A few months ago I talked about how I outline and plot a novel in “How To Outline Your Novel With A Bulletin Board and How To Outline Your Novel With A Bulletin Board Part 2“. Once again I admit that I over prepare for a book I’m working on but it’s what’s working for me and that’s all that matters right? 🙂
Anyway, I wanted to share something with you that, has been around for years now, but I’m just now learning about it.
Did you know that you can print on your index cards?
I don’t know about you but I don’t have the neatest handwriting and I tend to have more to write then I can manually fit on one index card. If you have this problem too then this just might be your answer.
Whether you pin your index cards to boards, keep them on a binder ring, or in a loose pile, you can definitely benefit from having each card typed out as neat as possible. This will, of course, make it easier to read what your genius mind was saying. Cause, let’s face it. We’ve all written down notes, key facts/clues, or important plot points and later went back to read it only to find out we must have been channeling some doctor because it’s nothing but chicken scratch!
The article I stumbled upon that taught me this neat trick is “How To Print On Index Cards” written by Rhonda Levine on eHow.
Before purchasing index cards, check your printer to see the smallest size you can configure it to. Some printers won’t print on the smaller 3″x5″ cards. If this is the case, you can still print on the larger 4″x6″ cards.
Place a stack of index cards in your printer tray and move the printer guide up against them to let your printer know it’s loaded with index cards.
Open your word processing software–you may have MS Word, OpenOffice or MS Works on your computer.
For MS Word, click on the “Page Layout” tab.
Click on “Size” in MS Word. Set the size to either 3″x5″ or 4″x6″ depending on the size card you purchased. There is an index card setting.
Change the margins in MS Word to be no more than 1/2″ all the way around.
Change the page orientation to “Landscape.”
If you are using OpenOffice, click on the “Format” tab on the top of the page. On the drop down list, select “Page.” Here you will be able to change the page size and define the margins. Set the page orientation to “Landscape.”
If you are using MS Works, click on “File” and then select “Page Setup” from the drop down menu. Click on the “Size, Source & Orientation” tab to select the size and landscape orientation. Then, set your margins.
Create your index card text.
Click on the “Print” tab.
If Index cards aren’t your thing but you do have an avalanche of sticky notes in your writers notebook, on your walls, or around your desk don’t despair! You can print on those too. I kid you not!
The article that taught me this nifty trick is “How To Print Typed Post-It Notes” by an eHow Contributor.
Download a template for typing Post-It Notes. If you prefer, you can simply make your own template. For each Post-It Note, make the margins 2.5 inches wide and 2.7 inches high.
Type your message. Decide how many custom Post-It Notes you need and type your message into each box. Use Copy and Paste to make this go much quicker.
Print typed messages. Print the document as you normally would. Do not involve the Post-It Notes yet. Once printed, apply a Post-It Note to each typed message.
Reprint. With the Post-It Notes covering the typed messages, place the paper into the manual feeder of your printer. Print the page again.
Use your typed Post-It Notes and impress coworkers, friends, students and teachers with your ingenuity.