Planning the school day is the key to a successful day of teaching. Everyone is happier if the day flows in a structured fashion, with everything prepared and ready to go. Here is the template I use for lesson planning. I color code with orange for math, purple for language arts, blue for extras, green for breaks, and white for cross-curricular work.
I have found that the key to great planning is a well-planned lesson template. I have tried many lesson planners, from paper to digital, and, without a doubt, I have found that my favorite planning device is my own template that I make using Excel.
By using excel I can make the template exactly as I want it; tailor-made for me. When the template is ready to go, I can then easily plan each week by copying the template to a new sheet, adding the date on the bottom tab, and then filling in the blanks. This entire process takes about 2 minutes. And voila! The lesson plan is made just like that! Quick, easy, and painless. Well worth the few hours it will take for the initial setup.