7 Ways to Use Icons in Your Project Communications

PMI United Kingdom Chapter

Elizabeth is a freelance writer and project manager living and working in London. She run The Otobos Group, a project communications consultancy specializing in project management.

How much of the project communications you produce are written? I’d hazard a guess to say most of it. From emails to status reports, town hall presentations to slide decks for team webinars, most of what we churn out as project managers involves a lot of words.

Icons are like words… in picture form! If you look at a document and feel that if you could only just do something to make it come to life, then you’ll probably be glad to know that icons can do exactly that. And in a more grown-up, professional way than by adding emoticons to your materials.

Icons are great because they are small, flexible and freely available. You don’t have to commission special imagery. They work with every set of brand guidelines. And you don’t have to be a graphic designer to add them to your project communications.

Here are seven ways in which you can use icons on your project to elevate the way you communicate with stakeholders.

1. Make your reports more interesting. Are people reading your project status reports? Possibly not enough in enough detail. Think about how icons could help you get the same message across but faster and more interestingly. For example, even something simple like the letter R in a red circle can really make your project status pop far beyond what the word “red” (in black text) could do.

2. Improve your …

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