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The Single Easiest Way to Organize Your Lists

Planner Organization Color-Coded Priorities

One of the questions I get asked the most often is this: how do you organize your planner?

Since entering into this world of designing and producing planners, I have conversations on the daily with others about how they organize, prioritize, list, and brainstorm they life at home and at work. While no method is right or wrong, per say, it has been super interesting to hear how others organize their life on paper and which of the methods really work for me.

Key words there: "for me." Everyone is motivated by different methods of organization, so I encourage you to keep exploring and experimenting with different methods until you find the one that flows best for you.

As a rule, I've always been pretty black and white (literally) with how I like to plan.

Clean white paper paired with a quality black pen is my perfect combo. The Refresh Weekly Planner is intentionally designed with color in an organized fashion; they note quarters of the year and the start of a new month, but you'll see minimal color on the actual spreads in the planner.

However, I'm not averse to color — I just like to use it in a strategic manner that is as beautiful as it as functional to my system. So when I found a set of colored gel pens that I just couldn't leave the Crayola store without (yes, we have a Crayola store in Kansas City as part of Hallmark's Crown Center, and this place is a color dream world), I decided to work them into my planning system. They're just SO much fun to write with, I couldn't say no!

Enter: color-coded priorities with OOLY Modern Writers.

OOLY is such a fun brand featuring all kinds of seriously beautiful and fun writing tools — and the Modern Writers were calling my name! These colored gel pens came in a six-pack for $8.00 and have a 0.7mm fine tip. I tend to gravitate toward writing tools with a slightly thicker-than-normal tip, so this was a perfect size tip for me.

I tend to prioritize my lists by grouping items into categories, such as Personal, Clients, Collaborations, etc, so finding a place to use color in this system was simple: each priority is assigned a color.

Planner Organization Color-Coded Priorities

Because I already use the "Important Things this Month" page to jot down anything and everything on my mind for that month that I need to focus on, I started assigning colors and making little boxes by each item pertaining to the different colors. For example:

Purple = Family + Friends
Blue = Collaborations
Pink = J.Lynn Designery
Green = Client Work
Orange = Personal Health + Well-being (if I didn't assign this one a color, it wouldn't happen!)

Going forward, my plan is to create a box in the correct color next to each item and draw a line through that box once the item is complete or past. The goal, of course, is to make sure my monthly lists are filled with a few things from each color — ensuring I'm creating a nice balance of work and personal life, and even tracking my balance of the type of work and personal items on my agenda that month.

So there you have it! My new exploration into color with OOLY Modern Writers — because while I'm traditionally a minimalist at heart with my planner, if a little color means upgrading my planning system, you better believe I'll give it a go.

Do you use color in your planning systems? Or do you have a more minimal approach to keeping your planner organized and on track?

This is not a sponsored post. I simply fell in love with these beautiful pens and just had to share a new favorite!


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