Creating a cumulative status report through MS Word

Word is the word-processor application in the Microsoft Office productivity suite. You can use Word to generate a cumulative status report that lets you continually update your assigned tasks and cover your assets (CYA). This document explains how to:
  1. Create your cumulative status report, which is a simple Word table that lets you track the status of your projects, assignments and tasks.
  2. Format your status-report table.
  3. Enter task data into your status report table.
  4. Create a PDF status report.
  5. Cover your assets (CYA).

Creating a status-report table
To create a simple table for your cumulative status report, do the following:
  1. Open a new MS Word file, and then save it with a meaningful name, such as Cumulative_Status_Report.docx.
  2. As shown in Figure 1 below, click the Page Layout tab to display its ribbon, click Margins, and then select Narrow.
  3. As shown in Figure 2 below, click Orientation, and then select Landscape.
  4. As shown in Figure 3 below, click Insert, click Table, and then click Insert Table to display its window.
  5. As shown in Figure 4 below, select seven columns and two rows, and then click OK to create your table.

Figure 1 - Selecting Narrow page margins.

Figure 2 - Setting page orientation to Landscape.

Figure 3 - This is the Insert Table window.

Figure 4 - Inserting a table with seven columns and two rows.

Formating your table
To format your status-report table, do the following:
  1. Select the Layout tab to display its ribbon, click Select (at the left), click Select Table, and then click Cell Margins (in the Alignment section) to display a Table Options window. Note: For more information about tables and ribbons, please see Using Word 2007 ribbons for tables.
  2. As shown in Figure 5 below, set all four Default cell margins to 0.05 inches, and then click OK. Author's Note: In my opinion, these cell margins make the table easier to read.
  3. Place the insertion point (blinking cursor) in any cell in the first row, select the Layout tab, and then click Properties to display its window.
  4. As shown in Figure 6 below, select the Row tab, deselect (uncheck) Allow row to break across pages, select (check) Repeat as header row at the top of each page, and then click OK.
  5. Select the entire first row, click the Home tab to display its ribbon, and then click B to make the first row (the header row) bold.
  6. Leaving the header row selected, click the Layout tab to display its ribbon, and then (in the Alignment section) click the Align Center icon to align header text both horizontally and vertically.
  7. As shown in Figure 7 below, type appropriate text into the header row, and then adjust column widths.
  8. Select the entire second row. In the Alignment section, click the Align Center Left icon to align task text to the left and vertically, and then use Align Center to align each Date cell both horizontally and vertically.
Figure 5 - Set all four cell margins to 0.05 inches.

Figure 6 - Repeat the table header on each page.

Figure 7 - Type text into the header row.

Entering task data
To enter task data into your status-report table, do the following:
  1. As shown in Figure 8 below, enter data for your initial task into the second row.
  2. As shown in Figure 9 below, click the Layout tab to display its ribbon, place the insertion point (blinking cursor) anywhere in the second row, and then (in the Rows & Columns section) click Insert Above to insert a new row.
  3. As shown in Figure 10 below, enter data for your next assigned task into the second row, which is your new blank row.
  4. For each other in-process task on which you have worked, revise its Date of latest activity.
  5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 for each new task that any manager assigns to you. Figure 11 below contains additional example tasks.
Figure 8 - This is an example initial task.

Figure 9 - A new second row for the next task.

Figure 10 - An example new task.

Figure 11 - Multiple example tasks.

Creating a PDF status report
To create a PDF cumulative status report, do the following:
  1. Open your Word cumulative status report.
  2. Click the Office Button (at the upper left), to display its menu.
  3. Select Save As, click PDF or XPS, and select the PDF file type.
  4. Click Publish to generate your PDF cumulative status report, such as

Covering your assets (CYA)
Your cumulative status report can help you practice prudent CYA. For example, at the end of each day, you can:
  1. Create a PDF cumulative status report according to the section above.
  2. Create a PDF daily activity log according to Creating daily activity logs through MS Excel.
  3. Send an email to all your managers, and attach both PDFs.
  4. Make personal backup copies of both PDFs, and file them in private storage.

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