How To Print on Index Cards and Post-It Notes



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 onto one index card. If you have this problem too then this just might be your answer.

I stumbled upon these techniques while creating my Plotting Board. You can check out that little adventure here: How To Outline Your Novel with a Bulletin Board: Part 1 and Part 2. Don’t forget to scroll down and check out the comment section to find user reviews and more tips and tricks on how to accomplish this.

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 thinking. 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 our inner 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


  1. Before purchasing index cards, check your printer to see what is the smallest sized index card it can be configured to. Some printers will not print on the 3″ x 5″ cards. If this is the case, you can still print on the larger 4″ x 6″ cards.

  2. 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.

  3. Open your word processing software (MS Word, OpenOffice, or MS Works) on your computer.

  4. From MS Word, click on the “Page Layout” tab

  5. Click on “Size” in MS Word. Set the size to either 3″ x 5″ or 4″ x 6″ depending on the size card you purchased. There is an index card setting.

  6. Change the margins in MS Word to be no more than 1/2″ all the way around.

  7. Change the page orientation to “Landscape”.

  8. 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”.

  9. 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.

  10. Create your index card text.

  11. 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 Contributor.


  1. 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″ wide x 2.7″ high.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Reprint. With the Post-It Notes covering the typed messages, place the paper into the manual feeder of your printer. Print the page again.
  5. Use your typed Post-It Notes and impress you friends, family or fellow workers/classmates.

I hope these two little tricks help make planning and plotting a whole lot easier for you.



Published by Darla G. Denton, Writer

I am a Contemporary Romance Writer for Curvy women and the men who love them.

39 thoughts on “How To Print on Index Cards and Post-It Notes

  1. I still use my notebook and Scriv now. No need for a bulletin board so far. I still do plenty of scribbling though.


      1. Scriv has a digital cork board 😉 I’m very visual too, but it seems to work okay for me. Plus everything is in one place. Very organized. I think you’d like it.


  2. Brilliant! Though, as a former lower elementary school teacher my handwriting is pretty OK. You never know when something like this could come in handy! Thanks for all the great things you share. Learning tons!!


  3. This tutorial was so helpful! I’m required to do around 40 flashcards a week for AP Bio, and this method of creating cards reduced time needed by roughly 80%! Thank you so much!


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Would this work if you wanted to print on both sides or will i have to do something special? I have a duplex printer which would make it easier so I don’t have to manually flip those little buggars.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Elisha 🙂 I don’t have personal experience with a duplex printer so I can not say for sure if you would have to do something special to print on both sides of an index card. However, I asked around for you, because I was curious myself, and was told that you go the print feature in your word program, select your printer and then choose the “Manual Duplex” tab to print on both sides of the card (?). Does that sound right? Let me know if this works for you.


    2. I can’t say for all printers, there may be one out there that will work, but I have a duplex printer which informed me that on 3×5″ I have to “manually duplex” meaning it won’t duplex for me. I suspect the duplexer isn’t built to handle such small paper. Thankfully it’s not that hard, and I’m not printing hundreds of two-sided cards 😉

      I wouldn’t be surprised if a better printer would be able to do it. I have a Xerox Phaser 6180 MFP.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I know that this is an older post but I was hoping you could help me out. I was wondering how you got those arrows so close to the edge of the page? Because the smallest I can make my margins is 0.5″ I can’t get any decals that close. Thanks!


    1. Hi Amber, no matter what the published date is on any of my blog posts, I monitor any and all comments, requests, etc…and try to respond as soon as I can. So if you ever have a question. Don’t hesitate to ask. In regards to the arrows in the margins…Do you mean the arrows on the flashcard that is pictured or in the body of text in the blog post?


      1. Ah, that was done with the magic of photo editing ( to be exact.) I took a picture of a stack of index cards and then uploaded it to picmonkey where I then added the text and graphics onto it. I’ve never actually tried to print graphics on index cards. Other then it not being as close to the edge as you like, does adding graphics to your index card work? Does it look good?


  6. Thank you kindly for sharing what you found regarding printing on index cards!
    I’m contemplating organizing some Zentangle patterns on 4″x6″ cards, which entails first printing a grid of dots/lines on one side (to the edges?), then hand drawing the steps to make the pattern in 1″ squares, AND then drawing the finished pattern on the other side (within a tile’s framework of a 3.5″x3.5″ square) and labeled with it’s pattern name and maker. I’ll report back on how this works for me.
    I have found a bound Moleskin notebook of over a thousand patterns a bit confining & bulky to carry for this very portable hobby (used while ‘waiting’ for something when out and about, and at home to ‘zone out’ from the chaos of life, occasionally – grin). Nancy Barnhart age 73

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This process worked wonderfully! I printed over a 100 cards today and each is perfect, just the way I preferred them to be. I used two templates I found online – one on Tangle for A6 size paper (square dots and blank) as well as a template for the other side where I wanted faint dots for a grid like base. Oh, I’m so happy to have done all this in a very short amount of time! thanks again, NancyB

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, there are oodles of pictures of Zentangle drawing on Pinterest,,, YouTube, and many other artists’ sites. The couple who own began this amazing zen like drawing, and it’s definitely taken off world wide. Linda at has tried to keep up with patterns folks make up and shares them with her readership folks. The best is Maria Thomas of (grin). So much talent flows through her to the paper in front of her! Watching her draw is a unique pleasure to experience.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I thought about this the day before yesterday when deciding to participate in a friend’s index card art challenge. My writing isn’t always the best, and I thought to use a printer but wasn’t sure if it worked the same way as an envelope. Thanks for sharing


  8. Although the watercolor paper will not have any sort of coating on it, the toner may not adhere well to the surface of the paper, and the paper may not hold up well to the heat of a laser printer. Visit this blog for tips and tricks and to find an easy way to print watercolor paper.


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