Friday Vibes: Colorful Color Coding
July is National Anti-Boredom Month. All month long I'll be sharing with you things that help me keep the boredom away during the workday. Honestly, boredom is probably the wrong word, but I sit at a desk and stare at a screen all day so I need ways to break up my day and keep me going that aren't just an IV of caffeine.
Up Next: Colorful Color Coding!
I know, color coding doesn't actually sound like a way to cure boredom, but it does! Hear me out. If you're looking at a to-do list or a spreadsheet (which in my case are my client's content calendars) and everything is black, white or gray it's really visually boring. And can make determining what I have to do and what my priorities are harder than necessary. Color coding means that by simply glancing at my planner or content calendar, I know what kind of tasks I have the most of in a day, or what social network needs a post.
The above photo is the color coding system I use in my planner. Here's how I put it to work:
• The filled-in boxes are highlighters that I use to time-block my daily layout. That way if I see coral I know I have something personal I need to do, hot pink means I've got something planned with family or friends, or depending on the shade of blue I either have an in-person meeting, a virtual meeting, or some sort of continuing ed that day. It gives me visual blocks in my hourly timeline on my daily pages in my planner. It also is a great way to track how I actually spend time. If I am meant to be working but actually end up on a phone call I can account for that. If I'm writing blogs I can see how long it takes me so I can better plan out my day in the future.
• The squiggles next to each highlighter box is the color I use when I have a task associated with that category. So if there's a lot of royal blue, it means that my niece and nephew are busy and I have a lot of places to go cheer them on. If there's orange it means I need to do something for the dog or cats, whether that's a vet appointment or order food.
• One of the best parts of this system is that I color code out my clients. That way when I glance at my task list I know how much work each client has on any given day. I try my best to base this on their branding colors so it registers in my head easily. I used to try to write all of my client tasks in black and put the company or it's initials with it but that's too much writing and takes up too much space, color coding saved me time when making the list and when completing it.
My Content Calendar spreadsheet is also color coded but that's by social network. Here's a snapshot of what it looks like.
This way if I'm planning content for a client I know that if I'm on Friday the purple line is where I plug in their Instagram instead of having to figure out which row is which by looking to the side or counting. It means that again, at a glance, I can figure out where I need to be.
Not everyone needs as many categories or as many colors as I do. I started with a much smaller amount and expanded it out as I got comfortable with the process. I make adjustments each quarter as my Amplify Planner is quarterly. So if I had a highlighter or pen die I can easily swap it out for something else.
I hope this helps you figure out how to add a little fun and remove the boredom from something that generally speaking isn't exciting, a task list.
If you are interested in learning more about my system and how I set it up feel free to reach out to me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you'd like your very own Amplify Planner like I use head to www.amplifyplanner.com and use code ANNIE10 to save 10% off your order. Just a heads up, it's a one-time use code.