Color coding is the assignment of color to a number, letter or particular item that shows meaning. In filing, we assign a color for each number 0 through 9, and a color for each letter A through Z, to aid in filing and retrieval of all types of hard copy files. By putting these colors (letters, numbers and designators) in a particular position on a file folder, file pocket, etc. a color/block pattern is formed. When these patterns of color are broken, a misfile has occurred.
In retrieving a file, color recognition reduces look-up time. It also saves presorting time and reduces filing time. In fact, color coded filing can reduce filing and retrieval time by up to 50%. Approximately 75% of every dollar spent in filing areas is people time; therefore, color-coding can save as much or more than 33% of the money that is now spent on your present non-color coded files. Misfiles are virtually non-existent in color coded files because of the ease of spotting a file when it is out of order. Memorization of colors is not necessary; the color works as a flag which identifies position or meaning in a file sequence.
A good color code system can work for your files, and in most cases pays for itself in less than a year due to time saved in filing and retrieval without misfiles. Since most files are filed in one of the demonstrated examples, you can easily adapt your file situation to color coding.