5 tips for using color coding in your planner

Why should you use color coding? You can tell me "don't make my life complicated, I don't want to have lot of color pens..."

It is difficult! 

I was looking for a daily page, where I used color coding for different tasks, but I didn't found any. It is, because, I use that page the whole day, in different places in my flat, and away from home also. I am a very unorganized person, and I'm tending to create lot of categories, and I'm happy, if I have only one pen with me, not all colors I should need! So, I write here with the pen, what I find. But today, I found the solution!

Tip 1: use color coding after listing!

As usual, write the tasks (or anything) only with that color, that you have by hand, and if you are on the right place at your desk, with all of your staff, make the color coding! I have done it with my Frixion colors markers. I am using purple for work, blue for myself, orange for family.

Tip 2: use marker dots!

As I don't want bring all my pens with me, when I left home, I have in my compact size on-the-go Filofax only one black pen, and marker dots (like these), I write in black, and add colored dots to different things. Because it is only calendar, I mark: who is involved, if it is home or not, and info is only an opportunity - if we should go somewhere. Red dot's means that someone, including me has to go away from home. I write the first letter of the person on the dot. Yellow is, if I have to know about kids things - they are going somewhere, but without me. It can be a school thing, when I have to check, what they have to bring with them, but I'm free at this time. Blue is info - tomorrow will be flea market in the city, what we love, I have all occasion in my planner. Green is, when something happens at home.

Tip 3: classic color coding with color pens

Calendar is filled out mostly by my desk, so I had no problem to use my colored pens, as you can see here. And not everyone is like me, and you should work always at your desk, and have any pens with you. Think about it, what categories make sense for you.

Tip 4: use colored markers for blocking out your time 

For me this is the most important, I'm a very visual person, if I schedule my day this way, it is very simple to see, how much time I have for different things. It can help also keep your life in balance too! My colors for here: green for away from home, scheduled also travelling time, pink and purple for work, blue for myself, orange for family and house work.

Tip 5: color coding for project categories

Lot of people has different sections for projects of different areas of their life, as family, house, kids, work, etc. I want see all my projects together, so I'm using flags in different colors to mark them.

and project planning with flags

Big part of my work designing knitting patterns. The whole process is always the same: knitting, writing, testing, releasing. The colors are designated for this steps. I write the name of the pattern on these four colors, and use them to schedule my work on this.

Good luck to find the best way for you (also it is not using any color coding :)). I would be appreciate any feedback, even better wit a picture, if you make some change inspired by this post!
Do not hesitate to ask, if you have a question for me, or a suggestion, what you want from me to write next time!


  1. Thank you for sharing. I color code using frixion pens but hit a road block when I didn't have all my pens at work. So, at work I use a black frixion pen and when I get home I swipe over it with particular color frixion marker.