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How To Organize Evernote Notebooks For Ultimate Productivity

How To Organize Evernote Notebooks For Ultimate Productivity

You’ve heard of Evernote before – maybe you have even used it casually in the past to take some notes.  But you are now ready to actually use Evernote to its fullest potential.  Because I can tell you right now, Evernote isn’t just a note taking app.

At base, Evernote is a series of notes stacked together with a few different search features (notebooks, search, and tags), the utility of these functions is entirely dependent on how you organize Evernote notebooks.

This article will cover how to organize your Evernote notebooks so that you can make the most of the program.

When you are done with this process, you will feel so organized and productive and ready to take on the world!  Everything will fit into its perfect place and that will make you unstoppable.  

Disclosure: Guess what? Otters eat over 10 pounds of sashimi a day! To help offset the cost of food (and running this website), we receive a commission if you click on a link and purchase something.

Before We Start

Download Evernote for Desktop

While you can perform many of these functions on your phone or a tablet, I highly recommend downloading Evernote to your desktop/laptop for these steps.  It will be a lot easier for this set up.

No Tags – Just Notebooks

For this process, I’ll be walking you through how to set up your Evernote account using Notebooks and Stacks.  If you are new to Evernote, this is how to set up Notebooks and Stacks.

You can follow along with these instructions by opening your Evernote desktop application and creating notebooks along with this post.  At the end, you will be on your way to a better, more organized life!  

!Inbox – The Foundation

I can’t take credit for inventing this trick, but I have seen it repeated a lot among Evernote Community because the functionality of an inbox is so powerful.  I learned about this from Stacey Harmon, an Evernote genius, who has found a way to use Evernote to literally power her life.

An Inbox is simply a notebook with all the notes you haven’t yet processed, filed, and/or tagged.  They may be notes without proper titles or unfinished thoughts.  They may be notes that are sent to Evernote via your email inbox or a bookmark you pinned from the Evernote Web Extension.  

Evernote Notebooks Left Side Bar System
Your Notebook Layout will look similar to this when you are done reading this post!

The word “Inbox” says it all.  It is the first spot dumping ground for you to sort through.

Why the exclamation point(!)?

Because it makes the notebook show up at the top of your notebooks list.  The list is alphabetical with symbols taking priority, followed by numbers, then letters.  

Make !Inbox your default notebook.

Then, anytime you jot something down it will show up there for you to review later.  You will regularly go through your Inbox, just like you do with email, to find something you haven’t finished yet.

If you have been using Evernote for awhile and are looking to reorganize existing notes, move all your notes into !Inbox to sort later with this new organizational system.

.System – A Reference

The next notebook you should create is a reference notebook.  This notebook will include notes that specify how to organize Evernote notebooks.  

You are going to love your organizational system – until 6 months from now when you get your tax return and you can’t remember if you were planning on filing that under “finance” or “business”?

This is how .System helps.  It is a quick reference notebook with notes that help you remember your own filing system.

Create three notes in this notebook:

  • Notebook Categories
  • How To Title Notes
  • Evernote Tips

The Notebook Categories note will be a bulleted list of all your notebooks and stacks with a description of what goes into each notebook.  

Example of Notebook Categories Note to sort Evernote Notebooks
Pro Tip
Follow along with this article and fill in this note as you go!

The How To Title Notes note provides instructions for processing notes before filing.  I find this helpful for financial or transactional notes.  

Screenshot of how to title Evernote notes

Finally, Evernote Tips.  As you become more familiar with Evernote, you will start learning new tips and tricks that help you become a better user.  
Evernote is more powerful than it first seems.  Use this note to keep track of all the Evernote tips that are interesting to you.  

You can start by creating link to this article for easy reference!

1. Finances

Now we get into the numbered notebooks in your organization.  This is the location of all your financial documents, which includes the following:

  • Receipts
  • Bills
  • Statements
  • Tax Documents
  • Paystubs
  • Contracts

In this category you have two options:

  • Option A: Create a stack of financial notebooks
  • Option B: Create a singular financial notebook and rely on the title to specify the financial note item.

