At a report-planning meeting last week I volunteered to add a timeline to a Word document that would ultimately become a PDF file. I could've used Word or Excel to create a horizontal timeline with about a dozen events, each denoted by a text box big enough to accommodate five or six words.
Instead, I went to Microsoft's Office templates site and downloaded one of the free service's many timelines for Word. Enter "timeline" (or the term of your choice) in the site's search box to retrieve links to a couple dozen time-related diagrams available for download.
Simply create, reposition, and resize as many text boxes as the timeline requires, and then overwrite the template's text. Makes any changes you want to the format, background colors, and other aspects of the template, save the file with a unique name, and the project's done.
For a wider selection of business templates, check out OfficeReady Professional, a $70 collection of templates for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint (30-day free trial). The templates can be used to create e-mail and print newsletters, flyers, brochures, stationery, and reports. Sales and marketing plans, invoices, and other business forms are well represented in the package.
Tomorrow: delay sending messages in Microsoft Outlook.