Color Coding for Productivity


It is no secret that color plays an important role in the workplace. Choosing the right color for your office can influence productivity among employees. The same can be said for using colors to get organized, especially with task lists, paperwork, and calendars. Being organized is essential for getting things done. Color coding can help remove the chaos.

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For your day planner:

If you are a user of Gmail, you’ve probably used the calendar at one point. If you haven’t explored the color coding of the calendar, you are missing out. Google Calendar has customizable colors that update in your phone, so you can keep track of important meetings and personal activities on the go. Many calendar sites and apps utilize color coding, so pick a system that works best for you. A quick change that is super simple is assigning a color for work meetings and another color for personal engagements. For team projects, color code a shared calendar so deadlines and milestones are clearly marked and visible using colors of your choosing. Here is a how-to on using Google Calendar color coding.

For your projects (work and personal):

In a day planner, task list, files on a computer, physical files…you need to organize projects so you stay on track of your progress, as well as maintaining normalcy in your system. Assign a color that you will associate to the project at hand.

A great way to organize papers is to use different color papers. Instead of searching through mounds of white paper, try printing invoices on blue, quotes on green, and so on. It can help you recognize an important document just by the color. This equals more money, and time saved.

Work projects to color code: Phone calls to return, to do’s, paperwork to review, staff meetings, projects, emails to return (which could also be a separate list in your email provider), and so on.

Personal projects to color code: Appointments, shopping, social engagements (parties, dinners, dates, etc), vacations, and so on.


If you choose to color code your life, make it consistent across the board. Match computer folder colors with offline physical folders, this makes it easy to associate colors for maximum productivity.

For Your Team:

In a collaborative office, you are bound to have shared projects and documents. Try organizing folders by project type, client type, or even by urgency. Keeping folders organized by color in the office (for example, in shared storage) can eliminate confusion and questions like "where is the Johnson file?". Keep colors consistent and notify the office of any changes to the system. An office manager is invaluable for maintaining and implementing this type of organization system.

How do you use color coding? Share your tips below! 




Des McLeod January 16, 2013

Colour is perfect for planning daily productivity in a jobbing workshop to plan daily production with work slips having different colours for different days - Monday - always blue of course!

Iver Steen January 24, 2013

Just remember that embedded, non editable calendars will be one event color only. All your work with color coding can only be seen by people with editing privileges, or if you actually publish your calendar as an editable document. Which for most is a rather silly idea…

Otherwise, color coding is indeed a gret thing. Let us hope Google implements this in future releases…

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