I was given one last year by my GTP employing school but I didn't really use it that much, in fact I only really used it to keep track of my class' homework.
There were a couple of reasons why I didn't use it that much. The first was that it was only A5 sized. I know that doesn't sound like a good enough reason not to use it but I'm quite particular about things like this and the fact it wasn't A4 didn't really wash with me - I just didn't feel there was enough room to put everything I needed. The second reason, leading on from the first, was that I planned all my lessons on an electronic lesson plan template, and these were planned in depth throughout the year. So, as I was putting an in depth lesson on an electronic format and then printing off for each lesson, making notes on the print out and storing for later reflections etc, I didn't see the point in then putting brief information of each lesson in the planner?! When planning in advance I just used a scrap piece of paper to plan the next day/s lessons and then would cross them off once completed in full electronically.
However, this year I already have a lot of lessons planned in depth to work from/tweak/borrow parts from/adapt for different year groups/sets. So, I feel it is going to be useful to put details of each lesson in the planner and then go to my saved lesson plans from last year and adapt as needed. There is another reason this will work...I have been given an A4 planner this year (HOORAY).
Another reason is that I am tutor to a year 8 group this year and even though I was a joint tutor to a year 12 group last year I wasn't really required to do that much as my colleague had a hold on everything that was going on.
I feel the planner will be equally important to record my tutor group information as it will be my teaching.
Last year there were a few occasions where I wasn't aware of certain trips until a reminder e-mail was sent round a week in advance and so this year I will make a point of jotting down all dates/reminders/deadlines/meetings etc in the planner to really keep track of EVERYTHING that is going on and that myself, my tutor group or my students need to know.
Here's my new planner (I'm geekily excited about this)...
I've already written in all the dates up to the half-term and my corresponding teaching periods/PPA. I've added my class lists to the back and my timetable and have even started putting in all the #NQTtips I have seen on Twitter or elsewhere on the web - this is mainly so when I look back through my planner throughout the year I'll remember everything I've read over the past few weeks.