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How to Create Stunning Infographics in 30 Minutes or Less

How to Create Stunning Infographics in 30 Minutes or Less

From word clouds to network data visualizations, infographics have become a primary format for content in a relatively short period of time. Although the ‘infographic’ is nothing new, its proliferation and evolution has been nothing short of exponential in the past few years.

Whether you love them or hate them, the rising popularity of infographics can’t be denied.

If you want to get a message across, whether it is for your business, blog, or book club, using an infographic can be the best way to do it. If you’re incapable of drawing a recognizable human stick figure, let alone an entire data visualization, you may be agonizing over the disturbing fact that infographics are all the rage.

It just so happens that there are many people out there who want to deliver a message using an infographic who do not have any artistic skills. It’s lucky for us that tools and resources have popped up all over the place to help even the most hopeless of us (like me) create beautiful infographics.

I’m going to show you how to do it in thirty minutes or less.

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Rules of Engagement

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, there are some basic rules you need to follow when creating infographics. At least you need to follow them when creating infographics people will want to actually read.

Just because you’ve put together a picture with words and numbers doesn’t make it an infographic, certainly not an effective infographic. Before starting, make sure you have the following rules in mind:

  • Make a point: Don’t just slap useless numbers on a chart. Your infographic needs to have a clear and strong beginning, middle, and an end. It must read like a story, not like an excerpt from a trivia book.
  • Don’t waffle: If you find a juicy piece of data that fascinates you but isn’t relevant to your message, please refrain from including it in your infographic. Go marvel over it in private and don’t take your readers off on a tangent. Stick to the point and make it simple.
  • Check yourself before you wreck yourself: For the love of all that is good in the world, do not go to randomguysblog[dot]wordpress[dot]com and assume that all information there is fact. Get your information from credible sources and cite them at the bottom of your infographic.
  • Brand it: Make sure it’s clear that you or your organization created the infographic.
  • Make it sharable: Whether you include tweetables, a Pin It button, Facebook share, or whatever your social network of choice is, make sure that people can spread the word about your new stunning infographic. Don’t forget to also include embed code so people can put your infographic on their own website.

Creating Your Infographic

Since this is an article about infographic creation, it seemed appropriate that I should include an infographic. I’m going to create this infographic using the steps outlined below

Step 1: Research

It’s called an infographic for a reason. You have to include some useful information. Without it, your infographic becomes art. Worse, it becomes very bad art. So, do your homework and do it well. You may be able to skip this part if you’re a true expert in your topic, but even then, it’s good to do your homework. It’s important to do this part first, since the data you decide on displaying will determine what kind of infographic you need to create.

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Step 2: Choose a Template

    I use Piktochart to create all of my infographics.

    Out of all the tools I’ve used, Piktochart is by far the best when it comes to a combination of flexibility, options, and overall ease of use. The trick is to pick a template that will do a good job of representing your data without you having to modify or customize it too much. This is where your research from step one comes in. Use it to decide what kind of layout will best suit your data.

    Piktochart offers a wealth of templates, so you won’t have a problem. You can sign up for a free account or paid account. If you plan on creating infographics more than a few times and you want to do it without spending hundreds of dollars on a graphic designer or losing your mind, I suggest investing in the paid account.

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    Here’s a snapshot (on the right) of just a few templates I can choose from in my Piktochart account.

    Step 3: Insert Data & Customize (30 minutes)

    Take all the data you gathered from step one and put it into the template. Although we’ve basically eliminated the need to consider the design of your infographic, it’s still important that you can present the data in an organized and sensible way. Use arrows to help information flow and make it scannable as you would a blog post.

    Step 4: Reveal Your Infographic to the World

    Here’s the infographic I made in 32 minutes as a demonstration for this article. After doing the research, it was just a matter of organizing my data and inserting it. I had to do only a little customization since I picked a template that suited my data well.

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    If you are willing to spend a bit more time, you could make your infographic longer and more in-depth!

