Outlining Checklist

Where Outlining to Think introduces you to sources for understanding how outlines and tree structures help you to think, this page some links to “how to” and “know how”.


  • Video Tutorials are for some people are among the most accessible ways to learn a new technology, because then someone holds your hand and takes you through a walk in the forest.
  • Search, using such phrases as “ms word support how do I create an outline?” and look for such pages as Layout and Pages.

Learn how to work with a nice clean page

  • “ms word support how do I show and hide the sidebar?”
  • “ms word support how do I show and hide the ribbon?”
  • “ms word support how do I show/hide non-printing characters?” and “ms word support what shortcut will show/hide non-printing characters?”
  • Reduce clutter by learning how to fill your window with one application and then two applications using “best free xxx screen manager”, and where you replace xxx with Windows or Mac

Use consistent headers and file names

Now is a great time for you to learn how to follow file naming conventions, as every firm will require for both headers and the file name itself. Our convention looks like this:

Group# FirstName, 11.01.2022 — Page#

  • Add page numbers to your document, by looking up and following the advice you will find by searching “ms office support how do i add page numbers to a document?”
  • Learn how to edit your headers by looking up “ms word support edit an existing header”, or more simply by double clicking each of these areas on your blank page to see that MS Word knows where your cursor is and that, when you double click in a header you want to go there, and from the header, when you double-click in the body you want to go back there
  • Select the page number object by clicking on the number to select it, and when you are successful you will see a shaded box around it. We call this shaded box an object and where anything inside this object will share the same attributes, such as font style and size.
  • Add your header to the left of the Page# by double-clicking in the header space at the top of the page if you are not already there, then inserting a number if you have not already done so, and clicking the number to select it and the box it is in, then tapping the left arrow key to move your cursor to the left of the number: then type in your header as well as a space, a dash, and another space.
  • Copy this header to rename your file. While you are here, copy this header, minus the dash and page number, so that you will be sure to have exactly the same name on the outside as on the insider — your readers will appreciate this! Then paste this header in to the dialogue you get when you save this new file.


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
  • Double Click Views Now here is an interesting way to open up MS Word for you: practice each of the 10 Tips for Double-Click to Save Your Time in Microsoft Word
  • 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

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:

Don’t let this technology injure or sicken you