Friday, June 5, 2015

Color Coding in my Planner

I learned that the best thing for me is to keep notes in my planner. This enables me to find them quickly, rather than trying to remember where I put the notebook I wrote a particular note into. (See this post.) There are two pages after each month for notes, plus a notes section in the back of the planner.

I have several projects which I am juggling, and I need to be able to locate the related notes in my planner quickly. I do this by color coding my entries. There is no reason for the color choices of my notes, because I used the pen I picked up first to start the notes, then I have continued using the same color for related notes.

The nature of the notes is personal and sensitive, so I have fuzzed the words, but the colors are visible. I will call them Projects for identifying purposes. 

  • Blue – General Information, like names and phone numbers
  • Red – Project A
  • Green – Project B
  • Turquoise – Project C
  • Purple – Project D
  • Black - Make a box around anything I need to pop out at me
When I write notes after months, I write the nature of the notes with which month onto one page in the back of my planner so I can find them quickly. This is my index. For example: I am having surgery later this year, and I copied notes they gave me on several sheets of paper into the two pages after April's calendar pages. In the index, I wrote:  "Surgery - April notes."

In the weekly section of my calendar, I write notes of important phone calls made/received on the date I made/received a call. Sometimes, there is more than one date related to the matter. In the index, I will write: "Janice - March 13, April 23, June 1." Every time I speak to Janice, I will add the date. When I need to find a specific note about Janice, I can look at the index, then flip to the dates until I find what I am looking for. 

In each week, there is a box on the bottom of the right-hand page where I can draw, write notes, etc. If I write a note I will refer to later, I add that to the index using the week it is in. "Dr. W. - May 10-May 16." The fact that I wrote the week, rather than a specific date, tells me the note I am looking for is in that box.

In addition, I color code my appointments so I know what type of appointment I am going to at a glance.  When I make an appointment, I write it in the monthly calendar. Then I transfer that to the specific date when I fill in my weekly planner. 
  • Red – Doctor (Name, Time, Phone Number, Address – if needed)
  • Turquoise – Therapy (Name, Time, Phone Number)
  • Green – Pay Day ($$)
  • Blue – Dietitian (Name, Time, Phone Number)
I do not have appointments every day. Sometimes, I do not have an appointment in a week at all. The planner I have has times written, but I have used skinny Washi to cover over the times. I write the appointment(s) I have at the top of the column of the date in the appropriate color pen.

On a particular day of the week, I will write the chores and errands for that day in purple. I like to leave a space after the appointment for visual ease before listing any chores or errands. If I have an appointment, I try to do one or more errands after the appointment, so they will be written below the appointment. I usually do not chores on the same day I run errands, so I am not confused by using the same color for chores as I do for errands. 

I hope this information is helpful. Please leave a comment or question below in the comments section.


- Amelia

UPDATE: The note paper below is in the Etsy shop of someone I know from Facebook. She also has two post-ts with two color schemes. I am getting the one below to make a cool-looking color-code list for the front of my planner.

Take a look!