Streamline Your Goodnotes Cover Page Creation with Data Merge: A Step-by-Step Guide in Adobe InDesign

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Streamline Your Goodnotes Cover Page Creation with Data Merge: A Step-by-Step Guide in Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign & Data Merge

Goodnotes is a popular note-taking app that offers a range of useful features, including the ability to create custom cover pages for your notes. In this article, we'll walk you through the steps of creating a Goodnotes cover page template in Adobe InDesign and using Data Merge to batch create custom covers quickly and easily from a folder of images.

Decide on your Cover size

Before you start creating your Goodnotes cover page template in Adobe InDesign, it's essential to decide on the size of the cover you want to create. Goodnotes offers multiple size options, including A4, A5, Letter, Half Letter, Goodnotes Standard - 6.32" x 8.17", and GoodNotes Standard landscape - 9.04" x 5.65". Depending on your preference and usage, you can create templates for each of these sizes or choose to create a template for the size that you use the most. Once you have decided on the size, you can proceed with creating your template in Adobe InDesign using the dimensions that you have chosen.

Create Your Template with Parent Pages

When creating a Goodnotes cover page template using Adobe InDesign, parent pages are essential to ensure consistency across all your cover pages. Start by creating a singular parent page, as we don't need a two-page spread for this template. Once you have your parent page created, open up the layers panel and create at least two layers. The first layer should be for the background images that we will insert using data merge later. The second layer should be for the notebook elements, such as the elastic band and the Cover Title or name plaque, banner or title block that you want to appear on all your Goodnotes cover pages. By organizing your elements into different layers, you can easily make changes to individual layers without affecting the others, making it easier to update your cover page templates in the future.

Creating the Data merge file

Creating a data merge file is a crucial step in batch creating Goodnotes cover pages using Adobe InDesign. Start by collecting all the images you want to use into a single folder. It's best to try to keep them relatively the same size and aspect ratio as the page size you have chosen to create your cover template. You can create a bunch of images around a specific theme or use an eclectic group of images. Once you have your images, select all the files in the folder and right-click to copy as path on PC or Cmd+C on Mac. Then, open a Google Sheets file or an Excel file. In cell A1 of the Google Sheets, type in [@images] (excluding the [ ]) and paste the copied path files for all the images in your folder into cell A2. Afterward, download or save the file as a CSV (comma-separated values) file and keep it in the same folder as the images for ease of locating. By creating this data merge file, you can easily insert images into your cover template using Adobe InDesign's Data Merge function.

Create your covers in Adobe InDesign

After creating your data merge file, it's time to insert the images into your Goodnotes cover template using Adobe InDesign's Data Merge function. First, go back to Adobe InDesign and select the bounding box frame on the Background Images layer in your parent page. Then, open the data merge window and select the three lines in the top right corner of the window. From there, choose "Data Source" and locate the CSV file you created earlier, and open it. Once you have done this, you will see <<images>> appear at the top of the bounding box frame. If you turn on preview, you will see a preview of the first image. With the bounding box still selected, click on the "Create Merged Document" icon located to the right of the CSV file name in the data merge window. This will generate all the pages, including the images and the Goodnotes notebook elements you created on layer 2. If you can't see the elements on your newly created pages, please check that the elements layer 2 is at the top of the layer list to ensure they appear correctly.

Export As PDF and Import to Goodnotes

After generating your Goodnotes cover pages using Adobe InDesign's Data Merge function, it's time to export your pages into a PDF to download to your iPad and import into Goodnotes. To do this, select "Export" from the "File" menu in Adobe InDesign and choose "Adobe PDF (Print)" as the file format. Once you have exported your pages, you can download the PDF to your iPad and import it into Goodnotes. To use one of the pages as a cover for a notebook, open the Cover Pages document in Goodnotes, locate the page you want to use, press the three dots in the top right corner, and select "Copy Page." Then, go to your notebook, press the thumbnails icon with four squares in the top left corner, select your first page in the notebook, press the little down arrow in the bottom right corner, select "Add Page Before," and “Paste Page”. With these steps, you can quickly and easily use your custom Goodnotes cover pages for your notebooks.

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