May 4, 2008 at 12:46 AM by Dr. Drang
Two or three years ago, I began printing itinerary information on index cards so I had one place to look for flight, hotel, and rental car information. I’ve used this idea for business trips and vacations and it’s very convenient. In this post, I described a script that took its input from a plain text file and formatted and printed a nice looking card. This has worked well, but its one drawback is that its formatting is pretty rigid and I have to remember the best places to put the formatting codes to get good-looking output. If a month or two go by without a trip, I forget and have to look up an old card to remember how to do it.
I’ve been using OmniOutliner (the regular version that was bundled with my Mac) for several writing projects recently, and I’ve come to enjoy it. My trip cards are basically an outline, so it seemed a good fit. My only concern was whether I could coerce it to make a page that fit on an index card. That concern was answered when I looked at its Page Setup… options:
This sheet allowed me to set print margins that would place the outline at the top center, perfect for the way I manually feed index cards into my printer.
I played with the formatting until I got what I wanted, then saved the result as an OmniOutliner template file, which you can download here. Unzip the file, and you’ll get a template that looks like this when it’s opened:
Change or add the information for your trip, print it out on an index card, and you’re good to go.
I’ve improved the formatting for the flight times, and the improvements are reflected in both the screen shot above and in the zip file. The template was made with OmniOutliner 3.6.5, which is the latest version as of this writing. I’m not sure if it will open and print properly on earlier versions.
In tweaking the formatting and print settings of this template, I’ve learned how touchy (that is, buggy) OO is with respect to margin and ruler settings. I’d upgrade to the Pro version if I were confident it didn’t have these bugs. I suppose I should download the Pro version and test it out.
I’ve resolved the margin problems by getting rid of the column title, putting that information in the top level of the outline, and shifting all the other items one level to the right. The template in the zip file reflects those changes, the screen shot above does not.