Gift Idea #4 – Personalized Planner

Last year I made one of Blurb.com‘s weekly planners for a friend. It turned out really nice with a photo for each month and the front and back covers. This year they have even more options and with their BookSmart tool it is an afternoon or evening project. There are other planners out there that you can customize with photos but in my searching I didn’t find one that will let you add important dates.

Of course you can design your own planner from top to bottom in Adobe InDesign but that isn’t an afternoon project and BookSmart gives a surprising amount of control. Which ever route you take I think it would be fun to put together a family planner with historic photos and important dates from the past. Click on the image below to a Blurberati Blog post about their weekly planner.

Europe 1952 – InDesign Template

Europe 1952 Cover

I thought I would make a template of this project available for you to download. I’m using Dropbox and I’m relatively new to it so I hope it works as desired. If you’ve not used an Adobe InDesign template before it is very easy. Just open the template as you would any document and then you can add pages and drag the desired master page for chapter headings and newspaper articles. You can customize it anyway you would like. If you want to edit the original template than you should make sure you open the original file. Think of the template as a starting place. This template is sized for a large landscape book on Blurb.com. To publish your finished book on blurb, download the pdf presets and export. Then upload the pdf to blurb and order you finished book. The cover template is for an image wrap book with 440 pages. So if your book is shorter you will need to make adjustments.

To download the files, click on the links below. One the page loads up it will look like gibberish, but don’t worry. Right click on the page and select “save page as” and save to your computer. Then you will be able to open the document in Adobe InDesign. (Sorry it has taken me all week to get this figured out)

Pages Template

Cover Template

This post concludes my Europe 1952 project. If you have questions that I haven’t covered let me know and I’ll do what I can to answer them, possible with an extra post. It has been a fun journey over the last few months.

Europe 1952 – Chapter Headings

In the early stages of putting together this book, I decided to break it up into chapters for each country. (Germany ended up with two chapters because they re-entered Germany a second time.) So I put together another master page in InDesign to make it easy to have a consistent look for the beginning of each chapter.

master page for Chapter headings

The beginning of each chapter was a natural place to put the itinerary for each country along with a map showing the route that they traveled. On the map I included the mail stops where they could pick up letters from family and friends back home. I also had information about the money of each country and the exchange rates in 1952. My mom’s passport had lots of entry and exit stamps from her trip so I added those to the beginning of the chapter. I’ll go over how I put the route on the map and how I handled the passport stamps in an upcoming post.

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?