Color coding is a way to use color to help you see and organize information on a page. It’s a great way to visually organize your schedule while also adding some color to your planner. You can use colored pens, highlighters, or stickers to make each section or item stand out.
Start by planning how you’d like to group your color coding. You might try color coding for different school subjects, after-school activities, chores, or hobbies. While most people use color coding to group and sort activities (subject-based), a lesser known tip is to color code according to how much time a task or activity will take (time-based). Whichever direction you choose, be sure to set a limit on what you color-code so that your planner doesn’t become visually overwhelming. Color coding should help with organization, not make it more confusing.
Here are a few ways to use color-coding to master your planner:
Subject-based color coding:
- Different school subjects
- After-school activities like clubs and athletics
- Chores/cleaning/home related tasks
- Birthdays & events
- Exercise/going to the gym
Time-based color coding:
- Urgent tasks
- 15 Minute tasks
- 30 Minute tasks
- Can wait until next week
- Deadlines / due dates
In the example above, we’ve made a color code key in the notes section of the planner for reference, and used different colored highlighters to mark different subjects, work study hours, and personal commitments. PRO TIP: Stick to just a few colors that complement each other to keep your planner spread looking Insta-worthy. We’ve used outlining, underlining, and directly highlighting interchangeably to keep the planner spread from getting too busy.
Stickers are one of our favorite ways to add personality and color to your planner. We love a good planner doodle, but if you’re pressed for time, stickers are quick and fun! Stickers are especially helpful for decorating your monthly spreads. Use stickers to get big picture ideas across, like activities, birthdays, events, and adventures. There are plenty of sticker packs designed for planners that include stickers for all kinds of lifestyles. Rather than write-in your planned exercise schedule, you could add a fitness-related sticker to remind you to exercise after class. If you have a bunch of the same sticker, you can use that sticker to keep track of a habit you’re working on, like marking each day you remember to meditate with a gold star. Some of our favorite sticker packs come with fun illustrations and encouraging statements, like our “You Got This” planner stickers.
Wondering what to do with an extra blank page or a notes section in a planner? Try using the space to create a vision board. Vision boards are an important part of the goal-setting process. They can help you set and prioritize your goals, values, and intentions. If you’re not familiar with vision boards, they are simply a visual representation of your goals expressed through a combination of images and text. Using magazines, images and text from artwork, old books, or computer printouts, search for images and words that embody your goals and/or just speak to you. Cut and paste those images into your vision board and write down any quotes that inspire you to be your best self. By creating your vision board in your planner, you have an easy way to remind yourself daily of the goals you’re working towards.
Class Tracker planners are minimalist by design, with no unnecessary sections and plenty of room to personalize. We hope the tips above help you to make your planner your own and to remember that there is no right or wrong way to plan. Follow us on Instagram to see how our Class Tracker Ambassadors are using their Ultimate Student Planner to crush their goals!