My most popular blog post ever is How to color code your planner (without losing your mind), that post alone has almost 25,000 pageviews. I've really evolved my color coding system since that post, so I decided it's time for a revamp. I've started using a new planner system called bullet journaling, which I wrote about here. Today I'm sharing how I color code my bullet journal system, let's do this.
So one of the basic tools of a bullet journal is the bullet key. Although this doesn't have much to do with color coding, it'll be useful as we look at other pages in my planner. Mine is very very simple. I've pinned tons of images with doodles, and squiggles and what not, but I've noticed I only use a variation of two symbols, a square and a circle. Square is something to do, and a circle is somewhere to be. I can't draw a checkmark, so I use Xs to note items/events as completed. If I move something I put a little right arrow. If something is irrelevant I just cross the whole line. Other than that I don't use the other bullets shown in my key above.
Ok, next up is my color code, again I like to keep this pretty simple. I made this key at the beginning of the semester and it's pretty much boiled down to five colors: pink, blue, green, orange and yellow. You can see what each of those mean above, but I've combined the two blues into a personal category and gotten rid of the light green and pushed health/diet into the blue. Now let's get to some actual coloring.
Ok so this is an index for my planner, what I like about this system instead of traditional planners is I can use it to fit my needs. For example, as you can see on the left page of my index there's a lot of green, which signifies my newspaper job. Because there weren't assigned pages for my planner, I was able to take meeting and training notes right in my notebook. I'm almost done with my moleskine and I ended up with three index spreads. Indexing your bullet journal is useful because you can find specific notes quickly. As far as color coding I would update my index about once a week with the title of the page, the page number and a quick highlight of the color it was under. (bonus tip: give every page a title, even if it's grocery lists, if you can see there are some entries even titled Misc Lists. It doesn't matter what it's called, so long as you know what it is.)
Monthly and Daily Spread
So this is my monthly spread for last April, just like a traditional bullet journal I have the dates and days listed on the far left and a page for goals and to-dos on the right. I've also marked the weeks with a line between Saturday and Sunday. From there I've put birthdays (blue), exam times and due dates (orange) and newspaper trainings (green) all in my index. I separate events with two dashes. When I first started using the bullet journal I was putting way too much stuff into my monthly spread, and ended up running out of room. I use the monthly spread is for major assignments, birthdays and my work schedule. Keep the homework and dinner plans for your daily pages. Again just like the index I would add things to this page throughout the day then go back and color code them at the end of the night or over the weekend.
So here's the daily spread, where I spend most of my time in my planner. You can see how I use the bullet key for to-dos and events. I start each line with the date to the left and the day to the right. I generally write myself a to-do list each night and color code those items accordingly. I did have a few weeks where I didn't color code things at all and the world didn't end.
Color coding is suppose to help you be more organized, not get in the way of actually doing things. I've gone through tons of planner systems and this is the one I see myself using for the rest of my education. Did I miss anything on how to color code your bullet journal? Let me know in the comments below.