout between the EC and 4theloveofPi planners (with 6 subject layouts) are the fact that EC planners have the subjects going across the top of the planner, while my 4theloveofPi planner has them going down the side. When I plan, I want to be able to look across the week at what I am doing each day, so this is something I do not like about the EC planner.
Another major difference is that the EC planner only includes Monday-Friday. If you want to use this planner for school and school only, that should work for you. However, if you are like me, and want to use one planner for everything, 4theloveofPi is the way to go.
To buy an Erin Condren planner, without making any customizations, you are looking at $55 plus shipping (unless they are running a promotion). This link can get you $10 off your planner if you create a new account (which just means, use a different e-mail address than you used if you have purchased before). You can grab different colored spirals and accessories and your bill will be run up to $100+ pretty easily. There are some great pens and stickers that you can purchase to customize your planning experience.
If you buy a 4theloveofPi planner, you are looking at a starting price of $60. You do have a lot of customizable options with this price. You also get basically any teacher page you could ever imagine needing. Click this link to see what is included. There aren’t as many “decorative accessories” available, but if you wanted something like planner stickers, you could always snag some from amazon or from Michaels. Click here to see some of my favorite planner accessories.
All in all, the price is going to be pretty similar at the end of the day if you just grab a planner, so you will have to decide if you are more focused on design or practicality (neither are the wrong choice!).
Teacher Pages and Extras
Included in the basic (no add ons) Erin Condren planner, you will get:
• Personal info
• Communication log
• Mini months
• Graph sheets
• Monthly notes and dates to remember
• Dated monthly, weekly spreads
• Additional notes after each month/weeks
• 7 checklist pages included (base option)
• 4 sticker sheets
• 3 holiday sticker sheets
• 1 Keep It Together Folder
• 1 sheet protector (base option)
• Snap-In Ruler
Included in the basic (no add ons) 4theloveofPi planner, you will get:
- •2020/2021 Year at a Glance Tracking (2-page spread)
- 2020/2021 Fillable boxes Year at a Glance (2-page spread)
- Dated monthly, weekly spreads
- Student Birthdays
- 1 Goals page
- 2 Class Schedules
- 2 Event and Trip Pages
- 4 Conference Schedule Pages
- 2 Professional Development Pages
- 2 Teacher Expenses Pages
- Pacing Guides
- Contact List and Parent Communication Pages
- Volunteer Pages
- Student Health Log pages
- Student Accommodation Pages
- Student Data Tracking Logs
- Seating Plans
- Customizable Checklists/Grading Pages
- Bullet Journal Style Pages
- Lined Notes Pages
- Easy Grader
As you can see, the benefits of what is included in both planners is very different. The Erin Condren planner comes with several accessories, where as the 4theloveofPi planner has a very teacher-centered page layout.
In the past, I have religiously used Erin Condren planners for the school year. However, 4theloveofPi has become a serious contender. Whichever direction you choose to go, you really can’t go wrong.
I would love to hear which planner you decided on!