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Each week brings new projects, emails, files, and task lists. How much of this is different from the work you’ve done before? Odds are, maybe not much. Many of our tasks are variations on something.
Don’t reinvent the wheel every time you start something fresh. Rather, use templates–as starting point for new 17, standardized documents with formatting and text. Once you save another version of the template, just add, eliminate, or alter any info for that record that is exceptional, and you’ll have the work completed in a fraction of this time.
Templates work anywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey platforms, and email. Here’s how to use templates from your favorite apps–and the way to create documents from a template–so you can get your common tasks quicker.
Templates take time to build, and it’s easy to wonder whether they’re worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template takes much less time than formatting something from scratch. It is the difference between retyping it, or copying and pasting some text.
That is not the only advantage: Using a template means you are not as likely to leave out crucial info, too. By way of example, if you want to send freelance writers a contributor agreement, changing a standard contract template (instead of composing a new contract every time) guarantees you won’t leave out the crucial clause about possessing the material once you’ve paid for this.
Templates also guarantee consistency. Perhaps you send investors or customers regular project updates. Using a template, you know the upgrade will have the formatting, design, and structure.
How to Produce Fantastic Templates
Not many templates are created equal–and a few things do not require a template. Here are a couple of guidelines to follow.
First, templates should be comprehensive. It’s more easy to delete information than add it in, so err on the side of adding instead of too little.
Imagine you are creating a template of your resume. You would want to record facts so you’ll have all the information you want to submit an application for any job.
You always have the option to delete notes later on, but if it is not from the template you may forget it.
Some applications will automatically fill in all these variables for you (more on that in a bit). But if you need to fill in the information by yourself, add some text that’s simple and obvious to look for so it is possible to locate.