How to Color Code Your Planner so You Will Love Using It

I love color coding my planner. It helps me plan my week and lets me know at a glance what kinds of things I need to do next. Plus it makes my planner a little more exciting and fun 🙂


How to color code your planner so you will actually use it


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I’ve tried a few different methods and it’s taken some time but I finally found the right approach. If you’ve never tried color coding or are trying to find the right method for you, here are a few tips and tricks.


Color Coding Supplies

There are all kinds of supplies available to help you. A good tip to remember is, try choosing colors that are readily available so you can mix and match easily and keep everything coordinated.

  • Pens (love these)
  • Highlighters (my favorites)
  • Stickers/Washi tape
  • Sticky notes/tabs/flags
  • Paper and binder clips


Color Coding Methods

  • Category or task-based: Probably the most popular method for color coding. Just assign a different color to each of the main things you plan.
  • Time-based: When you jot down each task based on how long it’s going to take, regardless of what category the task belongs to.
  • People based: use a different color for each person. Using their favorite color is a great starting place.
  • Level of importance: Use a different color based on how important the task is. This form of color coding tells you at-a-glance, where to start with the day.
  • Work or business based: Assign each the areas of your business a different color. For example, meetings = blue, deadlines = red, projects = green, clients = orange, etc. 
  • Blogging:  Assign each the areas of your blog a different color. For example, posts = green, emails = orange, social media = blue, income/expenses = purple, etc. 
  • School-based: Assign a color to each subject.


How Many Colors Should I Use?

I recommend 5-8 colors. Any more than that might be a little confusing to coordinate, especially if you’re using multiple planners and supplies.

Try to choose colors that are available in multiple forms like pens, highlighters, washi tape, etc.  Some of the most common colors are:

  • Blue
  • Aqua
  • Light Green
  • Dark Green
  • Pink
  • Orange
  • Light Purple
  • Dark Purple


How I Color Code My Planner

Currently, I use 5 colors and organize everything by category. It’s all I need and works really well for me.

  • Light purple – home and personal tasks
  • Light green – blog tasks and everything related to the Krafty Owl
  • Orange – The Krafty Planner Club updates and tasks
  • Light blue – income and expenses
  • Yellow – work tasks


More Tips…

  • Keep a list of the colors you’re using for each thing in the front of your planner to serve as a reminder until you get the hang of which colors are used for what.
  • Once you choose colors they’re not set in stone. You can always change and adapt your planning system later.
  • Don’t put stuff in your planner that doesn’t need to be there.
  • If you’re a student, record due dates for assessment in a different color (such as red!)
  • Planners should be functional first, pretty second! Make sure the planner you choose has enough room to record everything you need.
  • Don’t put too much in your planner – if you ‘dump’ too much in there you’re going to get overwhelmed and feel like you haven’t accomplished anything.
  • Be consistent – if you find you’re not using your planner, try a different approach.


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Maria is a full-time blogger, graphic designer, crafter and bullet journalist. She loves spending time with her family and creating printables and projects to share on her blog, the Krafty Owl.
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Maria is a full-time blogger, graphic designer, crafter and bullet journalist. She loves spending time with her family and creating printables and projects to share on her blog, the Krafty Owl.

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