Customized Academic Planners

Creating tools to help kids get and stay organized.

Lesley Schwartz Martin, Founder and Professional Teen Organizer

More than ten years ago, I began teaching social studies to high school students on a block schedule. I made it a goal to spot-check whether they were writing down my assignments. Sadly, I discovered that the kids who hadn't forgotten their planners were struggling to find a place to record all of their assignments. Students were failing to turn in their homework not out of blatant disregard but because they were muddled about how and where to keep track of it.

I have since left the classroom and now tutor teens one-on-one. Over the past four years I've applied my understanding of how schools operate, as well as a few tried-and-true methods for creating order, to impart the organization and time-management skills that no one just magically possesses. Still, I've encountered many kids, particularly on block schedules, who are mixed up about their homework or lost when it comes to making the most of their time. Why? Their generic agendas provide space, but not enough structure, to manage a teenís dynamic schedule.

My desire to help those kids (and my frustration that a better organizer didn't exist!) drove me to develop ClassTracker. Several of my clients took it for a test-drive three years ago, and I immediately saw a shift in how they approached school. Writing down assignments became easy, because a ClassTracker provides specific and spacious places to record them. The design generates nightly "to-do" lists and flags heavier and lighter homework nights. As their grades improved, kids credited their planners for setting them on the right path. Now being used by over 5,000 students, ClassTracker planners are a "must-have" accessory for every student.

In 2006, I teamed up with author Samantha Moss to write Where's My Stuff: The Ultimate Teen Organizing Guide. The book shows teens (and often their parents) how to be organized at school, at home and on the go.