Choose option A of you are uploading most if not all of your financial documents and/or you have hundreds of financial documents you need to sort through.

If you choose option A, create notebooks for all the above categories and then join them together in a stack.

Choose option B if you are only using Evernote for a couple categories (such as Receipts for your business and the occasional statement) and you don’t need to sort through all the notes at a more granular level.

If you choose option B, you will want to make sure you follow the Title and Tag process carefully so that you can easily search your notes.

You might like: How to Process Financial Documents in Evernote

2. Work

You don’t have to use Evernote at work in order to include a notebook with work-related items.  For each job you have had, or currently have, create a notebook.  In each notebook, create/upload notes for the following items:

  • Resume you used to get the job
  • Job description with specific dates and location of employment and manager contact information
  • Performance reviews
  • Projects, documents, and emails you are proud of (portfolio)
update status of job application in evernote

Job Tracker Template

Quickly check the status of your job applications and never forget to follow up again!

Quick note...
I don’t actually use this set up for work, since I use Evernote for my business. I have a stack for each business (see Work A and Work B in notebook image above).

If you use Evernote for work, or use Evernote business, this section may look different for you, too.  

Let me know in the comments below if you are interested in an article on how to set up Evernote for your business (or how to use the ‘Evernote for Business’ product).

3. School

If you are in school, Evernote will serve as a great tool for you for many years to come.  

I recommend you create new note for each class you are taking, and treat the note like a diary of events and lecture notes.  As additional projects are added, link to them from your main class note.  

Read: How to Stay Organized in School with Evernote.

If you are no longer in school, but you have documents you want to save from school, create this notebook but give it a number lower down on the list.

4. Health

This notebook is a great way to easily reference your health history, experience at a doctor’s visit, details on your prescriptions, and more.  

I have a singular note for each family member in my household that contains an ongoing diary of health history.  

If you have regular prescriptions or a preexisting condition you need to track, it might be helpful to create a note specifically for each issue to track separately.

A diary note is a great way to include all information in one location.  Here is an example:

Health Diary Example in Evernote

Add to your diary by linking to additional notes in this notebook.  This cross linking will make it easier for you to reference additional materials.  

Using the example above, let’s say you want to include the specific prescription you received so you know what type of antibiotics you were prescribed.

  1. Take a photo of the prescription bottle or prescription note using your Evernote App camera function.  
  2. Add the photo note to your Health notebook
  3. While viewing the note on your phone, tap Share (or three dots on Android) and tap Copy (Internal) Link.
  4. When writing your health diary, paste the link in text.  The title of the note will be the link text.

Besides doctor’s appointments and prescriptions, this notebook is a great place to include an exercise routines, vaccination records, mental health information, or gym membership information.

Health insurance statements and medical bills will be categorized under “Financial”.

5. Home

This stack is incredibly helpful for anyone as it serves to collect all reference materials for your home.  

If you plan on using Evernote to go paper-free, you will be surprised by how much we accumulate that we never look at but can’t bare parting with.

Most common culprit?  Product manuals.  

Create the following notebooks:


  • Mortgage/Rental documents (Contracts, rules, addendums)
  • Conversations with your landlord (link to diary note post)
  • Homeowners/renters insurance documentation
  • Inventory of household items for insurance purposes
  • Note with reminders to change filters, or a list of all the sizes and power of lightbulbs you use in different lamps and overhead lighting

Manuals & Warranty

Scan in all the manuals and warranties for everything. Evernote Premium can search PDFs, making this a scan and done task. If you are using Evernote Basic, be sure to title the note with the name of the product.

This comes in handy: I ran out to my local hardware store to get a replacement filter, but forgot to write down the filter size. Quick search for my product manual and there it was!

Don’t want to bother scanning everything? You can find most manuals on line with a quick Google search. Add a link to the manual next to the name of a product in a note.


Find a recipe online you want to try?  Bookmark it with the Evernote app and it will add it to your !Inbox.  Tried it and liked it?  Move the note to this folder for repeat use.  Or, move and then edit to include any changes to the recipe.

