Organizing Information With Popplet: Color Coding

Popplet can help you with organizing information. Our web, iPad and iPhone/iPod app helps you think visually and to see new connections between ideas and concepts.

Color coding your popples (the individual idea and content balloons inside a Popplet board) can be a great way to add another concept level to your idea-gathering and is an excellent technique for organizing and remembering information. You can also hint at a central theme for your work just by choosing the right background color for your overall Popplet!

Color Coding For Memory

In our Project Phases Popplet example, we have color coded different stages of a project in different colors:

  • Concept phase activities are coded in red
  • Design phase activities are indicated in blue
  • Development phase activities are shown in gold.

This approach shows how colors can be a great mnemonic device. Using our project phase color coding to differentiate different project activities, you could create your own project or business workflow popplet showing your project tasks. If you stay consistent with the above project phase color coding scheme, you will be able to glance at your business workflow popplet and see in an instant how much of the project is based around concept, design or development phase activities, like in this example:

This approach to color coding helps you remember how you have classified information into categories. For example, if someone talks about design briefs for a project plan, you may remember that you normally code them as blue, which in turn reminds you that it is a design-phase project activity.

Color Coding For Meaning

While colors have different meanings in different cultures, designers Terry Lee Stone, Sean Adams and Noreen Morioka deciphered the most common color meanings for their Color Design Workbook. Here we share some of the colors you can use in Popplet and their symbolic meanings:

Black: Power/authority, mystery, formality, elegance/sophistication
Gray & Dark Gray: Balance, security, reliability
Blue: Coolness, peace/tranquillity, contemplation
Green: Money, growth, healing, nature
Red: Passion, energy, excitement, heat
Gold: Intellect, wisdom, joy, idealism
Pink: Feminine, fun, playfulness, party

You could choose a popplet background/board color based on these meanings. For example, you could color a popplet about your dreams and goals in gold (idealism), or a notes and ideas popplet for organizing a party in pink (fun and playfulness). You could use a green background color for a geography assignment (nature), or a red background for a popplet about your favorite musicians (excitement and passion).

More Color Coding Tips for Organizing Information

  • When working in teams, avoid using colors to indicate individual collaborators in a shared popplet. Popplet’s nametag feature is a better way to track who contributes what, and in this way, you keep the colors focused on classifying information. As long as one team member is responsible for making sure everyone is using the same color coding scheme, your popplet will have an additional layer of information in every popple.
  • You can display a color-coded legend on your Popplet. Remember our Popplet about how to generate website traffic using trendwatching? Our Happy Endings Popplet included a legend in the middle of the popplet heading area (between the show title popple and the trend graph popple). This shows you how we categorized information about the comedy series, which has since gotten a popularity bump with airings twice a week (did our Popplet coverage help? Who can say for certain…)

Color is a powerful visual tool to use when organizing information. It conveys meaning in itself, and can also be used as a memory aid, and to classify information into separate concepts.

Share your color coding ideas with other Popplet users on our Facebook page and, just for fun, count up your popplets by color: answer our Facebook poll on which background color you use the most with Popplet!

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  1. Pingback: Revision Techniques, Tips and Templates with Popplet! | Poppletrocks!

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