3 Benefits of Color Coding Your Planner

October 3

After choosing the planner you want to use and having some basic ideas of what to include, you might like to consider organizing even more by color coding your planner. Doing this could involve using colored pens, highlighters, or stickers to make each section or item a different color.

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Color coding your planner is a great idea. I always keep a color coded planner on me as a sort of track of all the events and tasks I need to complete. When I make lists of things to do, they are usually in some sort of order, but sometimes there are items that fall under different categories and I want to remember which ones they belong to.


Having a sense of order is exactly why I use color. Well, and because it is fun, too. I mean, check out all the fun things you could use to do your color coding:

Color coding may seem like the most basic planner hack, but it's also the best because it makes your life easier. Having to write down your tasks in various colors can feel like an unnecessary chore, but it ends up actually saving you time in the long run. Color coding your planner helps you get organized and see what's written down at a glance so you don't forget anything important.


Here are some of the benefits of developing your own coding system. Plus, I'll share some of my favourite tools. 

Color coding Increases Organization

The whole point of your planner is to keep your life more organized, so why not organize the planner as well?


When you look at your daily planner and see a ton of text all in the same color pen, it tends to blend together. If you want to focus on certain things or have a better idea of what is related to finances, home, family, work, or other areas of your life, it helps to use colors for each area. There are many ways to color code different sections of the planner to make it more effective.


Color coding is a great way to keep yourself organized. If you use highlighters to mark key points in your planner, you could use a different color highlighter for different things. For example, if you're highlighting what you must do that day, use a different color than if you're marking what you could do the next day. Doing so will help you stay organized and reduce overwhelm.


"To color code your planner, you first need to know what you're actually planning in your planner." allaboutplanners.com.au


If you're just starting out using color coding, it may take some time to get used to it. But once you do, you will find that it boosts your productivity. One of the uses of color coding is categorizing your tasks. For example, if you have a medical appointment, you can use a different color or a planner sticker so you recognise it.


If you have a daily to-do list, you could use different colors to rank tasks in order of importance. The higher-priority tasks might be in blue, while the lower priority (but still important) tasks might be in purple.


Color quickly allows you to see what tasks you are looking at, and have a super-fast reference for various types of things. If you are just looking for an appointment or a bill that is due, you can just look for the color you used to label these types of entries in your planner, and find it right away. It really comes in handy when you're in a hurry and have a lot going on in your planner.


"The point is to make the colored items pop into your eyes the moment you open your planner so you could take whatever action you need on them accordingly." cutelittlepaper.com

Color Coding Planners is Fun

Color coding your planner isn't just about organization, it's about getting really creative with your planning tool. Do you want to color-code for a variety of purposes? It could be that you want to color-code for aesthetics, or maybe you're using a color-coded system to help you better manage your schedule and tasks. Either way, the right planning tools can help you turn a stressful planning process into a fun, colorful creative outlet. You'd be surprised how creative you can get with a sticky note.


You could even have a different color theme for each month! There are tons of people who share their planner layouts online. I've found you a few, check these out:

"Before you start randomly assigning colors to events or tasks on your calendar first realize that different colors represent different things to our brains. Knowing that colors mean different things to different people isn't exactly groundbreaking. The color concept has been used for years in advertising and marketing." calendar.com

Don't forget that using your planner shouldn't feel like homework. By color coding, it is an easy way to make the entire process more enjoyable for you. Instead of a calendar page with nothing but black text that looks boring and is hard to see how your life is organized, you can use color and make it prettier to look at.

Keeping Areas of Your Life Separate

Another excellent benefit of color coding in your planner is to help keep different areas of your life (and schedule) separate. It might get confusing when you are filling out task lists when it is all written in black. If these tasks aren't necessarily related or even for the same goals one day, it can make it easier to use different colored pens for each type of task on the to-do list.


Sure, some people use multiple planners for separate parts of their life. But this can get super confusing. I've tried it and felt like I spent more time jumping around different planners than I did actually getting anything done.


By using color, I find I am able to get more information in one place because it doesn't all blur into one black ink mess. So, my business and personal life are less likely to get lost or mixed up.

How to color code your planner

You can color code anything and everything in your planner. So, you might change the pen color when making a to-do list, use stickers or highlighters for certain sections on the calendar pages, or even separate the planner into sections based on the color of the pages.


"Consider using colored post-its if you find yourself regularly not getting things done on a certain day, so you can move the post-its around instead of crossing off and re-writing all over your planner." waylos.com


If you're not quite sure where to start, here are a few categories you might like to assign a color to:

  • Family
  • Hobbies
  • Health & exercise
  • Work
  • Business
  • School
  • Social
  • Kids
  • Errands
  • 10-minute tasks
  • Projects
  • Cleaning & Household
  • Expenses and money
  • Self-care