Also great for scanning in Grandma’s Secret Recipe so it never gets lost.

Here is an in depth look at how you can use Evernote to organize and keep track of recipes.

Bonus: Template for meal prepping!


Maintenance receipts, title, warrantee information, and anything else you need to keep your baby running in tip-top shape.

Lawn & Garden

Can’t remember where you planted tulip bulbs last year?  Create a yard map and writing in what you planted and where.  Also, any instructions on plant care or vegetable growing calendars.

Have someone else manage your yard?  Scan maintenance paperwork so you remember the last time fertilizer was added or irrigation was tested.

6. Important Documents

This notebook may seem kind of silly – aren’t these all important documents?  

This location is for all the important documents that you don’t want to lose but don’t warrant their own notebook.  Examples include:

  • Marriage licenses
  • Birth certificates
  • Immigration documentation and/or Visas
  • Contracts and NDAs that don’t fit anywhere else
  • Last will and testament
  • Court paperwork
  • Certificates, Awards, and Degrees
  • Credit Reports
  • Voter Information

7. Collectables

Think of this notebook as your digital scrapbook.  You probably have a shoebox full of these things already.  Or an actual scrapbook.  But part of going digital and ditching paper is preserving these memories in another form.  

Ticket stubs, love letters, postcards from your traveling aunt – this are all the types of things that make it into the collectables folder.  Scan, title diligently, add your thoughts and feelings to the note, and save forever!  

Besides memorabilia, use Evernote as a “commonplace book”.  A commonplace book was a type of journal people used to carry around with them that would include quotes, poems, recipes, equations – basically any bit of information people didn’t want to lose.  More thoughts on a commonplace book by Evernote.

A thought on photos…

Photos are collectable, and something that most paper-free people move to digital.  But – and this is hard for me to say – I don’t think you should use Evernote to manage your photos.  

While Evernote can certainly work to store your photos – the whole point of photos is to look at them!

8. Hobbies

If you have a lot of involved hobbies, you can certainly create separate notebooks for each and then combine them into a stack to keep it tidy.

Here are some examples of hobbies and the types of notes you might want to create:


There is a surprising amount of paperwork that goes with boating.

  • Certifications (swimming, sailing)
  • Permits
  • Manuals for boat maintenance

Role Playing Games

  • Character sheets (create templates you can fill in and use on your favorite device!)
  • Maps and dungeon information
  • Links to favorite or upcoming campaigns

Knitting or Crochet

  • Use web clipper to create links to new patterns
  • Uploads and scans of your favorite patters
  • Gift List – a “who gets what” of your annual creations


  • Note with a list of books you want to read
    • Add it to your shortcuts list so you can easily pull it up when someone gives you a recommendation
  • Note with a list of books you DID/HAVE read and when you finished them.
    • Great if you have a reading goal and to look back
  • Book reviews that you write


  • Maps – upload them online to save space and then make a map available offline for when you go outside of your data range.
  • Keep a hiking diary so you know which trails you hit and how long it took. Also great to note whether you saw any wildlife and the weather conditions.

The sky is the limit when it comes to tracking hobbies!  

9. Business Cards

The Evernote app has a cool feature where you can use your phone camera to take a picture of a business card. It will then add that contact to your contacts list as well as connect with them on LinkedIn (premium feature).  

Then, Evernote keeps a copy in this folder.  

When I’m handed a business card, I take a photo right away and set a reminder to connect with that contact on whatever it was we spoke about.  

Oh, and then I hand the card back – because, you know, paper-free. 🙂

10. Templates

At some point in your life with Evernote, you will find you create a repeat style of note.  Maybe it is a recipe note, maybe it is a weekly task list.  After creating the note a few times you will realize that a template is what you need.  

If you have plus, premium, or business-level Evernote accounts, you can right-click a note and save as template.

This is a new feature as of 2019. Previously, all Evernote users had to copy existing notes.

For those with free accounts, copy a note into your Templates notebook and remove all body content you don’t want to replicate (basically, create a fresh version).

