Even more uses for color coding

Look beyond your file folders to organize by color in your office. If you already place urgent papers in a red folder for the boss and all your forms for the accounting department in a green folder, add these steps:


Flag your to-do list. Color code your tasks by person. When Sean brings another assignment, you can easily ask him to identify its priority among all the work you're doing for him.


Match supplies to equipment. Assign a color to each machine, and post it by the associated supplies. The "blue" copier requires the toner with the blue label in the supply cabinet. (No need to remember that the model number is XYGR-4660.)


Identify versions. Print first drafts on pink paper, final drafts on yellow. Require each reviewer to use a different-colored ink or marking color within Microsoft Word's "Track Changes" feature.


Highlight keys. Paste transparent, colored labels on your keyboard to help you spot certain keys.


Simplify email identities. Many email programs allow you to set up rules that will show messages in different colors depending on who sent them. Messages from the boss can come in red, those from family and friends in blue, etc.


Coordinate offices. If you're moving to a new location, incorporate color into the design, such as designating a different shade for each department.