Organizational Tools for Principals

Being a principal can be challenging, right?  However, having the right tools will help you meet those challenges and deadlines.  I like to think I am organized.  I’m sure I could do better from time to time.  I’m sure we all have a junk drawer or at least I hope I’m not the only one.  I haven’t blogged in several months.  I am staying so busy with leading a school and family events.  Therefore, I thought today would be a great day to share some tips that I have found very helpful.


I know we live in the digital age, but let’s not forget there are still things we must file and keep.  The tickler file is definitely back to the basics.  This system is like a calendar for your filing cabinet.  You have 43 folders- 31 numbered and 12 labeled with months.   Every morning, that day’s folder is pulled out and the contents placed on to the desk.  For example, if I have a PLC meeting on April 18, I can keep any handouts behind April 18.

How this looks in the desk or filing cabinet:

Since tomorrow is April 18, you would see folder 18 at the front, followed by 6-31, then May through next March.  When I empty the folder, I’ll place it at the back of the number folders, leaving the next day ready to be pulled out.


This helps you prep for the year.  It is a simple but effective system that works for planning events for the year.

I love these months and numbered files from Amazon.  They are very sturdy and will last many years.


My friend introduced me to Google Keep at the beginning of the year.  You know how when someone creates something so cool that you wish you were the genius behind it.  That is me with Google Keep.  If you are in love with sticky notes and all things digital, this is your win-win.  Google Keep will sync your notes to your Google Drive and other devices.  The image you see above is a screenshot of it on my phone.  However, I can just access Google Keep on my computer as well.  When I add something to either device, it will appear on the other devices.  I have several sticky notes in various colors depending on the topic.  Sounds cool, right?

How to access it on the computer:

1.  Click on the 9 dots in the right corner of your Google account.  
2.  It will open up a variety of items.
3.  Click on Google Keep (lightbulb)
4.  Begin creating.  It is easy!


Are you looking for a way to keep track of your parent calls? Here is a DIGITAL format in Google Drive. Tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet to quickly organize by alphabet. 

This is not just a big time saver, it literally replaces all the sticky notes and lists laying around on the top of my desk.  
Tell your admin friends about this, but this is really a great tool for teachers as well.

Alphabet Tabs at Bottom of Call Log


I love being in a school district that utilizes Google.  I keep all my schedules in one place for the entire year.  Our master schedule, Pep Rally Schedule, Technology Resources, RtI Schedule, Afternoon and Morning Duty Schedules, etc… all in Google Sheets.  The image above shows you the tabs at the bottom that allow me to toggle from one schedule to the next.  I used to keep them all separate and got smart and put them in one place within google sheets.

The form above is printed each year to remind the staff of all the tech resources or purchased programs they have access to in the school.  It is divided by subject and grade level.


Google Sheets now has checkboxes!  Can I get an amen?  I can see all the possibilities with this new feature.  Check off when items are turned in, when items are completed, inventory, etc…
1.  Create your google sheet.
2.  Insert tab
3.  Select Checkbox and place in the cell you want to have a checkbox. (currently says NEW).


Back to school tip! If you need an idea to hang door signs, here’s one that won’t break the bank. Purchased the plastic displays at Walmart. They are intended to be used on tables and stand up. I flipped it on the side and hot glued to wall. I tried super glue but hot glue worked best.

Note: print your door signs double-sided for viewing and only glue one side of the plastic frame to wall so you can insert the paper each year.

You can also order them from Amazon too.  Here is a very similar set of them on Amazon.
Stephanie McConnell

Stephanie McConnell

I’m Stephanie, and I’m the face behind Principal Principles. I’m a former principal turned educational consultant, presenter, and edupreneur. I’m obsessed with giving school leaders the tools they need to lead a successful school.

One Response

  1. Love this idea! I can't wait to try it. I would have spent so much money to create this look! Thank you for all you do to help us principals work smarter not harder

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Hi, I'm Stephanie

Hello friend! Welcome to Principal Principles. I’m Stephanie, and I’m the face behind Principal Principles. I’m a former principal turned educational consultant, presenter, and edupreneur. I’m obsessed with giving school leaders the tools they need to lead a successful school.


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