After seven years of tweaking, I have finally finished another revision of the editable school counseling planner that I make each year. I create a printed version, a DIY version and a new interactive digital experience for apps like Goodnotes and Xodo. Let’s focus on the do-it-yourself version for those who want to print it at home and have it bound on a budget. I want to share with you some tips for setting up your DIY planner to make it the best School Counselor planner ever.
School Counselor Planner Set up & Customization
Setting up your planner is easy. You just open the editable file in powerpoint, choose the pages you want and delete the others. You can also move pages around and copy and paste as many pages as you need, in the order that you want. Once you have it the way you want it, save it as a pdf file. Next, either take the file to a local print shop, print it yourself to place in a binder, or upload the file to an online print company that will print and ship to you. You will want to choose a thicker than average paper thickness, print it front to back, and choose the type of binding that you like. For paper thickness, I go with 28lb or higher. I prefer the black coil binding. I try to catch Vista Print when they have a nice coupon code. Other times, I have used Staples online and Office Depot. If you need assistance, please leave a comment and I will answer your questions.
The year plan is crucial for our comprehensive school counseling program. It allows us to see quickly and clearly if we are including all of the elements recommended by the American School Counseling Association. At the beginning of the year, after our needs assessment, we have a counseling meeting in which we decide what topics we will teach each month. We also plan ahead for the yearly small groups that we will run and any big events or speakers we many have that year. Even if we tweak it through the year, at least we have enough time to plan for the events without any last minute rush. You can choose to start your planner at any month.
Detailed Weekly Pages for the Best School Counselor Planner
Each week at a glance page includes 15 minute intervals for easy time tracking. This is very helpful when you are trying to apply for RAMP and need a visual of your use of time.
Monthly pages keep you on track for bigger goals. They help me focus on short term goals for my counseling program.
Extra Notes Pages
I use these pages for staff meeting notes and to do lists for each month. You can choose to color the zen designs or leave them black and white. You can add as many note pages as you like after each month and put additional pages in the back for annual notes.
Zen coloring elements
Dry Erase Hack for Cover Pages
Every year I keep a list of current community partners, vendors, speakers, local social workers, mental health organizations, and any other business partners. You can also use this page for parent contact information.
Other Forms for the Best School Counselor Planner
Many of the forms included in the planners were born out of necessity and requests from counselors. For example, the small group planning page was created out of necessity one year when I needed a place to keep track of my groups. I add new requested pages each year when I update the planners. The daily planning pages with editable time slots was requested multiple times. I am always open to adding custom pages if you need something that is not already there.
Happy planning! If you don’t have the time or patience to make your own planner, you can catch my printed and bound planners every spring and summer between May and July. You might also like this post about my favorite School Counseling Hack ever.