Color coding your calendar helps you understand your day at a glance, time batch your calendar, and stay on task. Here’s how to quickly color code your calendar to punch up your productivity.
How color coding your calendar can help you stay organized
You don’t have to read your calendar’s tiny text to figure out what your day looks like. Color coding your calendar means you can see whether a block is a meeting, lunch, travel time, or a personal commitment at a glance, no reading required.
Color coding your calendar can also help automate some proven productivity techniques. This guide will walk you through how color coding your calendar can help supercharge some of your favorite productivity techniques. It will also show you how to set up your calendar for automatic color coding based on your preferences.
Tips for color coding your calendar for productivity
You’ll want to color code your calendar based on how you like to work. For example, color coding your calendar can streamline time batching, which is time blocking on steroids. For the unfamiliar, time blocking is just choosing ahead of time what to work on and when, and scheduling your priority tasks on your calendar. Productivity pros such as Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Cal Newport swear by it. It helps you carve out enough time to work on your most important projects and helps you waste less time wondering what to work on next or tackling less-important tasks.
Time batching is when you group similar tasks together on your calendar. For example, maybe you schedule all your one-on-ones for Tuesday morning or your administrative tasks for Thursday afternoons.
Time batching means less context switching, which is horrible for productivity.
To make time batching easier with color coding, start by time blocking your calendar. If you’re new to this, check out our concise time blocking guide. Next, assign a color to each type of task in your calendar. Invoicing could be blue while writing could be green, for example. Last, drag all the blue tasks into one day or part of the day and the green ones into another. Voila! Less context-switching, more focus and productivity.
You could also assign tasks colors based on their priority. Productivity guru Dan Silverstre recommends using color psychology to color code your calendar. For instance, since most people associate the color red with danger you might make your most urgent events red. You might color your favorite events blue since it represents calm to most people. For help with prioritization, we recommend the Eisenhower Matrix.
Once you’ve color coded according to priority, you could schedule your red blocks for first thing in the morning, aka the “Eat your frog” method.
A color coded calendar app that does the work for you
Google Calendar can color code your calendar by default. But, it’s painfully manual. Luckily, there’s a better way. Clockwise’s color coding lets you set color preferences for different types of events.
Clockwise is a free smart calendar assistant that optimizes your work calendar. With Clockwise, you can set your color preferences once, and then we do the rest. Clockwise automatically assigns each new calendar event the right color based on its category.
Set your color preferences for the following categories of events:
In addition, when you schedule a new meeting with Clockwise, Clockwise suggests the times to meet that preserve the most Focus Time for you and your team. We also move your meetings to the best times so you have more time to focus. Plus, Clockwise automatically resolves scheduling conflicts so you spend less time scheduling and rescheduling.