One of the biggest ways I stay organized in my day-to-day is with color. Yes, I’m a massive color-coder and I’m a firm believer that color coding makes everything pretty and easy to decipher. There are plenty of reasons to have a plan, but today I want to talk about how to develop a color-coding system.
I really started color-coding back in college, when I was attempting to do Mary Kay. At the time, I was in school (taking five classes), had a part-time job, did Mary Kay, was working on publishing my darn book, oh and I ran this blog. Color-coding allowed me to write down notes, but not have to write down what specifically they were related to. I could write down a task like “read pages 50-90” and know exactly what class it was for based on the ink (I was a creative writing minor, almost all my classes had reading assignments).A color-coding system might be exactly what you need to get #organized. Click To Tweet
Color-coding for me was a shorthand in a busy mess (I need to find my first Day Designer and see how bad it was).
I’ve been color-coding in my planners for about five years now, and for the most part my colors have stayed the same. Depending on classes, I had more colors. During my time in politics, every campaign I was on had its own color (I was blowing through 20 packs of pens like it was the end of the world), but for the most part – the aspects of my life that have stayed the same have the same colors they did when I started.
When you get started with a color-coding plan, start with something smart. Think of things you need to track: job, blog, project, dates, appointments, etc. Then you’ll want to think of colors that you can associate with each. For instance, you might do green for money-making things, like your work hours or payday, because we like getting green in our bank account. On the other side of that equation, red works for bills because you’re losing money on those bills.
After you’ve established the basics like that, think about what else you have in your life and what colors you associate it with. I always use blue ink for blog related things because blue has been such a big color for my blog. The key to making sure you remember your color-coding is to pick colors you already associate with that subject.
If you need to write down a legend for your color-coding, do so. Tape it in your planner if you need to. Eventually you’ll know your colors well enough that you’ll just reach for the pens and know what color you need (if you need a good set of colored pens, these are my favorites).
Take the color coding system with you in a digital aspect, if you can. In Todoist and Trello, I try to match my colors up with the colors in my Day Designer as much as possible. Oh, and my digital calendar on my phone also meets the same color coding scheme (I may take it a little bit overboard, but still, be consistent).
Color-coding is a great way to keep everything organized and have some fun with planning your life, too.