How to plan a report format

Written by sarah coennen
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How to plan a report format
Planning report formats takes into consideration the readers so that it is easiest for them to understand. (business report image by Christopher Hall from Fotolia.com)

Reports are crucial for running any business. They can let bosses and supervisors know exactly where the company stands on various projects, which can then be reported to their superiors. Planning report formats requires specific information that will make your forms easier to use by those doing the paper work. Good forms also give the planner room for creativity. Planning your report before printing it is essential to making a report form that you can use for extended periods of time.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Black permanent ink pen

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Write down all of the information that you will need to include in the report on one piece of paper, then turn these points into question or command format. Set this page aside. Perform this step on a computer if it will be less confusing for you, but if you write these down on a piece of paper, you can more easily relay them to your format on the computer when you are ready to add them instead of going back and forth between several documents.

  2. 2

    Form the first rough draft of the report on your second piece of paper. Put your company logo at the top of the page and add Report Form in large bold letters at the top. For this example, we are going to use a generic form that can be tailored to fit any project.

  3. 3

    Make up a first section to get the information about the specific project. This can include having the reporter write down the name of the project, project number, or any system that you use to identify your project. Then write down a request that identifies whether the report is an interim report or the final report on the project. For instance:

    Circle One:

    Interim Report Final Report

    or:

    What type of report is this? __

    or:

    Report Type: Interim Final (circle one)

  4. 4

    Make the second section about the person filling out the form. Include name, position or title, specific responsibilities for the project they are reporting on, and what they will attach or include with their report.

  5. 5

    Develop the last section of the report by asking the reporter to detail what has been accomplished on their end. For interim reports, you can leave another section for the reporter to outline the next steps and give an estimated date of completion of the next phase. You may also choose to include a contract agreement at the end of the report to state that the employees will not disclose any information, and all of the information included is correct to the best of their knowledge.

  6. 6

    Put the report format into the computer using a writing program or your preferred program, and print out as many copies as you want, or make the final draft and make several copies to keep on file.

Tips and warnings

  • You can use different computer software to make up the final draft of the report form before printing in bulk. Remember to keep your readers in mind and lay out the information in a way that would best be understood by the majority of your employees.

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