Have a Workflow Plan

One of the important things in planning a story project is the workflow. This in an area that I still need lots of work and disciple. Even though I know that I should get the text done for a book project before I start all the other stuff, I keep finding myself moving forward with the design and layout when the text isn’t done. I’ve made it all work out in the end but I’m sure it would be faster and probably more effective too if I had followed a better workflow instead of jumping ahead.

So my tip for the day is figure out what needs to be done for your story project and the order it needs to be done in. Somethings can happen in parallel because they aren’t dependent upon each other. But other things need to wait until the right time in the project. My goal is to do a better job of planning my workflow and then actually stick to the plan. I’ll report back here to let you know how I do.DOABLE Sidebar A

Here is a post from a year or so ago about Workflow for publishing with Adobe Creative Suite. There is some good information here.

How to: Workflow for Publishing with Adobe Creative Suite

I attended RootsTech this past February at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City. There were lots of wonderful classes but I think my favorite was by Nancy Barnes “Use Adobe Creative Suite to Self Publish Your Family History Book”. I use InDesign, a page layout program that is part of Adobe Creative Suite all the time, so I wasn’t sure if I would learn anything in this class. But Nancy had lots of good information about developing an efficient workflow when putting together a book for publishing. I’ve learned some of her suggestions already and recognize the value of others from my own struggles. Nancy’s book “Stories To Tell: An easy guide to self publishing family history books & memoirs”, looks like it goes it to lots of details on how to get the book written and I’ll have to take time to read it. Here are some of the high lights of what I learned from her class.

  • Clean-up the manuscript (in MS Word or other word processor)
  • Mark places for images (with special characters such as ########)
  • Choose and scan images
  • Prepare images (in Adobe Photoshop)
  • Set up book in InDesign (get exact specs from your printer)
  • Layout master pages
  • Import text from word processor
  • Create and apply consistent styles
  • Place images (using Adobe Bridge)
  • Cover design (she uses Adobe Illustrator, I’ve always used InDesign)
  • Final proof before sending to printer

Nancy taught us some tricks on how to use Adobe Bridge and meta files to put in captions. I haven’t tried this yet but it sounds slick. I’ll tell you about it and other more detail instructions on the step in other posts. Check out Nancy’s website www.StoriesToTellBooks.com. They offer lots of services from editing to book printing along with great information on putting together a family history.

Do you have a workflow plan that works for you? What software have you used?