Organized Charm: How to Create a Flexible Color-Coded Planning System

Saturday, March 17, 2018

How to Create a Flexible Color-Coded Planning System



Im wondering how you handle changes within your color coded system.  For example if the professor pushed an assignment back or classes were canceled due to inclement weather. 
-Tiffany

Great question! I get so annoyed when dates change, but then I remember “oh yeah, this is why I have a planner in the first place”. 


If the thought of writing every assignment/appointment/engagement in boring pencil in your planner gives you the heebie-jeebies, don’t worry! There are other (prettier) options!



Welcome to the wonderful world of flexible planning!

So, "flexible planning" has kind of become my thing over the past few years. I LOVE planning ahead. LOVE. IT. I love color-coding and timelines. I love being prepared and not having things sneak up on me. But... life, y'all. 

Life is full of surprises and things are always changing. Events get postponed. New things pop up. 

And since our planners are a reflection of our lives, shouldn't they be able to mirror those changes? 

Of course they should! 

So, what's my #1 secret weapon for creating a flexible planning system? 

Post-It's.

Post-It’s have come a long way since Michele first invented them. Check out the amount of space in your planner’s monthly and weekly boxes. Then take a stroll down the office supply aisle of any store (or Amazon) to find some colorful sticky notes that will fit! 

These are the Post-It Tabs I use for the outside of my Teacher Planner. They're 3" (75mm).


My favorites are the Post-It Tabs. 
They were originally intended to keep on the edge of pages of books, but I have found that they’re the perfect way to keep my color-coded planning system neat and flexible (no more crossing things out)! I just flip them sideways and write on the colored and clear parts. 

Here are the different sizes I use in my Planner: 


I have found that these are the perfect size for the columns in the Plum Paper Planner! I have the ME Weekly Layout, and this kind of Post-It fills an entire section within a day. If you want multiple Post-It’s, try these:



These are a good alternative to the Tabs because they give you more room to write above/below, or have multiple flags in a particular section of your planner.

In school, I might suggest using the Tabs for bigger assignments, and the flags for smaller assignments… but just find the system that works best for you!



Here is what I like best about these two types of Post-Its:
-They are durable, so they’re easy to write on
-You can remove/replace them over and over again, and they still stick
-They’re easy to write on 
(I use a Black Tombow ABT N15, but Sharpie pens work well, too!)



Here are examples of how I use them:

In my teacher planner, I use Post-It Tabs for lesson ideas. Then I can easily move them if plans change.
(Side Note: First rule of teaching? Plans always change.)
In my personal planner, I use Sharpie Highlighters set-in-stone events, and Post-It Tabs for things that can be flexible.





Other Options:
Another option that I’m not quite as crazy about (but is more cost effective) are the Post-It Page Markers. The colors are pretty and you get way more for your money… but they aren’t as durable and won’t restick as easily. If you move it more than once, you'll probably have to rewrite it. So, I guess it’s good that you get more in a pack!



Using Post-Its has worked so well for me, that I haven’t really tried another system. Although, I have heard really great things about the Pilot Frixon Erasable Pens. If you've tried those, please chime in and let us know what you thought! 




If you’ve tried another system for flexible planning and color coding, please share it below! 

We’d love to know some other options! :) 

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