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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Using Color to Organize Your Office Files

by Diana Peck
President, Jamie Raquel, Inc.

When you stop to think about the significance of color in our everyday lives, it’s fascinating. As infants, our mothers wrapped us in pink, baby blue and yellow. As children, we played games such as “Red light, Green light” and understood their meanings of Stop! and Go! Today, we appreciate the beautiful colors that appear with the changing seasons, or the colors that represent our favorite holidays. We wear color to demonstrate our loyalty to a team or company, and wear color to highlight our styles and personalities.

It’s refreshing to see the changing workplace, as color makes its way into the offices of women and men everywhere, as more and more professionals make use of color for both office supplies and business accessories.
Three years ago, I began using color to organize every file and paper in my office. I’ll share a simple way to organize a home office, as the subject matter is universal.

First, treat all your paper documents as you’d treat files on your computer. They are easily located and retrieved when they are grouped in small file folders, as part of a larger folder group.

For example:

  1. I use Green to signify a folder group of every document related to money. In the “green section” of my file cabinet, you’ll find green file folders individually labeled as part of a larger group, such as “FINANCES – Bank Statements”, “FINANCES – Income Check Stubs”, “FINANCES – Investment Accounts”, “BILLS – Mortgage Statements”, “BILLS – Utilities”, “BILLS – Credit Cards”, etc.

  2. I use Blue to signify important records. In the “blue section” of my file cabinet, you’ll find blue folders labeled “INSURANCE – Declarations Auto/Boat”, “INSURANCE -Declaration Home”, “INSURANCE – Pending Medical Claims”, “RECORDS – Social Security Cards”, “RECORDS – Birth Certificates”, “RECORDS – Immunization Cards”, etc.

  3. I use Yellow to signify anything related to family issues. In the “yellow section” of my file cabinet, you’ll find yellow folders labeled “SCHOOL – Report Cards”, “SCHOOL – Teacher Orientation”, “BOYS – Sports Schedule/Contacts”, “BOYS – Volunteer Schedule”, “FAMILY – Vacation Docs”, “MOM – Weight Loss Group”, “MOM – PTA Handouts” “DAD – Coaches Docs”, “DAD – Baseball Boosters”, etc.

I hope this small example of using color to stay organized assists you in simplifying your office both at work and at home. Eliminate stress when your child informs you five minutes before his baseball team meeting, that his coach needs a copy of his birth certificate, or when your boss makes an immediate request for a copy of last month’s profit and loss statement. Now, every important document will be easily located and at your fingertips in seconds.

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