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One of the best things I ever did to get my life organized was getting a planner. I write down everything: to-do lists, due dates for bills, blog details, appointments, etc. I used to joke that if it doesn’t get written down, it won’t happen. It’s much less of a joke now, and more total truth. I have loved getting everything in order. I get so much more accomplished every day. Now, I’m taking that organization to a whole new level, and I’m going to share it with you: planner color coding!
It might sound a little over the top at first, but for me it’s a perfect solution to seeing how my day needs to go. At one glance I can see my priorities jump out at me, who needs to be where, and when it all needs to happen.
Supplies You’ll Need for Color-Coding Your Planner
You don’t need any fancy supplies or printables that use up all of your expensive printer ink. All you need is your planner and a few pretty pens! It doesn’t need to be a fancy planner (if it is that’s fantasic!), but you do need great pens. I love using my Happy Planner, and you can see why I love it so much in this post.
The pens you use should have vibrant ink that make your appointments stand out to you and catch your eye. As long as I can remember, I have been a total pen lover, and the Pilot G2 pens have always been my favorite. I love their wide variety of ink colors, which is perfect for color-coding your planner! There are even have metallic inks, and I totally need to find those! They write so smoothly, and they’ve been proven to last longer than any other gel pen.
These amazing pens also come in four different point sizes, because everyone has their own preferences. I love the .7, so while I was grabbing this set of gorgeous fashion barrels for me, I found a package of the .5 for Hubs as a surprise.
How to Color-Code Your Planner
Color coding your planner is simple to do. Look at everything you write in your planner, and break it up into categories. You could have as many categories as you want. You can keep it simple with just home, work, and personal, or morning, afternoon, evening. You could add in more details like family, meal planning, etc. Don’t think you have enough to categorize? Here are a few idea starters:
- For bloggers: social media, post editing, link parties, promotions, payments, blog categories, etc.
- For educators/homeschoolers: different subjects, tests, regular homework, due dates, class periods, extracurricular activities, etc.
- For moms: each family member, kids, spouse, housework, meal planning, kid activities, bill due dates, etc.
- For those getting fit: water tracking, workouts, food log, cheat meals, daily habits, daily activities (like steps), etc.
Now that you’ve got your categories sorted out, here comes the really fun part! Pick a different colored pen for each category. Make a key that shows you which color is assigned the categories and keep that handy. Maybe it goes in the middle of your week as an insert (a sticky note would work well) or gets taped to your desk. You probably won’t need it for too long, once you get in the groove of color-coding your planner you won’t think twice about which color goes with the categories.
What Color-Coding Your Planner Looks Like
Here is what an average week looks like. I can schedule my workouts in the morning before the kids get up (purple), and get in a little blogging work (turquoise). I plan a little morning activity to do with my son (blue). I know what needs done round the house (dark green) and when a bill is due (red). Meals are planned in maroon, and my daily habits are also in purple (my personal color). I can see when Hubs is working. We even have family activities planned for the weekend (light green).
Since everyone uses a different style planner, this is what a similar week looks like using a regular horizontal planner.
Bonus tip: When I write things in my planner, I add a box next to the item so that I can check it off and know that it got done. To me, scratching things out looks messy, and gives things a chaotic look. I also use black ink to check off everything. I love a little color contrast!
If you don’t have that many different ink colors, run out to Walmart to grab some Pilot G2s! I can’t seem to make it through the store without running through the craft section and the office supplies every time I go. You can find the G2 pens at the front of the store in the back-to school section (that’s where I found the pens for Hubs), and back in the office supplies (where I found those oh-so-pretty fashion barrels).
Color-coding your planner can help you reach your goals!
Now that you’re all super-organized, you’re that much closer to getting your goals! Yes, organization totally helps you grab those achievements! And speaking of goals, check out this great advice from Shonda Rhimes: