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A blog about saving the world from boring docs and presentations.

Anneli L. Tostar

Anneli L. Tostar

Anneli is a Harvard-trained anthropologist and artist, originally from Portland, Oregon. She now lives in Stockholm and is studying urban planning and design. Anneli speaks five languages and understands none of them.

Recent Posts

September 13, 2017 / Anneli L. Tostar

How free clipart images and photos can help you keep your job

For those of you reading this article because of the title, apologies for the click-bait. But wait! I promise I’m not exaggerating too much.

It’s no secret that the world is changing, and that with that comes the working world. In addition to being more global, more visual, and more allergen-free, most offices are starting to become more efficient, often at the cost of human jobs. Automation can make businesses run more smoothly, but can also mean that you’re at risk of being replaced by an algorithm.

 

So how do you make yourself irreplaceable?

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September 5, 2017 / Anneli L. Tostar

Using images to get different cultures on the same page at work

There’s a lot of buzz around “work culture” these days, and it’s obvious that the behaviors, practices, and attitudes in your workplace shape your experience and the kind of work you produce. This can be a tricky thing to manage and cultivate, but becomes even more complicated when you have people from very different backgrounds in the same environment. Navigating language is one thing. Navigating work styles is another.

In this piece we give you some pointers for where you might come across cultural friction, and how to navigate this and communicate clearly using images.

 

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August 30, 2017 / Anneli L. Tostar

How can free stock images improve an office environment?

It’s no secret that our environments affect how well we work—the visual world matters, and lots of companies spend loads of money trying to crack the code on making their offices people-friendly. Still, there’s little evidence to show that an open floor plan is better than cubicles, or that beanbag chairs stimulate creative thinking.

 

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August 23, 2017 / Anneli L. Tostar

How to communicate clearly with customers and make your work matter

There's absolutely nothing worse than having your time wasted. With so few hours in the day and so few days in the week, it can feel like you never have time to get things done. Which is why it can be discouraging and frustrating if your nine-to-five feels like it isn’t even making a difference.

 

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August 14, 2017 / Anneli L. Tostar

Field Guide to the Modern Office: How to Communicate Clearly with 6 Creatures You'll Meet

Business jargon, outdated fax machines—the modern office can be a complicated place to navigate. Luckily, you’ve got an anthropologist to give you a field guide to the six coworkers you’re most likely to spot around the water cooler. So if you’re finding yourself stumped trying to communicate clearly with the various species you encounter in ‘the wild’ (a.k.a. the cafeteria), we’re here to help.

 

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August 8, 2017 / Anneli L. Tostar

How to improve teamwork with images

Picture yourself in an office. (Which, if you’re reading this at work, shouldn’t be too difficult.) You’re working on a shared document and adding to each other’s comments, but when it’s time to hand it in to the boss you realize your coworker Joel didn’t contribute. Of course, he mentioned a few ideas during the meeting when your manager was in the room, but did no legwork behind the scenes. You’re left feeling frustrated and risk sounding petty if you complain to your boss.

Unfortunately, most of us can probably think of at least one coworker who doesn’t pull his or her weight on team projects. Worse still, we may find ourselves not pulling our own weight, even when we know we can.

What’s up with that? Why is it so easy to drop the ball? And how can we make teamwork work?

 

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July 27, 2017 / Anneli L. Tostar

Why even "non-creative” people need to use quality presentation images

It’s no secret that design matters. By now–thanks to companies like Pixar, Google and Apple–consumers have realized that the devil is in the details, and small tweaks to the look and feel of products can make a big difference. But many people don’t realize that design affects every aspect of our lives—everything from your workplace to your Word documents and PowerPoint presentations. In the same way you notice when stairs feel too far apart, everyone (even non-designer types) notices when sentences are too long and words start to blur together.

 

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July 13, 2017 / Anneli L. Tostar

Why your PowerPoint presentations may be lost in translation

Hygge. Schadenfreude. Je-ne-sais-quois. Sometimes we adopt words from different languages because they convey something our own language can’t. But sometimes a multicultural world makes it harder to communicate.

Let anthropology explain why...

 

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July 7, 2017 / Anneli L. Tostar

How your presentation images can support diversity in the workplace

Images are powerful tools. (Bet you weren’t expecting that from us.) But in addition to convincing your audience of your message or product, you can also create unspoken norms through the photos you choose. Psychological research tells us that people remember much more of what they see from a presentation than what they hear.

That means that presentation design matters, because each image you use to illustrate your work might actually say more than a thousand words.

 

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