10 TIPS to COLOR CODE YOUR PAPER: FROM CHAOS TO COHERENCE BY EVE ABBOTT, EXCERPTED FROM HER NEW BOOK, HOW TO DO SPACE AGE WORK WITH A STONE AGE BRAIN TM
Color-There Is No Substitute In anatomical illustrations you see brain's visual system, where optic nerve is actually 25 times faster than our audio nerves (hearing). No matter which processing style you depend on, 90 percent of sensory perceptions received by your brain are visual.
This is undoubtedly why color-coding works even for Auditory and Kinesthetic Learners. Color-coding will reduce mis-reads by as much as 90%, even if you don't change anything else about your systems.
In my workshops, even at 50 feet you can see there are three different manila files as I hold them up. It's magic of color - that 1/8-inch wide 3-inch long strip of color on labels is enough to do it.
It's a clear demonstration of how much difference color-coding can make to whether you can tell one folder from another. And that makes a big difference in how quickly you can find something.
Only Color-Code What You Can See What's only part of a filing system that you can actually see? The top tabs on hanging and interior files. That's why you don't need to use solid-color folders to color-code your drawer files, only for Action files which you keep on top of your desk.
You can use less expensive manila files for your Reference, History, and Archive material. This will save you at least half money it would cost you to set up a solid color file system.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind That's why so many people try to keep everything on their desktop. Except, there just isn't enough room!
You can greatly improve "visibility" of your files by using one-third cut clear plastic up-tabs for hanging files to color code so as soon as you open drawer, everything in it easy to see and use.
Do not make mistake of ordering 1/5 cut tabs on your files or up-tabs. They are just too small. And older I get-the smaller those labels get!
When you alternate warm color labels (red, orange, yellow) with contrasting cool color labels (blue, green, purple) in your file sections, it's even easier to distinguish each section instantly.
Use large fonts or writing on your labels to reduce your visual fatigue and errors.
Upgrading Your Current system to Color If you've already got a good filing system going, here's a great way to punch up visibility inside file drawer.
Take your one third cut colored file labels, rip off paper insert that goes inside plastic up tab, apply your label directly to insert, and voila! You've got a color-coded filing system started.
Naturally you want interior file to have same matching color file label.
The key to color-coding is consistency. Once you "substitute" (or stop using) color labels and matching files in your office, it's chaos all over. Because you've re-created disorder, you'll never be sure if it's really a "blue" project or not.
Don't pick Parisian Lavender for file label color-coding. If you use them up and label color isn't trendy this year - there goes your system.
Go for primary colors (red, blue, green, yellow) and black and white - they'll be printing those labels next year for sure.
Keep one hanging file filled with blank manila files and some of each of your colored labels in front of file drawer closest to you at your desk. That way it's fast and easy to make up a new color-coded file.