Nuts and Bolts

Listen: Communication tools that are readily available to improve your writing

Listen: Communication tools that are readily available to improve your writing

LISTEN: In this podcast, Elaine offers tips on how to use tools that are readily available to improve your writing. Take a listen and post your comments and questions that you’d like Elaine to answer in the comments section below. »

5 ways to improve communications across your construction team

5 ways to improve communications across your construction team

Communication is a critical factor in any project – especially those in construction. With multiple team players, and heavily action-packed environments, construction projects require effective communication to be successful. Good communications can advance team collaboration and lead to better project management. Inefficient communications can lead to misunderstandings, project errors, incidents,... »

3 Tips on How to Write a Good List

3 Tips on How to Write a Good List

Lists are useful, but you have to do them right.  I have much to say on the topic of lists, but today I am going to limit myself to my most recent experience.  This past week, I was asked by a client to clarify a section of a document that seemed a little bit muddled. It took me a while to figure out, but I solved it in the end.  Here are the basic problems that I identified with the list, if you ... »

A time for everything

A time for everything

I have a guest from Finland visiting at the moment who has just finished a medical student exchange at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria. Last night over dinner we were talking about the different ways people write the time. She was asking what the standard is in South Africa because she had seen different notations in the hospital. I too have seen time written in different ways, so maybe t... »

Finding your Work-Work Balance

Finding your Work-Work Balance

 One of the biggest challenges in my life is working on several projects simultaneously. I find myself having to constantly resist prioritising the scariest one at the expense of the others. It is very tempting to get into a “stress-based” workflow where you do whatever is going to keep you out of trouble in the nearest future. You may be familiar with the feeling of constantly having to put out f... »

Same subject, different audience

Same subject, different audience

  I’ve spent the last few days working on the design of a component for a training programme that aims to train four distinct groups of people in the same subject area. It has been a fascinating project from the perspective that each group has very specific needs and the application of the information will be different for each of them.   I have again become aware of the how important it is to und... »

THROW IN SOME FUN WHEN PRESENTING YOUR TECHNICAL REPORT

THROW IN SOME FUN WHEN PRESENTING YOUR TECHNICAL REPORT

Good grief! The first week of February is already gone! As with every year, I am alarmed at how fast the days flick by. Which got me thinking about time… Our topic for today.   Time is both an objective and a subject thing. We use it to measure scientifically and we also use the word metaphorically.   In the metaphoric sense, time is subjective. It can drag or it can fly. Think of going to t... »

The Gift Of A Good Summary

The Gift Of A Good Summary

This week I have been working on summaries. I have a set of documents with lots of clauses in each that I must present to an audience in a way that will help them to understand the differences between the documents and the significance of each. There is some overlap between them, but each has its own purpose. In short, I had to whittle about 45 pages down to 8 sentences. But why, you may ask, is t... »

COLOURS ARE ALWAYS A CODE

COLOURS ARE ALWAYS A CODE

I’ve been working on a design project for the past few weeks and I have had lots of occasions to think about how we use colour, shape and imagery to express ideas.  Sometimes we see things in reports that just plain ugly, whilst other times we see things that are nonsensical.  I have a report on my desk at present that is, at first glance, beautiful. It is very professionally done and gives a good... »

PLANNING CONTENT TAKES LONGER THAN YOU THINK

PLANNING CONTENT TAKES LONGER THAN YOU THINK

    Happy 2018 to you! Can you believe that it’s already the third week of January? Time certainly does fly when you are having fun! Since my last post, I have been busily working away on an exciting project for a client in the chemical industry. It has been good for my soul because I have had the opportunity to learn and discover new things and I love the challenge of presenting information in in... »

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