When you are ready to use the template, copy your clean “template-version” into the notebook you want it to go and fill in.

11. Notes

I admit, the title of this notebook is a bit on the nose.  However, this is your catch all.  The place where you put reference notes to something that doesn’t fit into any of the categories above. 

Our lives are not neat and tidy (as much as we would like them to be). Inevitably, there will be something that falls outside of the realm above.  

That is what this spot is for.  

Simply make sure the title and text are descriptive enough that you can search for it at a later time.

If the note is something you need to act on, however, it should live in !Inbox so you don’t forget it.   Or, set a reminder.

And that is how to organize Evernote notebooks.  With all your notebooks and stacks laid out, you have all you need to be organized in this digital world.  

how to organize evernote notebooks

Photo by Plush Design Studio on Unsplash

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How to Create a Master Resume

How to Create a Master Resume

This step-by-step tutorial will teach you how to create a master resume and use it to make applying for jobs 10x easier!

Job searching is tough.  It is time-consuming, emotionally draining, and frustratingly filled with rejection.

Couple that with advice like “go to networking events” or “find out who the hiring manager is” and finding a job turns into a second job (with no pay!)

Then, there is one piece of advice that everyone hates: customize your resume for every application.

We admit.  This one is a bit daunting.  Some people even scoff at the idea of a customized resume.  Why wouldn’t a hiring manager want to just see all of my skills and background?

However, customizing your resume makes it easier for a hiring manager to identify you as the perfect candidate. It increases your chances of getting an interview and then a job.

You might be thinking – “But creating a  new resume for every single job application sounds really time consuming!”  Normally we would agreed with you, but not today.

Office Otter is going to share a trick with you to make applying for jobs 10 times easier!  It is called: The Master Resume. *trumpets sound*

What is a Master Resume?

The Master Resume is your resume with everything in it.  And we mean everything.  Remember that summer internship where you learned the ins and outs of getting coffee between meetings about team work?  It is on there.  What about that temporary position you took as a data entry consultant?  It is on there, too.  This resume is an accumulation of everything you have ever done.

In addition to every job, it also includes every detail of every job.  Maybe you helped the short-staffed sales team put together those quarterly reports one year.  It wasn’t part of your usual job duties, but you learned how to do it, so it should be included.  Did your job involve working with people?  Data?  Financials?  Include it in a sentence.

Why use a master resume?

Because when you have everything in one spot it is easier to create a custom resume that meets the needs of the job you are applying for!

Once you have everything in a master resume, you can quickly copy and paste lines from your master into a resume template.  A resume template is a template you use to create new, customized resumes that you send out with job applications.  Having a blank template ready to go makes creating your resume much faster.

Simply follow these steps:

  1. Look for keywords in the job description
  2. Find those keywords in your Master Resume
  3. Copy from the Master Resume and Paste into your Resume Template
  4. Save your new resume & send with job application

The whole process should take 5-10 minutes.

how to create a master resume and copy and paste to custom resumes

When saving a resume, make sure your name is in the file name so hiring managers can find your file easily!

Read: Six Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for a Job

Be sure to check out Office Otter Resume Templates.  All of our templates are designed to be easy to read, simple to use, and come with tutorials.

How to Create a Master Resume

A Master Resume is a vital tool to have in your pocket.  It is not something you create every time you need a new job.  On the contrary, it is actually something that, if managed well, should stay with you for the rest of your career.

The steps below will help you get started on creating your master resume.

List all of your past jobs

While there are strong arguments to be made for a functional resume format, a master resume will be easier to work with if it is chronological (or by job).  Start by listing all the jobs you have ever worked.  Sometimes this can take awhile, but it is helpful to be thorough.

Make sure to include the following:

  • your official job title
  • dates you were at the job
  • name and contact information of your manager (or preferred reference).
  • any extended volunteer work

If you changed jobs within the same company, list both jobs separately with different titles.

Describe Your Work

This is what would typically be included in a resume or job post.  There isn’t such a thing as “too much information” in a Master Resume.  If you did the work, or learned something, make sure to include it.

