Hi guys! Today I just wanted to discuss how and why I color-code my planner as well as a couple different methods of doing so. As a family of 3 (soon to be 4) with business and household stuff to manage, I needed a method of keeping track of things without needing to write everything out word for word. I started color-coding pretty early on. It has allowed me to plan out my days/weeks/months more efficiently. There’s several methods of color-coding and not one single way is the right way. It all depends on what your needs are.
For me personally, I color-code by family member and subject. Here’s what my colors look like:
- Baby on the Way-Yet to be determined
- Other Family Members-Brown
- My Etsy/Blog Business-Purple
- My Photography Business- Pink (currently on the back-burner)
A couple of my colors changed when I switched from a paper planner to a digital planner but they’ve mostly stayed the same over the years. The benefit to color-coding by family member is that you can easily write in your day to day schedules. My husband and I both work and my son goes to daycare part time. To note these days, I just make a filled in circle for each person on the days they work/go to daycare. This is also great for appointments and extracurriculars. Instead of having to write out who’s appointment, I just write “doc appt- 9:40” in the appropriate color. The same could be done for extracurriculars.
Household stuff is typically black unless that particular chore has been assigned to one of us specifically. For example, I work on the weekends which is when we order our groceries (Walmart Grocery Pickup is sooo great!). So on Saturday, one of us or both of us will get on the app and add the things we need (this is written in black since both of us can do this). Then we schedule pickup for Sunday. My husband always does the pickup so instead of writing this in black, this is written in blue. During busier times, I’ve also color-coded each nights planned meal to show who was cooking it since we both share the task of cooking. This would correlate with our work schedules. Currently we are both taking a back-seat and working less, so there isn’t a big need to assign the task so I simply write it in black for now.
My system works great for families. For people without a family, it makes less sense to use this method.
Another method is color coding by urgency. Red could be for the tasks that are most important on your to do list, orange could be for somewhat important tasks and green could be for tasks that you want to do but could put off another day.
A third method is color coding by subject. For example, work would be assigned one color, hobbies another, self-care another, school another, household chores another, etc. Similar to this, if you were in school taking multiple different classes at once, you could color-code each subject then have a color for yourself, etc. The possibilities are endless.
The great thing is that you can decide what works best for you and your situation. If you have a family, the first method might work the best. If you don’t have a family, one of the other methods would probably make more sense. You can even combine different methods. You just have to figure out what your needs are. It’s important to establish a system that works for you. This will definitely make life a little easier to manage. Just make sure you write your color key down, at least at first.
As for planner supplies, I’ve switched my pen brands up a couple times. My most favorite pens to plan with are Paper Mate Inkjoy Quatro multicolored pens. My reasoning is simple, you can get eight colors out of two pens. The classic pen offers the colors black, green, blue and red. The second pen offers the colors pink, purple, lime green and turquoise. These pens are also smooth to write with, don’t bleed through and offer a consistently great writing experience. You can even buy the two different color styles of the pen together. Check them out on Amazon HERE. When I was using a paper planner, I would keep at least two sets of the pens. One set for home, the other set would go to work with me. Now that I use a digital planner, I still love these pens because i do still color code things when I write anything down. I also use them at work to color-code things. The convenience of only needing to carry two pens can’t be beat!
Let’s face it, a colorful planner is a beautiful thing and definitely makes planning that much more exciting!