A paper planner is this traveling SLP’s jam. There is nothing better than a brand new planner at the beginning of the year, just waiting to be written in. I tried the whole phone calendar thing, but I prefer to see everything written out in my handwriting with colored pens. Who else is with me? Plus, I am that weirdo that likes reading actual books (not on a device) and jotting down “to do” on bright colored sticky notes.
But I use my planner for more than just my kids’ events and due dates for bills. I also use my planner to keep track of Speech Chick Therapy. Let me tell you what I keep in my planner to help me with my business.
SCHEDULE: Obviously, the first thing I do each month is write my schedule down. At the beginning of the month, I usually only fill in the first week. Just in case there are changes in the month, I don’t want to make a mess in my calendar. I write in pen because I keep my calendar for documentation of attendance and other important things. If you write in pencil, a year later it could be difficult to read. I also use an EMR system (electronic medial records) but I don’t always have access to it on the road. Each morning, I look over my schedule and make sure I have planned for each client on it.
ATTENDANCE: Since my schedule is already in my planner, this is where I keep attendance. I check off if the visit was completed, and I made a note if the session was cancelled or a “no show.” This way I when I go to complete notes and billing, I can just pull out my planner. Could I do this on my EMR? Yes, but some of the areas that I work in doesn’t always have WiFi or cell service.
PAYMENT: I even keep track of who has paid for their sessions and who hasn’t. The only thing I haven’t perfected is the insurance billing part of it. That’s where I am hoping my SLP planner will help out! (It will be coming to TpT January 2020!!)
THERAPY PLANNING: This part is very minimal! I basically write the weekly themes on the monthly calendar pages so that I can make sure I have the correct themes falling on the right weeks. For instance, I usually do a Valentine’s Day theme the week before the actual holiday. But it also depends on when the holiday falls in the week too. I need a calendar to keep track of that.
I have recently started figuring my conversion rate. As a small private practice SLP, each visit is important to my bottom line. At the end of the week, it’s nice to see that maybe only 3 sessions were cancelled. I also like to make a note at the end of the month if there was something significant that lead to multiple cancellations such as the flu or strep. Again, this will also be a feature in my new SLP planner.
Having a paper planner is easy for me to flip through to find the information I need at any point. Then again, I am that odd person who likes to feel the pages of the book I am reading. Flipping pages makes me feel like I have my life together! (Let’s be honest I am really not that much more organized with a paper planner but I can pretend!). I’d love to know-are you a paper planner or a digital planner?