Colored index cards are versatile, affordable organization tools that can work wonders for all sorts of projects. The list below reveals how the use of color-coded cards allows you to organize on the go:
1. Brainstorm with color.
A good starting point for any new writing assignment is the brainstorming process - the act of dumping your thoughts on a piece of paper, with the intent of organizing those thoughts into an outline.
Why not do your mind dump on color-coded index cards? While brainstorming about an argument essay in support of mandatory art classes, for example, you could start organizing right away, as you research. Just create your own color system.
For instance, while researching the benfits of art education, you could write all ideas related to tactile learning on one color, write all ideas concerning the relationship between brain development and physical activity on another color, and write all information about the benefits of healthy movement on yet another color.
2. Organize a research project.
Working on a research assignment? You can simplify the process by using color-coded cards. For example, while researching a person's biography, you can put all research from a single source on cards of the same color. This is a real life saver, because it prevents the big problem of writing down a great quote, and forgetting which source it came from.
This is also a time saver, because you don't have to write down every book title and author on the card. You automatically know that information if you use one color for each source.
3. Write a book review or movie review.
At some point in your studies, you'll be asked to review a book or film. When you read (or view) your subject for review, you should take notes as you go along so that you can record your responses to things like tone and color.
Colored index cards are perfect for this type of assignment. As you read a book, take your notes on a color-coded card system. For a biographical film, for example, you could take notes about the subject's childhood experience on pink cards, take notes about artistic elements of the film on blue cards, and take notes about the subject's historical impact on green cards.
If you are reading a book, you can slip the cards into the book as you make the notes, and leave them there. Later, as you start to form an outline, your sub-topics will be ready-made. To outline your paragraph(s) about the subject's childhood, you just skip from one pink card holder to the next.
4. Study foreign language words.
If you're studying a foreign language, you know that some of your vocabulary words can have a gender. When making up flashcards for new vocabulary, it's a great idea to use color-coded cards based on word types.
You could put verbs and nouns on different colors, of course - but you could also use specific colors for feminine nouns and masculine nouns. The visual imprint of the colors might boost your memory at test time.
This color coding system works for any new vocabulary. If you're trying to build your word power for an upcoming SAT test, for example, you could use the same method for color-coding your flashcards.
This method is especially helpful for visual learners.
5. Make a "books to read" box.
If you love to read, you probably come across books that look interesting all the time - but you just don't have the time to read them when you see them. If this sounds familiar, you should start a "books to read later" list.
You could use color-coded cards in a file box to maintain your reading list. Then, when you fill like reading a good nonfiction book, you can go straight to your "blue" category for example.