The use of visual aids expands the concept of organization skills beyond a neat office and alphabetized files. Visual aids provide visual cues that improve performance by enhancing speed, accuracy, efficiency and performance. Visual aids add to organization skills by perfecting the management of time, tasks and information. Efficient management of these business aspects can improve customer service, client relations and profit.
Color is a simple and effective visual aid for organization skills, especially when dealing with paper files. Color coding can turn a massive or confused mess of files into a manageable information system by providing a cue for immediate identification. Red file folders may be reserved for project files. Different-colored file folder labels can identify the year a file was opened, the salesperson assigned to a client, the department which services a customer or any other distinction your business needs to make. Red type in a spreadsheet can signify business losses or unpaid debt owed to the business. Once the color formula is official, business owners and employees can function quickly and accurately with the same information.
Technology offers the business owner digital calendars and beeping reminders, but the simple list remains a necessary visual aid for managing time and tasks. Your list might be handwritten on a legal pad, maintained on a large white board in your office or displayed on a spreadsheet shared with all employees. Calendars, timelines and meeting agendas also serve as lists that are visual aids for managing time and tasks.
Business documents are visual aids that organize information in a form that answers specific questions for the reader. The layout of the business document is critical, since a poorly designed business document can result in failed communication. An organizational chart is an example of a business document that is a visual aid. The project plan and business proposal also are visual aids that tell a story or provide a linear description of execution or growth.
Some visual aids help develop skills in summarizing information. The skill lies in capturing important information and setting it apart for the reader. Sidebars, tables, photographs, bulleted lists, pie charts, graphs and other graphic representations all provide a snapshot of information that shows instead of telling the information being shared. Flip charts, PowerPoint displays and overhead transparencies are also visual aids that summarize information and concepts using text and graphics.
Gail Sessoms, a grant writer and nonprofit consultant, writes about nonprofit, small business and personal finance issues. She volunteers as a court-appointed child advocate, has a background in social services and writes about issues important to families. Sessoms holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies.