There are a variety of implements that help you accomplish tasks. Not all these implements are job aids, however. Job aids have some defined characteristics. An instruction manual, a recipe book or a phone book could be used as a job aid.


A job aid is a source of information that provides guidance for an activity that that an individual undertakes. Job aids support performance, allowing a user to get something done.


A job aid provides some direction on how to accomplish a task. A tool, such as a can opener, is not a job aid even though it helps a user to get something done, because it is not a source of information or direction. A job aid is an external source of direction so, for instance, any information a person memorizes is not a job aid.


A television manual is a job aid when a television owner refers to it to set up his television. Moreover, a cookbook is a job aid when someone refers to it to find a recipe to cook dinner.