Thursday, June 11, 2015

Color Coding for Organizing Life

This is in response to a few comments and questions I have received about my other color-coding post (here). For me, color coding is a way of life, and it really helps this ADHD brain stay organized.

Source: Amelia Vincent ©2015
I have been color coding since I went to college the first time. It might sound silly, but it made it really easy to grab the right notebook - I matched my notebook to the color of the textbook. If two books were the same main color, I chose a secondary color for one of the notebooks. That was the beginning the color coding of my life. 

When my family was all still at home, I kept a wall calendar so everyone (but especially the "mom taxi" driver) could see who needed to be where when. Each person was assigned a different pen ink color based on their favorite color. I duplicated it in my personal planner, too. 

Child One
Child Two
Child Three

If two of the children had to be there together, I would write the time in one color and the event in the other color. The oldest is a few years older, so he never had to be at the same place as children #2 and #3.

(As an aside, the children received new pajamas each Christmas, and they were also in their favorite colors. This was especially useful when I was in charge of their laundry, because I knew who each pair belonged to - they wore the same or similar sizes. I did the same with their tube socks stripes.)

I returned to finish my education when I was 47-years-old. I was a second-semester freshman after my old transcripts were examined. I used different-colored binders this time and used the same colors when putting the class schedule on my calendar.

When I was in graduate school, I had to take Economics (ugh)! I used graph paper for class notes and assignments, because there were many diagrams that had to be drawn. I color-coded all the different lines, like Supply, Demand, Margin, etc., so I could follow what I was doing better. Sometimes the lines were incredibly close together, so it was easier to see which one was which without writing on the graph. I kept a 3" x 5" index card to be consistent and gave a second one to my professor, so he knew what each line was, too. Instead of it being annoying to him, he said he wished everyone did so. 

I do not know if there is any connection, but I think and dream in color, too. There are some people who see numbers and hear music in colors - synesthesia, but I do not. Instead, I hear music in pictures - either the memory of when I heard the music the first time, the artist, or what the music makes me think of in the case of classical music.
Exploring the world of synesthesia