Also include every award or certificate you’ve received.  These achievements are the things you want to stress during any job search.

You Might Enjoy: How To Write A Better Resume

Add Keywords

This is where a master resume comes in handy.  Keywords.  Every job application will include a keywords regarding what that job is really about.  It may not be obvious at first, but the more you look, the more you start to recognize short, often single words, that collectively tell you about a job.

Ideally, the resume that you submit will include keywords that match that of the job description.  You can’t expect someone to read between the lines and assume that just because you were an event planner you also handled a budget.  That is, if anyone is reading it at all

How do we make sure our resume includes keywords?  Find the matching keywords in our master resume.

The easiest way to do this is to take a sentence in your resume and identify a keyword within that sentence, or define what that job duty is about.

Example #1: Single Keyword

For example, you have a job duty that reads, “Managed $25,000 budget for 5 national events annually.”  This is clearly in relation to budgeting or financials, so you would add “[Budget]” to the beginning of that sentence.  You have just categorized that phrase to make it easier to parse out when you create a Resume Template.

create a master resume and add keywords

Example #2: Multiple Keywords

Sometimes it may be more complicated, however.  Let’s say your sentence is, “Created and maintained databases of program information to produce reports for program activity.”  If this task was performed as an administrator, you would put “[Admin]”.  

Alternatively, if you were working as a project manager (or looking to get promoted into a project manager position) you might find it more applicable to put “[Project mgmt/admin]”.

It is always acceptable to put multiple keywords with a sentence.  Much of the work we do has cross-over.  However, before you start piling on the keywords, consider if the sentence itself contains too much information. Would it be more impactful as two or three sentences?

Keep Adding

As you go through the application process you will probably find yourself editing the sentences you originally created to better fit a job application. This is great!  Record it.

If you create a new way to describe your last job, shouldn’t it go in your Master Resume to be used again in the future?  Copy the edit from your resume template and copy into a new line in the master resume, under the same job.

You will likely also find that jobs you want, or “reach jobs”, contain descriptions of job duties you had never considered. Try incorporating those keywords into your resume, if applicable.

Stay Committed

Creating a Master Resume means you have just created a tool for life.  This one document should last you for forever if you maintain it.  Don’t lose this document or delete it once you find a job.  As you know, it is a headache to create a resume from scratch.

Additionally, don’t let your master resume gather cobwebs.  If you keep the file someplace you can access regularly, be sure to check in.  

Here are the best times to update your master resume:

Getting a New Job

Add all the elements of the job description to your master resume so you know what you were hired for.  Keep the job description because it is full of sentences you don’t have to write!

4 Months in Job

After a little time on the job you will have a better handle on what it is that you do for the company.  Go back through the job description and add duties that were not originally included.  Flush out the details.

1 Year in Job

This is where you should (hopefully) have accolades to add.  Every achievement you made in the last year, every successful project you helped work on.  This is the kind of stuff that will probably come up in a performance review as well.

Promotion or Job Change

A shiny new office also includes more responsibilities.  Make sure to copy them down before you lose track!

Now you know the one trick to make applying for jobs way easier!  You can create a master resume and save time, and stress, for this job search and the rest of your career.

What could be any easier than that?

If Office Otter had a Master Resume Template…

Oh wait, we do.

Master Resume

Use this template to create a master resume of your own!

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Create a Custom Style Theme in Microsoft Office (Mac)

Create a Custom Style Theme in Microsoft Office (Mac)

Maybe you want to to add your brand to your work files.  Maybe you just want a consistent theme for all your documents. 

Regardless of your reason, these instructions will help you create a one-click, style theme for your document that allows you to set the font, colors, size, and structure of headings and body text.

Read: Why should you brand your work documents?

Alright, I’m going to admit something here: creating a custom style theme in Microsoft Office is a lot easier on Windows.  On a Mac, you will need both Word and PowerPoint installed to complete a theme set up.

Step 1: Design Your Theme

In order to know what to set your fonts and colors to, we recommend creating a theme layout.  By outlining your theme ahead of time you will be able to ensure your theme looks good.

