Archive for Tom Shaw

Tips for Planning A Successful Business Meeting

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Photo by: Maryland GovPics (Flickr)

If you work in an office, meetings are likely second nature to you. They can happen quite often, but we have all come out of some meetings in a mild state of confusion. In other words, we can leave a meeting wondering what was accomplished, or even what we could take away from it. In most cases, this happens as a result of poor planning for the meeting itself.

When planning a meeting, there is a lot to take into consideration. You want the meeting you’re organizing to have meaning, and result in your colleagues taking away something positive from it. Luckily, I’ve had plenty of experience myself planning business meetings over the years, and while there were bumps in the road over time, practice makes perfect!

Here are some tips for planning a successful business meeting.

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How Whiteboards Help Visual Learners


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Photo by jonny goldstein (Flickr)

There are three main types of learning styles, and while the majority of people will learn through a combination of the three, everyone is unique in their own way. There are auditory learners, people who learn better when having something explained to them, as opposed to having to read about it. There are also kinesthetic learners, who learn best through a “hands-on” approach, with writing things down as an example. Lastly, there are visual learners, which we’ll be focusing on with this post.

Visual learners are those who process information and learn the best by seeing things play out in front of them. Whether it’s through reading, watching a presentation, or looking at charts, for example, visual learners pick up the most information by seeing things happen. With that said, whether it’s in the classroom or the office, whiteboards aren’t just useful for unique presentations, but they’re very effective for the visual learners in the room.

Here are some effective ways that whiteboards can really help visual learners.

  • Tracking Progress: One way that whiteboards can benefit visual learners is through things like project tracking whiteboard systems. With this, those in the room can see where individuals and the company as a whole stand with specific projects, including the start date, due date, who has been assigned to the project, and more. With the information laid out like this, it’s very friendly to those who learn best in a visual sense.
  • Map It All Out: Does it get more visual than a map? With a dry-erase whiteboard map, the sky is the limit, as these are especially useful for companies that may have locations all over the country or ship products to different parts of North America, for example. With this type of whiteboard, visual learners will appreciate seeing things on a big, detailed scale.
  • Colorful Learning: One thing that is often essential for the visual type of learner is colors. There are many types of whiteboards that incorporate many colors, including an open-column magnetic whiteboard. With this, those sitting in on a presentation will see everything put out in front of them in an organized, colorful, and fun manner. With open columns, the possibilities are endless, as one can divide the columns up as different projects or days of the week to keep everything on track, for example.
  • Charts, Charts, Charts: All types of learners can appreciate charts, if only for the fact that they keep everything organized, but they’re especially great for visual learners. Performance Percentage Tracker whiteboards are especially useful in this way, as employees can see where they stand in terms of project progress, which can also teach them where and how they can improve.

What type of learning style best resonates with you? Whether you learn best through the visual, auditory, or kinesthetic style, give these types of whiteboards a shot if you haven’t already! Through charts, colors, visual organization, and more, whiteboards are truly effective for visual learners. Not only that, but they’re different and can be more fun than the traditional slide presentation!

Kanban and manufacturing organization


A Kanban system, which is a way to help organize workflows, is an essential manufacturing process. Not only does it prioritize things for employees, but it puts a clear focus and emphasis on what needs to be done and will help unveil problems that those in charge may not have had a clear understanding of before. In any industry, it’s all about delivery, and especially with manufacturing, a Kanban system is key.

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The Benefits of Having a Dry Erase Board Calendar

GiantYear® 365-Day Magnetic Planning Calendars

GiantYear® 365-Day Magnetic Planning Calendars

One of the most important things in life to me is being organized, and it’s not something that always comes easy. Life can be hectic, so it’s best to stay on top of things. To avoid any headaches or confusion, I like having my days planned out in advance because if anything, it helps to keep me on track. One way that I keep organized is through keeping a calendar of upcoming events, meetings, and other things that are happening as a part of my schedule.