     

      Add this infographic to your site: 

      <img src=’https://cdn.lifehack.org/wp-content/files/2012/11/LifeHackInfographic.png’ alt=”How to Create Stunning Infographics in 30 Minutes or Less”>

      <a href=’http://www.lifehack.org’ title=”Create An Infographic”>Lifehack.org</a>

      Featured photo credit:  Downwards shot of woman employee via Shutterstock

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      Published on January 7, 2021

      How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

      How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

      Some people see the trees for the forest, and some see only the forest, meaning they lack strong attention to detail. But even if you’re one of the people who take a macro rather than a micro view, true professionalism requires balancing both.

      If focusing on the fine points is not your forte, you will benefit from training yourself to pay attention to details. You will profit by saving yourself time, effort, money, and credibility.

      Why Training Yourself in Attention to Details Pays Off

      You add value to your organization when you make the effort to ensure that you performed your work thoroughly and effectively. This is why job postings often list “attention to details” among the required skills.

      When you present your supervisor or client with well-completed, high-quality work the first time, it maximizes your value and minimizes wasted time. Detail-oriented people are also more adept at catching mistakes that could lead to costly blunders.

      Moreover, attention to detail is an indicator of possessing other in-demand employee qualities, such as organization, thoroughness, and focus. In some professions, such as accounting, engineering, medical research, and more, you can only excel if you have trained yourself to pay attention to details.

      In other professions, possessing strong attention to detail is the very quality that will get you promoted to a position where you will be asked to consider the big picture.

      Finally, if you are the “go-to” details person, everyone else on the team can relax a bit. They know the project is in good hands and will likely throw you more projects as a reward. This will ultimately lead to your advancement.

      3 Important Aspects of Becoming More Detail-Oriented

      Here are the 3 important things you need to learn if you want to remedy your lack of attention to detail:

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      1. Respect deadlines
      2. Understand the work-flow plan
      3. Build in time to mess up

      1. Respect Deadlines

      Deadlines lend all projects a finish line. One smart idea is to take the given deadline and work backward from it, calculating when your piece of the project is due. Then, if you stick to the proscribed schedule for completing the mini-projects that you have, you will never miss a deadline.

      One important note on this: It is smarter to stick to the deadline and turn in work that merits a “B+” than to blow the deadline with “A” work. Chances are, through revision and suggested changes from others on the team, you can bring up your B+ work to an A later. But if you disregard deadlines, you will lose the respect of your boss and fellow teammates.

      2. Understand the Work-Flow Plan

      Your team is developing work in conjunction with other teams who have projects and deadlines of their own. When you grasp the whole work-flow plan, you may be able to either add insight to the greater project or to your own smaller piece of it that others at the firm will consider valuable.

      3. Build in Time to Mess Up

      You can expect that “what can go wrong will go wrong.” Don’t overpromise on deadlines. Something likely will mess up, but when it does if you built in the time to fix it, those around you won’t freak out.

      Chances are, you already give your attention to several details. Take heart. You can do this! You can overcome your lack of attention to detail and become more detail-oriented.

      For starters, consider this: Most people take the time and put in extra effort into the activities or undertakings that matter to them most. Training yourself to become more detail-oriented can mean adopting a similar pattern of behavior.

      Apply the same attention you give to your appearance. Are you a meticulous dresser? Do you pay attention to how you pair patterns and colors, and how you accessorize a particular outfit?

      This is the same system to use when you lack attention to detail with your work. Give every item careful consideration so that each one contributes to the perfectly pieced-together whole.

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      Assemble the ingredients the way you do when you cook. Cooking and baking from scratch require close attention to details as you measure and add each ingredient in sequence, and you time everything so that the meal comes together at the same time.

      Similarly, your work product requires you to gauge whether all the ingredients have been added and that your final product is delivered on time.

      Organize your business network like you do your social contacts. If you follow a broad base of friends and acquaintances on social media, you can apply similar skills to stay up-to-date on details associated with business acquaintances.

      When you meet somebody who could be influential to your career or a resource for improving your skills, follow that person on social media. Respond to their posts to keep the lines of communication flowing.

      12 Tips to Help You if You Lack Attention to Detail

      Teaching yourself to take note of important details involves sharpening your perceptions and thinking ahead. The following tips will help you adopt these practices. Master these habits when training yourself to become detail-oriented.

      1. Learn to Listen Well

      You will pick up relevant information and needed nuance when you apply the skills of active listening. In conversations, train yourself to make eye contact, give your undivided attention to the speaker, and ask pertinent follow-up questions.

