One of the single most commonly used forms of written organization is the sticky note. Simple, elegant, and effective. However, this effectiveness can be improved upon in many ways, especially with a range of color. Now, the usefulness of a hoard of different colored sticky notes is somewhat diminished when you only use them to keep track of your groceries. If you’re a student, high school or college, you can find many ways to utilize a full-spectrum option for classes. If you’re an industry professional, stay-at-home parent, anything and anybody, you can improve your organizational prowess with a few colorful options.
First off, you need to know your own intent. In your life, what do you need to be reminded of? What categories do these items fall into? For example, I am currently enrolled in five classes and work two different jobs. I utilize a different color for each of these areas of my life. Whatever colors are leftover from each pack of sticky notes become my more random life events.
Class 1 – Class 2 – Class 3 – Class 4 – Class 5 – Job 1 – Job 2
Once these colors are set they can be applied to nearly every aspect of the item they are related to, not just sticky notes. But, for now, we will limit ourselves to sticky notes. Again, what ways can you organize your life? Keep in mind that some of these categories may grow and shrink in volume and importance over time, so sharing a color between two things may become problematic in the future.
Second, how do you choose what color matches which item? A lot of individuals find that they have a very strong ocular association between certain colors and certain topics. Sometimes these color associations develop at a young age. For myself in grade school, green was always used for mathematics. While maybe your school required blue notebooks for math, the premise remains. Find something that will really stick in memory. If you have a fridge or desk covered in these sticky notes and you’re looking for the list of reminders for XYZ topic, it’s far easier to find if you know without thinking what color you are looking for. So go from your gut with your color choices.
From there, all that is left is to design your own style of reminders. If you’re a student studying for an exam, maybe you want to be more efficient with space and cram as much on a sticky note as possible. Everyone develops a different style that works best for them and their respective needs. The same person may even differ in style from topic to topic. I know I do! Once you have decided on your categories and colors, experiment and find what ways work best for you. Don’t be afraid to tweak your style and even mimic someone else’s to see what is the most effective.