One of the most effective ways to improve any filing system is to use color-coding. The use of color when labeling or indexing files has been proven to increase filing efficiency and cut costs.
The reason is simple. We recognize colors much faster that we can read text. Even at a distance, we quickly identify colors and patterns of color without consciously thinking about them. People also naturally associate meanings to different colors. Red alerts us, while blue is relaxing. These associations can be applied to letters and numbers, too.
HOW DOES COLOR-CODING MAKE YOUR OFFICE MORE EFFICIENT?
For years, businesses that manage large filing systems such as medical and dental offices have used color-coding to save time finding and filing documents. These shelf-filing systems use colored labels for the primary filing letters or numbers of a folder’s heading. Users of the system quickly learn the colors that are assigned to each letter or number. Locating folders becomes intuitive because you can visualize the colors of a label and immediately know which section of the filing system you should look in.
STRAIGHTEN IT UP FOR THE BEST RESULTS.
If your filing system is kept in traditional filing cabinets, color-coding works best when all folder tabs line up in a row in the drawer. Your eye scans headings much quicker in a straight line than if you need to look back and forth across the drawer. File headings form bands of color in the drawer for files beginning with the same letters or numbers. A quick glance down a row of colored headings makes it easy to spot the section you need.
Open shelf filing systems work even better because users can see larger numbers of folders at the same time. A user can locate a section simply by recognizing the color patterns, long before reading any of the file headings.
COLOR SAVES TIME. TIME IS MONEY.
It’s that simple. Using color-coding saves money. Over 80% of the cost to maintain a filing system is in the personnel time spent using it. Saving users time filing or locating documents has an immediate return for any office. Color-coding has proven to cut the personnel time used to find and file records by up to 30%. Putting color to work in your filing system will help add more green to your bottom line.