      Training yourself to pay better attention to details in conversations includes learning to fully concentrate on what others have to say. If you find it hard, there’s no harm in taking notes on what they say.

      2. Pay Attention to Social Cues

      Make a point of noticing body language and facial expressions that provide insights into how others perceive a situation. Social cues offer details that give you an understanding of how words and actions impact others. The infamous character Michael Scott of the television show “The Office” epitomizes the consequences of not paying attention to others’ body language.[1]

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      3. Follow Rules

      Rules and protocols usually come about from lessons learned and are put in place to avoid further mishaps—whether from a safety or efficiency standpoint. If you’re given step-by-step procedures to follow, check them off as you go. Also, return to the rules at the project’s end just to make sure you adhered to them all.

      4. Take Notes

      Note-taking is a way to boost your retention and gives you something to refer back to when you need to keep track of pertinent details. You will also heighten your focus as you listen for relevant information. Review your notes shortly after the meeting or conversation and highlight the content that you intend to apply.

      5. Prioritize What Needs Your Attention Now

      When you have a full slate of work that demands your attention, take a few moments to sort assignments from most to least urgent. Keep a calendar, spreadsheet, or project planning software up-to-date with schedules and deadlines to help you stay organized.

      As you tackle each urgent assignment, give it your full attention so no details are missed. Give yourself ample time—especially if you tend to be someone who waits until the last minute—as rushing can make you overlook important details.

      6. Have a Detail-Oriented Assistant Check Your Work

      If you lack attention to detail, then it makes sense to seek help from someone detail-oriented. If you have this option, take advantage of it. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Just be sure to credit your assistant for their help once the project is completed.

      7. Learn the Rules of Writing Well

      English is a difficult language, and grammar, punctuation, and spelling can all sabotage you unless you pay attention to detail. When in doubt, look it up. Free to use website services such as Grammarly can help.

      8. Proofread Before You Hit Send

      Nothing is perfect in its first draft. If you lack attention to detail, then put in the extra effort before submitting things. Before you send off any written work, check carefully not only for misspellings and incomplete sentences but also for improper tone, inappropriate colloquialisms, and inconsistent formatting. When your written communications are error-free, they will have their intended impact.

      9. Minimize Distractions

      It is impossible to stay focused when colleagues carry on conversations nearby or your mobile notifications ding you throughout the day. Do your best to limit distractions.

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      If you are working where there is a lot of noise or side activity, try wearing noise-canceling headphones or seeking out a quiet corner. Disable your notifications when you need to focus, and resolve to only check them after you have completed your assignment.

      10. Take Breaks

      It may sound counter-intuitive to stop and take a walk, but it’s necessary. Walk away from the screen. Moving from one task to the next across the span of your workday is a recipe for brain fatigue. Give your brain a recess time when you come to a natural stopping place or after you complete one project and before you start the next. These short pauses are necessary for sorting through all the details needed for coming up with successful solutions.

      11. Make Time for Reflection

      At the end of a workday, take a few minutes to go over the day’s events in your mind. What was said or relayed in conversations? What is the status of the projects you worked on? What else occurred that you should pay attention to? Could there have been any details you might have missed that you should address tomorrow?

      12. Keep a Detailed To-Do List

      This simple organizational tool is your best ally for getting your work done on time and for paying attention to the details. If you are pressed for time (and who isn’t?), write your list to coordinate with dayparts.

      Allot a certain number of hours to complete each task, do it, and then check it off. Nothing feels more rewarding than completing all the tasks on your list. But if you can’t finish them, then carry them over to the following day.

      Final Thoughts

      Details may seem small, but they can become a lot larger when they are overlooked. If you know you lack attention to detail, commit to training yourself to embrace the many facets that can help you consistently excel in the tasks you set out to accomplish.

      When you begin to catch your mistakes in advance or apply the tidbits of information you gathered from paying close attention, you will know that you have trained yourself in the fundamentals of becoming detail-oriented. After that, you should start hearing the phrase “Great job!” more often.

      More Tips on Boosting Your Attention to Detail

      Featured photo credit: Cristina Gottardi via unsplash.com

      Reference

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