Whether you have a paper filing system, a digital filing system or both, you can use colored file folders to help you organize your information.

Did You Know?

Most people know that they can find hanging or traditional file folders in a variety of colors other than army green and Manila.  But did you know that you can create colored file folders on your digital desktop as well?  You absolutely can!

Folder Colorizer by Softorino is a PC based software application that can be downloaded for FREE.  After the program is installed, simply right click on an existing folder on your computer and you will see an option called “Colorize!”.  You can choose from 16 preset colors or you can click on the “Colors” option at the bottom and choose from any color in the spectrum!  You are no longer limited to the default beige or blue folders on your desktop.

It’s no surprise, with Apple’s overall tendency to have a step up on graphics, that creating colored folders can be done inherently on the Mac® desktop.  Adding colors to Mac® folders is an article published in the NY Times that provides additional information and outlines the steps.

Creating Color Associations

First, make sure you have an efficient filing system in place.  Not sure how to do that?  Contact The Streamlined Office for help or check out our previous blogs “Create a Digital File System in 5 Steps” and “4 Easy Steps to Organize Your Papers”.

If you have an efficient filing system, then you should be able to identify major categories or groups of information that you use on a regular basis.  See if you can associate a color with each of these categories.  For instance, green (the color of money) may be for financial files; red (a warning color) may be used for tax related documents; blue (a strong business color) may be used for work related information.  Remember, these are just examples.  Creating your own associations will allow you to quickly locate files and the documents within them.

Color Coding for Business

Colored folders aren’t just for personal use.  Using the same concept of association, consider using colored folders to help your employees or coworkers identify different types of information.  Smead, a major manufacturer of office products, suggests using different colored folders to represent:

  • Different regions or sales territories
  • Patients assigned to specific doctors
  • Special workflow conditions
  • Different types of policies at an insurance agency
  • Security classifications

What is Your Learning Style?

There are 3 learning styles that have been scientifically identified; These are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.  Does this relate to getting organized and staying that way?  You bet it does! If you identify with the following statements, you are likely a visual learner:

  • I prefer to see words written down (recipes, instructions)
  • If something is being described, you would prefer to have a picture or graph to help you understand the information
  • You enjoy visual art activities
  • You learn by reading versus hearing
  • If you need directions, you prefer to LOOK at a map

Visual learners remember 75% of what they SEE and this is where using color file folders can have a huge impact.  Implement a colored filing strategy and the color of the folder will be the first thing you LOOK for when trying to locate information, after which you may or may not even need to rely on the written label for identification.

Of note, understanding your learning style AND creating an organizational system based on that learning style can significantly improve the likelihood that your new system will feel intuitive and will allow you to find what you are looking.  Ever wonder why you have tried to get organized and failed in the past?  It’s very possible that you used a strategy that did not correlate with your learning style!

The Streamlined Office can help you get organized in your business or home office.  Using color to be better organized is just one area of expertise.  For more information or to schedule a FREE consultation, contact us at 480-221-0588 today!