Trick Your Brain with Color-Coded Notes

Whether you're a student or a working professional, chances are you're recording a fair amount of line items from meetings and lectures. You've probably never thought to trick your brain into finding what you need, organizing what you don't know or remembering things in a meaningful way.

Use Color to Speed Visual Search

Your brain is quicker at identifying color than text or numbers. So when it comes to your notes, divide subjects or projects into notepads of a different color. These pads are available in six pastel colors for at-a-glance organization. The soft hues reduce eye strain and are subtle enough that you can still highlight pertinent information within your notes.

Working on multiple big projects at work? Designate a letter-size pad per project, and use matching organizational tools (blue file folders, highlighters, flags) to tie all the components of your project together visually on your desktop.

Use Color to Establish Structure

Got a paper to compose? Grab a couple of Junior Legal Pads. As you research, use gray sheets to record information about one topic, orchid sheets for another and so forth. When you begin to write, your ideas will be organized in easily-recognizable groups. You can even tear them out with perforated sheets and rearrange them in front of you for a visual outline. The smaller size sheets are more portable, and force you to boil down your idea to the nitty gritty.

You can use this trick in the workplace, too - organize notes from brainstorming sessions by topic using colorful paper. Tack them up on a bulletin board for more visual impact, and then rearrange based on most urgent priority to least urgent, easiest to most difficult, etc. The color-coding will help team members understand the 'mind map' at a glance.

Use Color to Show Relationships

Studies show that we retain information better when we get more of our senses involved. For complicated memorization, using visual cues like color is a way to 'trick' your brain into remembering a lot of information. For presentations, try grouping different-colored sheets to denote intro, topic 1, topic 2, topic 3 and conclusion. Don't put the canary sheets next to the green sheets - using a contrasting color pattern will make the presentation sequence more memorable.

You can do this to congregate like items in your mental filing cabinet. Studying a foreign language with gendered vocabulary? Use two (or three, if you're learning German) note pads of different colors to separate masculine words (blue sheets) from feminine words (pink) and neutral words (ivory). Focus your attention on memorizing the word - you've given your brain a shortcut. Because we're wired to assign meaning and seek out patterns, using color connotation will help you effortlessly recall complicated memorization items.



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