Color Coding, Creativity and Calendars- Oh My!



I have stated in earlier posts the importance of keeping things simple, however this is a relative expectation. For some it means one thing and others, something entirely different. Recently, I have had an epiphany about my planner style. After exploring and enjoying a bit of overly expressive calendar decorating in my planner, I have come to the conclusion that my goal for my planner is sweet, sane, simplicity. I need functional, reliable, basic layouts, with an emphasis on text not image. I prefer black and white. Or actually off white. Many of my Planner friends have extremely complicated color coding systems, in my opinion. But the fact is, it is not complicated to them. And that is all that matters. I prefer very simple highlighter accents. I have been using a very simple color coding system for a couple of months. I don’t use a lot of post its or stickers, because I realize they distract me. I use them but minimally. So, I am a “minimalist” planner person. I prefer to express my creativity more in my journal, or through other creative endeavors.

Finding out your planner style may take time and experimentation. I have found I can use almost anything, but some layouts work better than others for a season, or for your Planner preference. Your preference may change over time and that is good, because that means you are actively pursuing the Planner Habit…and that is a good habit to maintain, regardless of the style of pages, or system you use.  There are many Planner systems and Calendars available and if you are one who likes to explore without sinking a lot of money, many are available for a trial or free!

Here are some great planner places that offer freebies as well as for sale planner products. I have not used the pages listed below as I do not use printables, but really like the wonderful contributions each is making to the planner world. There are so many more that I have been looking into this past year but I will share 4 that I follow and keep my eye on which offer specifically free planner pages and inserts to try!

Emily Ley  (Simplified Planner)

Miss Wenduhh (offers lots of creative free printable options)

Passion Planner ( Passionate about planning and sharing

Day Designer

I belong to a wonderful planner group (Arc Planner Addicts) as well where some of the lovely ladies share free printables as they create them!

Pages that I  have used, I will list below (most recent):

Franklin Covey– I have a total soft spot for all things FC, having sat in multiple training classes, and been FC groomed for years, I love and have used their products for years.  You can get the free daily page download to try- Free 31 Day Undated Original Pages

M by Staples Arc System Calendar Pages – (available at Staples online and in store), paper quality is very good, layout is simple and basic. I began using the Arc System in June of 2014. It is a customize-able and affordable system/product.

Planner Perfect- I appreciate Jenny Penton’s heart to encourage women to Plan Big, and used her planner pages in 2012-2013. That pretty Daisy image on her pages is like a ray of sunshine!

The Success Choice- I have just started using the Women’s Success Choice Planner pages in my Arc System and am planning on reviewing next month. (My pages here). I am intrigued with this wonderful product and look forward to interviewing the owner/creator of this planning system, entepreneur Pamela Henrie next month! Stay tuned.


A Practical Tip: The only way to find out what works for you in a planning system is to try something. Whether color coding, weekly page format or calendar, you must give yourself @ 3 weeks to see if it is something you can work with regularly. I experimented with Color Coding  (in a simple, specific, for me way), and have maintained it, because it is super simple. Be careful not to try too many things at once. Implementing one new thing you want to try will allow you to discern whether what you are trying is for you, realistically. Take advantage of trying out some new pages (freebies above), color coding (you can check You Tube for ideas) or calendar system as you prepare for the season ahead and New Year.

Quotes to Ponder: 

Never mind searching for who you are. Search for the person you aspire to be. ~Robert Brault

There are people who live their whole lives on the default settings, never realizing you can customize. ~Robert Brault

Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

A  Prayer for  Today: Dear Lord, so many options are open to me. Keep me free from being overwhelmed by the possibilities. Empower me to choose well, leaving behind the rest, show me the choice that allows me to serve you best. I know that godliness with contentment is great gain; I ask for both. Keep me from being busy, without right priorities. Grow me more in grace each day that I may reflect you uniquely in a way that glorifies You. In Jesus Name. Amen.


This is Day 29 of the series Planning with Purpose: 31 Days of Planner Tips

I wrote an INTRO POST here explaining everything!

I have also made designated a PAGE for it. Hope this makes it easy. I am happy to tackle a topic, or issue with regard to your planner habits.

Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me. 

final with bigger31

I pray this series is a blessing to you. 

Published by enthusiasticallydawn

Dawn Paoletta is a life enthusiast who loves to juggle words, chug coffee, and journal excessively. You can find her gathering stones on the beach most mornings. She enjoys hanging out with her hubby, daughter and family pets in Narragansett, RI and shares her passion, poetry and prose @Enthusiastically, Dawn.

8 thoughts on “Color Coding, Creativity and Calendars- Oh My!

  1. What I’ve appreciated about your series, Dawn, besides your obvious enthusiasm and wealth of planning knowledge, is that you understand that to a large degree, planning is a matter of preference. That said, I appreciate the myriad of resources you offer. Surely, each of us can find something that resonates! Thanks for all your hard work on this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Gosh, thanks so much Lynn…honestly I think I will spend the rest of the year getting this ready for publication. lol. How do you feel about some friendly editing? Oh, boy and to the wire tonight…so close to 12 :00 AM I almost felt the clock hold it’s breath watching me…hahahaha. I have gotta get to bed, I am delusional AND delirious! Hugs, and thanks ofr being here.


      1. Really you should put it in a book. Sooooooo helpful and inspirational!i’m sleepy too and heading for B-E-D. I thnk I may have told you that Mother always spelled it, but we figured it out! =]

        Liked by 1 person

  2. When I used the Arc planner, 2011 – 2012, I constantly tweaked the daily inserts! They had to be both functional and beautiful! I also just love designing inserts. As an architect, I plan and draft spaces. And daily inserts are a blueprint for a structured day!


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