Being organized will put your mind at ease, and one key component of this is having a whiteboard calendar. In comparison to the calendar that you may already have, there are numerous benefits to having your calendar on a whiteboard, and here are a few.

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How to give a video presentation using a whiteboard


Did you know that whiteboards are outstanding for giving video presentations? When we think of video presentations, we typically think of the traditional, often-boring PowerPoint. We’ve all sat through plenty of these, whether it was in grade school, college, or in meetings at our jobs. Two of the main reasons that people utilize PowerPoint presentations so much is that they’re simple to do and, more importantly, because they’re very cost-efficient.

What if I told you that you could do a video presentation on a whiteboard that was also inexpensive? This is something that I’ve personally had great success with in the past, and now I want to share some tips with you. It’s important to be creative, so here are some reasons why and how you can utilize whiteboards to make some really inexpensive yet awesome presentations.

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Support local philanthropy to decrease employee turnover

Throughout your career, you’ve surely seen employees come and go. It’s the nature of the working world, and it’s bound to happen. There are always a variety of reasons why people leave companies, but frequent employee turnover isn’t good. Luckily, there are ways to reduce it, and one is in a way that you may not have thought of.

Have you ever done something nice for someone? Of course you have. We all have. We know that it makes us feel really good knowing that we made a positive impact on someone’s life, in whatever way that may be. Simply put, supporting local philanthropy can help to decrease employee turnover.

Here are some of the benefits of supporting local philanthropy:

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How to improve on-time delivery by 22%


Scheduling and information display in a production or service environment.

Here at Magnatag my Visible System teammates and I frequently work with customers who need to solve scheduling and information display problems in a production or service environment.

We often hear how slowdowns occur when the information employees need to process a job is not readily available. Recently we worked with a customer whose job stopped in several departments before passing it on to the next group. Once we realized their work flow could be defined by a series of steps or stages, the challenge became one of communicating that information to employees. What they need to know is the status of each job, what is coming next in the pipeline and where the bottlenecks are.

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Taking Notes (The Most Important Part of a Meeting)

Photo by: eekim (Flickr)

On certain days, I feel like I spend more time in meetings than I do at my desk, and I’m sure that some of you can relate. I’m very big on note-taking, too, because sometimes, these meetings can go in a lot of different directions, making it a bit tough at times to follow. Again, I’m sure this sounds very familiar to some of you. With that said, it’s important to always take notes in meetings, for a variety of reasons.

Personally, I’ve found that note-taking has some huge advantages. Here are some reasons why you should always have a notebook and pen (or an electronic device, though studies have shown that paper is better) with you when attending any type of meeting in the office.

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Avoid Business Buzzwords: Say These Instead

Photo by Sean MacEntee (Flickr)


In the business world, it’s no secret that buzzwords have become part of our vocabulary. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of buzzwords, as more often than not, they’re just unnecessary jargon. The reasoning for this is that with so many buzzwords, some can have alternate meanings. Therefore, in the business world, they can often be misconstrued.

Also, there are some buzzwords in business that can make you sound out of touch. Here are some business buzzwords that you should just stop using altogether.

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Use Mindfulness to Boost Workplace Creativity

Moyan_Brenn (flickr)

Creativity in the workplace is often underestimated. Sure, some people will just come in and go through their daily routine, never changing things up even in the slightest. However, I have discovered the importance of creativity and innovation over the years, not just because it can make you a better person but because it can make you much happier and feeling more innovative. This can benefit you both at the office as well as outside of the office.

Believe it or not, mindfulness meditation can be an outstanding way to relieve stress and ultimately boost your creativity. This is important to keep in mind because when you’re stressed about anything, you won’t be as creative or motivated to accomplish the tasks that are put in front of you. With that said, I had a friend recommend meditation to me, and I’ll be honest – at first, I was skeptical about it. I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about it because I assumed that the perceived benefits were a little over-exaggerated.

But I was wrong.

Here are a few key benefits of mindfulness meditation that I would like to share with you:

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