Why I’m Using a $3 Target Lesson Planner This Year

Y’all. The Dollar Spot has done it again. 

That’s right! I was there last week and picked up this SUPER ADORABLE lesson planner. 

“But why?” you might ask. 

“That thing looks like it might fall apart any minute and the paper is thin.” you might say. 

And you’d be right. The quality is not that great. The paper is cheap. The saying on the front will probably rub off the first time I slide it across my teacher table. 

But I still love it! 


Because it’s simple. 

You see, for the past two years, I have spent hours agonizing over which Erin Condren Lesson Planner cover I should choose. How many checklist sheets I need. How will I use the weekly layout? Then I’ve happily pulled out my credit card and ordered the $65+ planner. 

Which would be fine if I used it. But do I? 


Instead, I get excited on the day it arrives. I take photos. I flip through and look at all the beautiful pages. Then I take out those Date Dot Stickers and without fail I mess up some dates in all my excitement. Then I have to peel them off and rearrange them… leaving my planner looking wrinkled and ugly before I even start planning. 

(Call me crazy, but I think any planner over $50 should come with pre-dated monthly views)

Then I take the stickers from the back and stick them on the special dates of the upcoming school year… spring break, field trips, parent teacher conferences, etc.

But then something happens. I look at my planner and start to get overwhelmed. The colors on the stickers are cute, but they aren’t color coded. First world problems, I know. 

Then I start to write things in. More clutter. By the time I’m finished with filling in the August dates, I can barely stand to look at my planner! Is this crazy or what? How can an organizational tool make you feel simultaneously organized and overwhelmed? 

Then I start on the weeks. Admittedly, my school has a very strange schedule. I sometimes joke that “no two days are the same”. But it’s not a joke, it’s true. No two days at my school are the same… so it’s been challenging for me to figure out exactly how to work in the weekly layout. Even though I LOVE IT. 

Finally, after I’ve dragged my bulky, two-pound planner around for a few weeks, I’ll go to a faculty meeting and flip to the graph paper section, only to have everything fall out of the back pocket. And that’s when I stop using it. 

It’s usually the second week in September. 

Now don’t get me wrong. I LOVE the Erin Condren Lesson Planner. I really do. It’s beautiful, customizable, and has everything you could need as a teacher! It just doesn’t work for me. 

Maybe next year, I’ll feel up to giving the ECLP another try. 

But this year, I’m excited to save myself $62 (plus shipping) and stick with my $3 Target lesson planner with the white plastic coil and the cardboard cover 🙂

Have you tried the ECLP and found that it wasn’t for you? Or do you love yours and use it religiously? Share your thoughts below! 

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