Teachers require planning and organization to keep track of lessons and homework. Planbook for Mac's specialized features may appeal to a limited number of users, but the program offers few functions not available in other, freely available calendar and to-do programs.
Planbook for Mac is available as a free trial version, which limits the user to only 20 lessons for every course entered; the full version requires a payment of $34.99. At only 3.5MB, the program quickly downloads and installs, albeit without its own setup program. At startup, it prompts the user to either enter a license for the full version, or start in trial mode. No instructions appeared available and it was not obvious if users could rely on any technical support. The initial screen, while fairly cluttered, is intuitive and allows users to enter the courses they are currently teaching, along with the days they take place. After this screen, the user is taken to a new screen where lesson plans, homework, materials, and daily schedules may be entered. It does not appear easy to navigate between the initial and more detailed screens. Users can also link to the Web or attach documents, such as lecture outlines, to each class. All of the functions worked well, but most could be accomplished through other Web-based calendaring applications.
While functional, Planbook for Mac will only appeal to those teachers who require formal, computer-based lesson planning and cannot find enough utility from freely available calendar applications.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of Planbook for Mac 4.1.