Theme Kit

Use this Office Styles Theme Kit to get started designing.

Once you have downloaded the template, highlight each section (headers, paragraphs) and edit the font, size, and colors to match the look you are going for.

Step 2: Set Your Theme Colors

Setting theme colors doesn’t automatically set your font colors, but it will help you select from chosen colors in a document when you need to.

  1. Open PowerPoint
  2. Create a new Blank presentation
  3. In the top menu, select “Format” and then “Theme Colors

From the Create Theme Colors window, this is the fun part.  Start plugging in all your colors!

Want some tips on which colors should go in which block?  Adobe Spark has a great article on 3 steps to picking your brand colors.  Make your primary or neutral your Accent 1 choice. 

Pro Tip
Plug in your colors by frequency of use, making your less used accent colors the ones toward the bottom of the list.

Text/Background Colors

If you are just starting out in the realm of branding, we recommend leaving these light and dark colors alone.  You can play with making a “light” background something other than white (grey, ecru, eggshell?) but make sure your text contrasts in color – like black or dark grey or blue. 

Get some color help!

Coolors.co Homepage

If you are setting up a new color scheme (not using your established company’s brand), try using Coolors.co.  It is a cool way to pick out colors for your theme or new brand.

Once you have selected colors, be sure to record both the Hex code (format: #000000), RBG (for computer and web), and CYMK (for print).  You can then use hex or RBG to accurately set colors in Office Themes.

Step 3: Set Your Fonts

Setting fonts can be done in Word.  If you downloaded the Office Styles Theme Kit above, open up this file to quickly add your fonts to your theme.

Start by pulling in your new custom colors to make selecting easier.

Change the theme fonts to match your brand and style.

Step 4: Saving Your Theme

Save your style as a specified font style, such as “Header 1”. 

Highlight the text you want to save as a style.  In the styles pane right click (two-finger click on Mac) the style you want to replace, such as header 1.  On the drop down, select “Update Header 1 to Match Selection”.

All other text assigned as “Header 1” will automatically be updated to match.

Continue this process until you like the look of all your font styles.  

Once you are done designing your fonts, save the styles and colors to a theme so you won’t ever have to do it all again!

Under the Design tab, select the Themes drop down.  At the bottom, select “Save Current Theme”.  Be sure to name your theme by your company or brand so you won’t forget which one it is.

That’s it!  Now you are all set to get creative and set a theme you can use over and over again.

Photo by Jeroen den Otter on Unsplash

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4 Reasons Why Document Design Is Key to a Promotion

4 Reasons Why Document Design Is Key to a Promotion

If you work in marketing or graphic design, you may already be on top of making sure your documents to the public are brand consistent.  But what about those of us who aren’t skilled marketers?  Do the documents we write for internal use also need to incorporate company design?

The short answer is: Yes.  Even if the documents you produce are technical specifications, software support instructions, or a memo on new standard operating procedures (SOP).  If someone other than you will ever read the documents, there better be design elements.

Why Add Design?

Whats the big deal, anyway?  Isn’t it the content that matters?  Well, here are four reasons why design should be an important consideration in all your internal documents (and how it can help your career down the line!)

Your Team Is People Too

You just spent hours working on a new software manual that will make your team’s lives easier – if they read it.  Weighing in at 20-pages, you call it comprehensive, but they see it as a burden. 

Now you want to avoid the inevitable: all your coworkers asking you for help instead of using the resource.

There is a reason why sales strategies focus on imagery and bold colors.  You have a product that can help people, but first they need to see it.  Good design helps grab people’s attention and can make a product both valuable and accessible.

Your coworkers are people too, and the same strategy applies.  With busy work-lives of their own, humans tend to look for the quickest solution – and that may not include reading a dry manual.

Make your document inviting by incorporating design elements such as white-space, screenshots, and color-coded sections for quick scanning.  Your team will be more likely to use it, and appreciate the work you put into the resource.

Management Doesn’t Have Time

Does this sound familiar? Your boss asked you to write up a memo on new standard operating procedures to help streamline the department. 

