Color-Coded Filing Systems
File folder records must be indexed, either by handwriting or labeling. Given that it takes time to index a record, and consistency is important so that folders can be utilized by file registry and office workers effectively.
Virtual Doxx Corporation recommends the use of side and/or top tab color coding as ‘best practice’ for records management. Color-coding is achieved by assigning a unique color block for each digit 0 through 9 and/or alpha character A through Z, and, indexing the side or top of the file folder with color-coding of a primary index (like file # or a file name/description).
Color-coding enables visual versus cognitive filing processes, significantly improving productivity, and precluding the need to pull folders out of a drawer or off of a shelve over and over and over to identify a needed file or the location to re-file a folder. Color-coding also essentially eliminates misfiled records (due to clashing colors if a file is put in the wrong place).
Imagine going into a grocery store and all of the canned goods had a white label with product description printed in black ink. It would be difficult to find what you are looking for, and, it would be difficult to know if a can was in the wrong area of the shelves. The same applies to filing systems.
Color-coding is also highly useful when looking for files that are in-circulation. Even with bar coding or RFID technologies, the last thing that a human must do when retrieving a file folder record is the use of their vision and their touch. It is much easier to find folders in-circulation by colors versus by picking up and reading folder indexing.
The very best way to manage files is open-shelving for space utilization and side-tab color-coding for records management efficiencies. Example color coded label designs include: