However, few of us strategically use colour in our day-to-day business processes... but we should! If you
are anything like other business leaders, you likely find yourself in numerous meetings each week, if not each day. In order to keep ourselves on track we typically will take notes during each meeting, to ensure we have a record and reference of what information was shared, what actions were agreed upon etc. Unfortunately though, we rarely go back and read through our notes and, when we do, we are overwhelmed by the volume of information and give up on making sense of it.
Research into mind-mapping though is now also indicating that we should be using colour to 'code' the notes we are taking. It seems that not only does using colour improve our recall time but it can also save us reviewing time and serve to form some connections between ideas we might have missed otherwise.
Here's the basic premise...
- If you are using mind-mapping techniques as your preferred note-taking style, then using different colours to separate the various 'branches' of your map will help stimulate the creative side of your brain, which helps to create a stronger visual recall of the contents.
- Using colour with any form of note-taking helps you to stay focused on more boring topics - longer. Adding that dash of colour serves to liven notes up, instantly making them more memorable and interesting. Easier to find and review later.
- Many who use colour during note-taking assign specific meanings to various colours. For instance, Black for general information, Blue for client's comments, Red for immediate action items and Green for new ideas.
- Lawyers have used colour-coding for their notes forever, learning the technique early-on in law school. Rather than writing with different coloured pens, they will use highlighting to capture key information: Red for holdings of a case, Green for general law, Yellow for Facts, and so on. This allows them to see the ways that their cases are structured and significantly enhances their recall of the case information. Note though that you must be selective in your highlighting... colouring everything fails to offer any kind of distinction or time saving.
Regardless of how you intend to use them, you might want to consider adding a little colour to your life and to your notes! Another skill learned in Kindergarten that serves you well in business.