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Create your custom PDF template to plan anything

In this article I am going to ask you to take shortcuts. In life and in the office..

I'm going to ask you to beg, borrow and steal. Or should I say - get inspired.

Because we are going to talk about templates; The greatest invention of mankind after printing dye. Okay, kill that hyperbole. But templates are vital time-saving devices and you can use them for almost any situation in life. We call them “templates” at school. We abuse them as "forms" when tax day arrives. NASA uses them for everything from scientific and technical reports to project plans. You can bet there's one there to report alien life forms, too.

So take the shortcut template. Even the feds are doing it..

Why don't we skip downloading Excel templates? An Excel template for every occasion. An Excel template for every occasion. Skip the steep learning curve and get your life in order with the power of Excel templates. We've compiled a selection of auto-updating templates for tracking budgets, managing projects, and more. Learn more or by Google Docs Templates 24 Google Docs Templates That Will Make Your Life Easier 24 Google Docs Templates That Will Make Your Life Easier Templates can save you a lot of time. We've compiled 24 time-saving Google Docs templates for work, health, home, and travel. Get on with your projects, instead of struggling to put documents together. Read more ? Why don't we make our custom PDF templates for anything in life? Why don't we steal some ideas and adjust them to our needs??

Why should you make your own custom template?

So you can brag. Not really.

Think about your resume. Perhaps you are among those in danger of extinction who create the perfect resume. Your all-in-one guide to creating the perfect resume. Your all-in-one guide to building the perfect resume. Whether you've just graduated, going back to school, or looking for a new one. job, in or out of your career, you need a resume. But not just a resume. You need a good resume. One... Read More Most of us “fooled”, thanks to downloadable resume templates Free Microsoft Word resume templates to help you land your dream job Free Microsoft Word resume templates to help you land your dream job , you must consider so many things! To ease the headache of preparing your resume, we've compiled a selection of great Microsoft Word templates. Download and customize for free! Read More How to Create a Resume Template How to Create a Resume Template Using Microsoft Word How to Create a Resume Template Using Microsoft Word Your resume could be the difference between interviewing for your dream job or never hearing from the employer again:use these tips to make sure you are the best you can be. Read More

Think about your business idea. Your great business idea needs an action plan. Create your own template to reflect business needs, use it to go to market and raise funds. A custom template again shows the initiative and thought you've put into it. Reflects best practices.

You could become an influencer like Eric Ries with his “Lean Startup ” effect on business templates such as Business Model Canvas and Lean Canvas.

Think about your personal brand.. Templates are a rage. They are also a sales tool. Create a template on a repetitive business process in your industry. It can be as simple as a bill of sale. Spread it like nectar on social media and industry forums – it will be picked up.

E.g. As a writer or blogger, you can create a professional writing proposal template in PDF. A creative designer can display a portfolio template in PDF layouts. A real estate agent can use a real estate purchase offer template as a business card.

Think of it as a hobby to make money. Stuck at home and want to start something with your designer chops? Making (and Selling) PDF Templates Can Be a Creative Home Business Idea 8 Creative Home Based Business Ideas Anyone Can Pursue Creative Home Based Business Ideas Anyone Can Pursue Are you tired of working for someone else? person? It's never been easier to work for yourself, from the comfort of your own home, all with minimal cost and minimal risk. Here are some ideas. Read more . only got 14,000 hits with a search for “pdf templates.”

Not really. Do it just to stretch your creative muscles. Do it because you have all the tools for it. And do it because no other template available suits your needs..

How to make your first PDF template

PDF templates are compatible with all devices and browsers, preserving the design layout. They are The most widespread document format. .

You will have your own goal for a template. My goal was to create a template to record my daily learning goals - What did I learn today?

An online search revealed many "study planners," but none suited my unique need; An ongoing journal of personal learning. So it was time to create a custom template to suit my needs. This is how my first template turned out.

To get started with your own template, look on your computer. You have all the tools you need. No need to buy, yet.

Tools needed:

  • Microsoft Word (or PowerPoint or Google Drive)
  • A pound of creative flair.

Personal decision: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013.

The choice of tools depends on the final appearance of the template. Microsoft Word and PowerPoint have the same tools. Similar steps can be followed in Microsoft Word 2013 to create a custom PDF template as well.

For chart-heavy templates, I prefer PowerPoint over Word for three reasons.

  1. In addition to turning the slide into a PDF template, I can review my planner as a slideshow.
  2. I can preview the template as a slideshow more rigorously, for example. zoom in slide view.
  3. the sliding workspace (empty area around the slide) allows me to store things that I would want to use later. Convenient.

STEP 1:Design your template on paper

We've almost forgotten the power of plain paper Why paper planners are relevant in the age of smartphone calendar apps Why paper planners are relevant in the age of smartphone calendar apps Smartphones are great, but maybe planners are something they shouldn't have replaced. Read More But this simple step can make or break the whole process.

To clarify your template outline, ask yourself three questions.

  1. Why am I creating this custom template?
  2. What are the different pieces of information I want to record?
  3. How would I like to see the flow of displayed information?

You Can Use Flowcharts How to Create Awesome Flowcharts with Microsoft Word How to Create Awesome Flowcharts with Microsoft Word Used imaginatively, flowcharts can simplify both your work and your life. Why not try out some flowcharts with one of the easiest tools at hand:Microsoft Word? Read more or even sketchnoting How to Visualize Ideas, Information, and Data Using Sketchnoting How to Visualize Ideas, Information, and Data Using Sketchnoting If you're a student or someone who takes regular notes, you may be interested in the fun and even artsy. Movement called Sketchnoting. Sketchnoting is like taking notes, but includes visual annotations like... Read More To overcome any mental block, borrow and steal ideas Worried about copyright? A guide to legally using images on the web related to copyright? A Guide to Legal Use of Images on the Web Copyright is a complex issue. A good amount of understanding makes it easier. If you're wondering under what circumstances you can use someone else's creative work, expect some answers here. Read More Remember, it's allowed if you "steal like an artist!"

