Planner Basics – Tips and Tricks

Planner Basics – Tips and Tricks

For the final piece of the Planner Basics series, I’m going to talk about my top four tips and tricks that I’ve learned along the way. Believe it or not, these are some of the easiest things that you can implement into your planning style!

Color Code

Color coding can be such a huge time saver and there are so many different ways you can take this concept. When I was working in one planner, color coding saved me so much time and I knew exactly what I needed to do. This was extremely helpful in cases of having an hourly set-up (which is very infrequent for me), as it allowed me to create my work blocks and not have to worry about writing things in every time. I knew that if a certain color was in place that I needed to be somewhere specific or needed to focus in a certain area.

Another great way to use color coding is in the year at a glance. I’ve seen this utilized by parents and teachers, but why not incorporate color coding into your every day? I personally enjoy placing a colored circle over holidays or times I know that I won’t be available. Without having to flip back to the weekly page, I can already see what’s coming up or what I need to be on the look out for, all from looking at color coded dots.

Create Washi Samples (For Yourself!)

Struggling with carrying your washi rolls with you when you’re out and about? Getting ready to go on vacation, but need to save space? Create your own washi samples. This isn’t something that’s as obvious, but it’s a great solution when you have a specific spread in mind that you would like to use.

Just grab yourself a gift card (un-used! or at least loaded onto whatever app you use) and start wrapping your washi! I recommend lengths of either 18 or 24 inches, but you can customize your lengths however you choose. I personally prefer to wrap at least 30 inches of washi since I use a lot in certain spreads. If I need the washi for my sidebar, it usually takes 3 strips of washi at 7 inches, meaning I’m already at 21 inches. Having the extra 9 inches allows me to create additional embellishments as needed.

Sketch Out Your Spread

Sometimes you have an idea for a spread, but you’re really not sure if the idea will work well. Sketch it out! By sketching out your spread, it not only allows you to see if the idea that you have will work, but also allows you to brainstorm some additional ideas! Sketching out your ideas definitely lets you think outside the box and create spreads that you never would’ve thought possible.

Just Go For It

This is the exact opposite of my previous suggestion, but sometimes you just need to jump in and see what you create. Most times this method will still give you an absolutely gorgeous spread, but sometimes it won’t be the prettiest and that’s okay! Not every planner spread needs to be perfect and every week is going to be different than the last. By jumping into a planner spread, you allow yourself to spread your wings and discover new ideas and concepts.


As an added note, I will always mention this and it’s because I want to drill this point home – you do not have to do anything other than plan in your planner. Whatever makes you happy is what you ultimately need to nurture and expand upon. If you decide you want to be a functional planner, that’s perfect! Planning is entirely about exploration and learning what makes you have a productive journey.

I hope this series helped you better on your planning journey and as time goes on, I’ll add more to the series. See you in the next post, Planner Babes!





  1. July 5, 2017 / 12:00 pm

    Color coding has been my whole planning life since day one. I’m obsessed and so glad you mentioned it

    • Caitlyn
      July 6, 2017 / 4:01 pm

      Yes! If there’s anything I have to suggest repeatedly then color coding is absolutely the best thing to do! It’s the easiest thing to implement, even in small doses, and such a simple solution!

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