Like the overachiever you are, you carefully crafted a beautiful document outlining all elements of work priorities in the office and emailed it over to your boss for review.

The only problem is, a few weeks have gone by and you haven’t heard anything.  You can admit that you may not receive a trophy for MVP (Most Valuable Protocol), despite practicing your acceptance speech in the shower.  But you at least expected the memo to be released to the team for implementation.  What happened?

The truth is, when you sent the SOP back to your boss, it put the ball in their court to sell it to the department.  They may only get one chance to ask the team to follow these procedures.  Management doesn’t have time to try to convince everyone to read the document and follow the rules.  They may not even have time to *gasp* read the document itself!

Make your boss’ job easier by making them feel confident the document you created will be an easy sell to the team. 

Include the company logo and company colors so it looks official.  Then, add the name of your boss to the authorship so they feel a sense of “buy-in” on the document.

Quick Tip: How to Add Your Company Brand to Word Themes

Get Your Board On Board (if you have one)

If your organization has a board of directors, chances are they don’t necessarily see the daily ins and outs of what you do.  In fact, most boards rely heavily on the information provided to them by staff and management in order to understand the direction of the organization at a micro-level. 

Sometimes you may need to “sell” your work to a board – and approval isn’t always forthcoming.

The board’s job will be easier if you use design to demonstrate how your documents are consistent with the message they already believe in (your organization brand).  When a new piece of work comes their way, they are more likely to approve it, knowing it showcases the best interest of the organization.

Branding Makes You a Company Leader

While those technical specifications you put together did a great job showcasing your efforts, do they present you as a company leader?

Leadership at your company means considering how you live up to the values of your organization and meet company-wide goals.  From the bottom up, everyone can relate to how they improve the company – otherwise you wouldn’t have a job!

Take your tech specs, for example.  You may think your document is just an internal guide to development, but that project demonstrates leadership if you visually link it back to the company.  This lets management know you are producing with the company’s best interest in mind.

Plus, don’t be shy about bringing that up during your performance review!

How to Design “Everyday” Documents

Maybe you are thinking – this is all well and good, but how am I suppose to vamp up a boring document outlining hiring procedures?  Often the documents we use “every day”, or internal documents, can go unnoticed.  Follow these quick steps to make a big difference.

Brand the Document

You may need to check with your marketing department (sometimes referred to as “the intern”) but they will probably be more than happy to supply you with company branding guidelines. This is a document that specifies colors, fonts and the proper way to display a logo for the organization.

Quick Brand Guide

Create a custom style theme in Microsoft Office by using this branding template.

Using these guides, simply change the font and colors theme of your document so that it matches your company brand. Make your job even easier by creating a custom theme in MS Word. This step can make a world of difference.

Include Pictures

If your document contains instructions then pictures of those steps are a must.

Creating a “how-to” guide for using the new software program? Include screenshots of the steps you want people to take.

Streamlining warehouse procedures for stocking? Add photos of the locations you want to highlight so people know what to look for.

This step can be tricky with something like a departmental update, but it doesn’t mean pictures aren’t valuable.  Instead, include Smart Art (Word, Publisher) or graphs to help illustrate your point.

If you have an entire page of text, try to find a stock photo that represents the theme and add it to a corner. This simple step can help readers remember the text on the page, and it serves to break up the monotony.

Divide Your Content

Ever read an “Idiot’s Guide To…” book? Notice the call outs on the side of the page, or a box along the bottom with a tip or idea? This is a way to divide your content so it isn’t all contained in paragraph after paragraph.

Think about any asides you have mentioned. These usually start with a sentence like:

  • “On the rare occasion…”
  • “Don’t forget to…”
  • “For more details, check out…”

In these circumstances, pull the paragraph from the rest of the document, simplify the text, and add it to a call out box on the side of the page. It will get the attention it needs and help shorten the rest of the text.

Now you can create documents that help showcase the brilliant content you already spent so much time writing.  Your team will appreciate it, and so will your boss.  Keep an eye out for a promotion soon!

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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Posted by Amanda Parsons in Career, Tutorials, 0 comments