Spring will soon be in the air, and Lent is now upon us. Preparing for holy seasons presents a challenge to our editors, who must find a way to squeeze many special events and masses into the bulletin. What is the best way to convey important dates and church happenings to parishioners within a limited amount of space? Depending on the type and amount of information, there are several layout options to consider.
Traditional Calendar Style
Calendar layouts are ideal for displaying very basic details. The following example worked well because only the date, time, location, and event name were needed. One limitation of using this method within Microsoft Publisher is that the table row height expands based on the amount of content in each cell. In other words, unless the content is the same length for each day, the calendar’s rows may vary a bit in height.
Creating a traditional calendar in Microsoft Publisher is not a straightforward process, but it can be done. The calendar must be created manually by inserting a table into the document, with 7 columns and 6 rows. Resize the top row to a shorter height, as that area will contain the days of the week. Next, number each cell based on the dates within the calendar month. To avoid confusion, enter all dates first, then go back and type in the events for each day. See Microsoft Publisher’s Support website, or call an LPi Tech Support Representative if assistance is needed with table formatting.
Chronological Event List
Event lists work well when there are only a few events to note, and/or if the time span for activities is shorter than a month. Alignment, color and white space can help organize the information, as demonstrated in the below example.
Tables featuring a row for each weekday are useful when there are several daily activities. This layout offers extra room for event descriptions, if needed.
Create two separate tables, with 3 columns and 15 rows each. Label the left column with days of the week. Decrease the width of the middle column, and then type in the numerical date, working vertically down the table. Event descriptions can be placed in the right column.
Cluster Parish Events
Juggling multiple events for more than one church may seem daunting, but using a list or table format makes it possible. Event lists can be organized by abbreviating the church names, with a clearly labeled key section. The following is an example of a tabbed event list with key.
Table layouts may work better if each church has many events that are not shared with the other locations. Simply include a separate column or row for each location. See the example below.
In summary, there are many potential ways to organize event information in a concise, readable manner. Note that some of the above examples may require an intermediate to advanced level of skill with Microsoft Publisher. Feel free to contact your local LPi tech support department if you need any assistance with tables or tabs.
Have any alternative methods or tips for managing your events/activity list, besides those mentioned above? Please comment to share your thoughts. We are always interested in new ideas and suggestions!