In this digital age, it’s a challenge to keep track of all your files. Whether you’re working on a personal project or business venture, those documents need to be organized so you can find them whenever you need them. You don’t have to spend money on expensive software programs; there are plenty of free Word templates available online. You can also create your own custom template in just a few minutes using basic Word skills and some blank documents. For example, with document properties, you can include information about the author and last editor in a document header or footer. Keep reading for more details on how to do this!
Create a central document hub
As you’re creating your documents and templates, remember the 80/20 rule which states that 80% of your work returns only 20% of your effort. In other words, focus on the major tasks and save the minor ones for later, as you’ll be less likely to get sidetracked by them. You can achieve this by centralizing your documents. If you’re working on multiple projects, make a folder for each project and move all your documents into their appropriate folders so you can find them later if needed. You can also create a “misc” folder for any documents you can’t seem to find a home for. A centralized system will make it easy to find any document you need without the frantic scrambling for a misplaced file.
Check for common problems
Before you start creating your own Word templates, it’s a good idea to check for basic issues. If you have automatic spell-check turned on, you may not notice that a standard document has lots of red underlines. When you create custom templates, you have the option to turn off automatic spell-check and turn on “show all errors” so you know when you’ve made a mistake. Another common problem is inconsistent capitalization and grammar. If you’re working on documents with a lot of text, it can be easy to miss a few instances of a word that should be capitalized or a sentence with an improper verb tense. Make sure to review your document after you’ve finished writing it and before you send it to anyone else.
Create document properties
The new document properties feature, which was introduced in Word 2007, is a great option for adding relevant information about the document. You can include information about the author, the last editor, and even a document summary. This is helpful because you or someone else may be searching for a document that you’ve created in the past, but can’t seem to find it again. Document properties are displayed in the document footer so they’re not distracting and can be overlooked if you don’t need to see them. If you’re creating a template to be used for multiple projects, you can select “always show footer” so the information is displayed on every document. The document properties feature is located in the “document properties” tab. This is the same tab you would use to add watermarks to your documents.
Plan your folder structure
Before you actually start creating your templates, you want to consider your folder structure. This might seem like a boring part, but it’s an important part of organizing all your documents. You might want to create folders based on the type of document each one is, such as a “business” folder, a “health” folder, and a “personal” folder. You might also want to create folders based on the projects you’re working on, such as a “house” folder for documents related to your home renovation, a “blog” folder for your blog posts, and a “social media” folder for your social media content. You can make your folder structure as detailed or as simple as you want. You might want to create subfolders for each project or type of document if you have a lot of folders. You can make your folder names as descriptive or simple as you want, as well. You might want to create a folder called “business-contracts” if you have a lot of contracts related to your business. You can also create a folder called “health-insurance” if you have a lot of health-related documents.
Add an index and table of contents
If you’re creating a template for students, an employee handbook, or another type of document that has a lot of different sections, you can add an index and a table of contents. An index is basically a list of topics in your document that you can then refer back to in the table of contents. This is helpful because it allows someone to quickly find the information they’re looking for without having to go through the entire document. An index is a list of topics that is usually found in the front or back of a book. A table of contents is a list of the different sections in your document. Adding an index and table of contents to your document is easy when you’re creating your document. Select “insert” and then “layout” in the menu bar on your Word document. Once the box pops up, select “table of contents” to add a table of contents, or select “index” to add an index. From there, you can change the formatting and wording of the index and table of contents.
Add a banner and footer with basic information
If you often work with clients and have to send out documents for them to edit, you can add a banner and footer with basic information about you and the document. Adding a banner and footer is helpful for anyone reading the document because it can give them information about you and the document without having to turn to a page in the middle or the back. You can also use a banner and footer to add your contact information so the recipient can get in touch with you if they have a question or need to let you know something. A banner can be a short message or paragraph at the top of the document. A footer usually appears at the bottom of a document, but it can also be added to the top or middle of a document. To add a banner or footer to your document, select “insert” in the menu bar and select “text”. From there, you can select where you want to add your banner or footer.
Add sections and subsections
If you work on documents with a lot of sections, you might want to create a custom template that includes sections and subsections. This is helpful for someone who’s reading your document, especially if they’re an editor and are looking for specific information in your document or if they’re an author and want to know where to put certain information. A section is a horizontal break in a document where information is organized into logical parts. A subsection is a smaller part of a section. You can add sections and subsections to your document when you’re creating the template. Once you have the template set up the way you want it, you can add the section and subsection breaks by selecting “page layout” in the menu bar and selecting “page break”.
Add a navigation pane
If you’re creating a template for a large document or multiple documents, you might want to add a navigation pane. This allows someone who’s reading the document to quickly jump to different sections. You can either add the navigation pane to the end of the document or to the side so it’s easy to find while reading. You can also add an “up” and “down” button so readers can quickly jump up and down the document.