Outlining Checklist

I’ll walk you through outlining to get started, but you’ll need to look things up, too!, but to fully understand you’ll want to look things up, you’ll need to look you’ll want to look things up, too!

  • How to work with outlines on lynda.com, many find easy at the start to develop an overview
  • Word for Windows Training and Word 2016 for Mac are more comprehensive introductions
  • WIN and MAC versions of Waterloo’s notes for academics may help
  • You’ll want to learn how to exploit Google Search using something like “ms word YourVersion support YourQuestion” so you will be able to find answers to anything


A view is a way of seeing what you need to see and not what you don’t need to see with the same data.

  • Outline View helps us to work with and think about the text’s structure and meaning; Print View helps us proof the final version for publication
  • Sidebar/Navigation in the print view displays your document structure in miniature, which is great for assembling things later, and while you are at it learn how to expand your window to full screen and zoom or expand the text to full screen to see it better, too
  • Dropdown Menus require a mouse so use them infrequently to help avoid carpel tunnel syndrome, and besides, shortcuts are much faster and more impressive
  • Shortcuts you’ll want to look up and memorise immediately, they will give you speed and power
  • Symbols (⌃⌥⌘ ⇧ ✓☐→←↑↓) will help you keep your notes brief, and Notes, in an alphabetical order will help you find things and memorise them

    • View/Outline: ⌘⇧O
    • View/Print: ⌘⇧P

Assign, move, and hide headings

  • Assign heading position with TAB or ⇧-TAB (but sometimes headings get stuck so you’ll need to use the dropdown menu to unstick them)
  • Discussion put right in the middle at Heading 4, so you will have three levels of sub-heads to order your discussion above, Headings 1-3, and 3 or more levels of detail below, Headings 5-9.
  • Collapse and Expand headings to bury or reveal details by double clicking on the + or = signs or using the “Show Levels” dropdown menu
  • you don’t for the moment need to see
  • Prioritize or re-order lines or whole headings with all underneath them to tell your story differently and better using shortcuts ⌃⇧ ↑↓
  • Note shortcuts and write up explanations sooner to enjoy the benefits of efficiency and be able to devote more time and thought to other things

Manage files consistently and safely

Overcome your fears of losing things and prepare for working in a big firm with file naming conventions by organising files and folders carefully

  • Add/Edit headers, and use that header as your filename. Click anywhere in the header area, Insert/Page Number, select that object, left arrow, then type “first name, date — “, then copy “first name, date”, “save as” and paste — so that you enjoy consistency and know better how to find your files
  • Save safely. In Preferences/Save, turn on auto save, backup copies, background saves, and auto recovery info, and set up daily backups of hour hard drive to an external disk

Assembling your portfolio

Compile your portfolio from the first week so you may find everything in one place, take pride in your effort and achievement, and have at the end of the course to add but one more homework

  • Choose one template and stay with it. Save the syllabus in your BizApps folder with a “+” in front it to sort at the top, then delete everything (select all ⌃a, delete), save as/template with name “BizApps Template”, then create each new file from your “BizApps Template”.
  • Insert/Table of Contents, by clicking in a good place to gain focus, then this Insert/TOC, choose heading/levels 1 and 2 and accept default style for now and presto! To update, ⌃left-click on the table for a dialog box

Outlining will help you both look good and think

With outlining, you will replace simple flat laundry lists with a complex, sophisticated, robust platform for note-taking, drafting, reflection, revision, collaboration, revision, and document creation and to the end of keeping track, creative thinking (innovation, market share, profit, etc.)

  • Keywords. Keywords are high-level generalizations that stand for a block of text, conversation, method, idea, concept, etc., that you get by circling a special term or discussing things with others and answering the question: “what is thins about?” A good keyword, like reading more generally, helps you a) check your understanding, b) clarify thought, and c) remember.
  • Explanations. Similarly, before writing, practice explaining new things with a partner and observe how differently you do so as she agrees or questions or suggests alternatives: “beta-test” your ideas so that before writing you will know better, and more confidently, what others will understand: talk/write (and misery loves company!)
  • Bury details. To categorise, highlight, or explain involves subordinating details, closing things up into little boxes, delegating, and so freeing you for executive decision-making: if you pack things in properly, you will then have only to click on a keyword to have an explanation, details, links and so forth pop up magically like a jack-in-a-box: what we literary types call metaphors, like good jokes, suddenly filling a room with insight, understanding, and humor

Working with Images

  • Illustrations. We often say “a picture is better than a thousand words”, for good reason, because well-made and well-chosen illustrations compel us to tell stories, reading them carefully we organise our stories, and talking about things after we have only to recall the image and we will remember the story
  • Size and placement. Learn how to resize images to support your style, place in heading 8 for consistent spacing, wrap-around text to set your images in tight, and write up this routine so you can and will do it easily
  • Set up a folder or better an album For your business and professional life you’ll do well to collect, organise and practice using images now, so that within weeks you’ve lots and know how to use images effectively: managers are in the business of communications and we all love looking at engaging, helpful, imagery; plus, sometimes images really do explain things that words would take forever to get at and nowhere near so elegantly: expand your expressive repertoire with images
  • Synchronize your notes. Whether you are in the Windows, Linux, or Mac ecologies, all offer built-in applications and services to synchronize your notes across devices so that you can add, revise, edit, and review your notes whenever and wherever you happen to be, and this is important as anything that must wait until you get home may well be forgotten and often we remember some thing while we are away from home and doing something else: “optimizing” your notes in this will increase your interactions with problems as well as reduce costs (sometimes, you can get done in five minutes on the subway what might take you an hour or more at home later).


We simply can’t do everything all at once, so if you are among those inclined go right ahead and play with styles, and I hope most will be happy using my template. But if you insist:

Learn how to work with a Nice Clean Page

  • Hide the sidebar
  • Click View/Ribbon to make it go away
  • Click View/Zoom/Page Width to fill your application frame, then click the green button on the top to make the application frame fill your screen
  • If you a lot of paragraph or other non-printing marks, look up the shortcut for “show/hide non-printing characters”
  • Look up “best free Windows screen manager” or for Mac, install it, and learn how with shortcuts to fill the screen with a Word page, then two half screens with two pages
  • Learn how to tab through your running applications as well as start and quit applications using shortcuts
  • And learn how to use other applications for note-taking, drafting: we don’t use MS Word for everything

Don’t let this technology injure or sicken you