Whether you’re setting up an office for the first time, or just trying to reorganize an office to increase your productivity, I find that using color in the office is very useful.
Sifting through stacks of papers, trying to find a specific piece of paper can be time consuming and frustrating when all of the papers are white. What I found works well, is to use colored paper for certain office activities. For example, I have clients calling who want us to either bid or do a job. I have created a “job request form” which I printed on green paper. Thus, when a client calls to have us bid a job, all I have to do is grab my “green” form, and write down all the information. I use this system to also record different “types” of jobs we do for clients. Let’s say you’re a Realtor. You could have one color for potential sellers, and one for potential buyers. The possibilities are endless.
I also use colored file folders for information that isn’t my normal accounts receivable or payable. For example, I use a blue folder for my insurance information. If I need to access the file, I just look for the blue folder. I don’t have to read all of the labels, thus saving time.
Another way I use color is when I set up my files for the new year. I purchase colored file folder labels (all in one color) and that is the color for the year. At the beginning of a new year after I have boxed up the previous years files, but still need them for preparing taxes, I know 2006 has yellow labels. If 2007 has blue labels and I’m working on files from both years, I don’t get them mixed up. If I were to inadvertently pick up the wrong file, and put it in the drawer or box, I would notice it instantly. As much as filing is my least favorite job, it makes it a little more pleasant when the files are looking neat and colorful in the drawer. You could buy colored file folders for each year, but the manila colored ones are quite inexpensive, and just using a colored label is much more cost effective.
Hint: This works great in a large office also. If a file is removed from a drawer, all the person has to look for is the “color” of the file folder label. Wouldn’t this be a great way to impress the boss?
I usually have leftover labels, so I just save them and use them a few years later, but always keep two adjoining years different colors. If I were in a large office, and old files are being accessed for several years, I wouldn’t repeat the same color until the older files are archived.
1) Use different colored paper for different forms
2) Use different colored file folder labels for each year
3) Use different colored file folders for important files