STEP 2:size your template

A printed PDF template can be formatted as a brochure or placed on plain A4 paper. Choose your paper size. In PowerPoint go to> Ribbon> Layout> Slide Size> Custom Slide Size . Choose A4 for the standard paper size and Portrait Orientation .

STEP 3:Prepare the slide

Some preliminary steps before starting your slide work.

Go Ribbon> View . Select Rulers, grid lines and guides .

Grid lines and guides are important for aligning each element on the slide and in relation to each other. Both are drawing "supports" and are not part of the final file. Grid lines They are fixed in their location on the slide. Any object that is within one pixel width of one of these guidelines snaps to it.

You can move the Guides around (horizontal/vertical) and use it to check the alignment of individual elements on the page. Activate the grid and guides from, open the dialog from the little arrow on the Show group of the See tab.

Now select the Snap objects to grid check the box, and then adjust the grid spacing to the setting you want. To view the grid on screen, select the Show grid on screen checkbox.

Finally, select the Show drawing guides on screen. checkbox Remember, you can move them around the slide by clicking and dragging.

STEP 4:Start creating...

This is where you have to draw on your own creativity and the drawing tools that PowerPoint or Microsoft Word offer. All are easy to grasp and suitable for the task. Let me show you three drawings to illustrate how easy it is to do this in PowerPoint.

# The Upper Black Pentagon with the Date.

The black pentagon is a PowerPoint. “Pentagon” Shape. Go Insert> Shapes> Scroll down to Block Arrows> Select Pentagon .

Set Shape Fill to black (solid) and Shape outline to any color.

Grab the rotation handle and rotate the shape 90 degrees to the right. Size, drag and position on the slide.

# The Project - Obstacle - Plan Process.

The “project-plan-obstacle” Diagram of two thirds by the template is a Intelligent Art chart called “Basic Process.” As the name implies, it is used to show a progression or sequential steps in a task, process, or workflow.

I reused that to represent the flow of a learning project idea. A project idea may face a “roadblock” (for example, lack of tools or time). Every obstacle can be overcome with a plan (for example, by watching less TV).

The Smart Art graphic has been collected with Shape Fill (none) and Shape outline (black) To the final shape as seen in the template.

# The “Streak Month” Calendar.

The Month Streak is a visual exhibit inspired by the work of Jerry Seinfeld. "Don't break the chain" method to stop procrastinating.

With PowerPoint you can use a Table (Ribbon> Insert> Insert table ) to create a monthly calendar. Then use a table style (Ribbon>Layout>Table style ) to give it another visual touch. PowerPoint gives you a Live Preview as you cycle through the styles.

Entering the dates is a manual task though.

In short, designing your template means playing around with fonts, shapes, SmartArt, and placement. You can combine two shapes to create your own unique bullets. For a more visual kick, you can also insert images. I wouldn't recommend it as the final PDF template will go to a printer. Keep it simple.

But you can't do it all in color?

Why not. But a black and white template saves printer ink. Also, if your knowledge of color theory is How to Learn Color Theory in Under an Hour How to Learn Color Theory in Under an Hour Basic knowledge of color theory can mean the difference between an "amateur" aesthetic " and a "professional". And it really doesn't take long to learn. Read More Printed colors also look different than on screen, since monitors use the RGB (red, green, blue) color model, which generally supports a broader spectrum of colors. Printers use the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) color model. CMYK can reproduce most of the colors of the RGB color model, but not all of them.

STEP 5:Print to PDF

The final step in turning your PowerPoint or Word document into a finished printable PDF template is a short jump.

Go to File> Export> Create PDF / XPS document and click the button to save the file to a designated location. Review your printable PDF template with a PDF reader, then grab a printout to check the design.

As you can see, creating a printable PDF template is easy. Making an editable PDF template is a bit more complicated because you have to use a paid tool like Adobe Acrobat Pro DC to create fillable form fields. The user can enter information into the template with the free Adobe Reader that recognizes the fillable fields.

But all is not lost for us for now. Here's a quick and dirty solution to editing the PDF template we created.

Use online PDF editors

Online PDF Tools 10 Tips to Do More with Your PDFs in Google Drive 10 Tips to Do More with Your PDFs in Google Drive From managing your files to collaborating in Docs, Drive is a full-featured office suite. What many people don't realize is its ability to do much more than just view PDF files. Read More But here are the options if you want to write to a PDF template and save the information:

  • PDF Buddy
  • Online PDF converter
  • PDF Escape
  • PDF Fox
  • DocHub

And last but definitely not to be ignored, Mihir shows us how to edit our PDF files in Chrome. How Chrome's built-in PDF Viewer lets you do more than just read PDFs. has a built-in PDF Viewer tool that can edit PDF files. Sure, it's not as powerful as certain programs. Still, as a quick fix solution, Chrome is perfect. Read more . If there is any other solution, I'm all eyes on the comments..

Tell us your ideas for custom PDF templates

As we see above, creating a template is easy. It is the idea and the design that needs planning. But there is inspiration all around us today. It could be a simple to-do list. Perhaps, it is a template for a business plan. Or it could be a pattern to help you draw a sexy tattoo.

What's your idea for a PDF template? Looking for a template you haven't found yet? Reach out in the comments..