Victorian Craft Beer Labels from beer bottle neck label template , image source: lukecorbin.org
Each week brings documents, emails, new projects, and task lists. Just how much of this is different from the work you have done? Odds are, not much. A number of our tasks are variants on something we have done countless times before.
Don’t reinvent the wheel each time you start something fresh. Rather, use templates–standardized files as starting point for work. Once you save a version of the template, just add, remove, or change any info for that record that is exceptional, and you are going to have the job.
Templates work everywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey programs, and email. Here’s the way to automatically generate documents from a template — and how to use templates from your favorite apps –so you can get your tasks done quicker.
Templates take the time to construct, and it’s easy to wonder if they’re worth the investment. The short answer: absolutely. Editing a template requires far less time than formatting some thing from scratch. It’s the difference between retyping it, or copying and pasting some text.
That is only one benefit: Using a template means you are less likely to leave out key information, too. For example, if you need to send freelance writers a contributor arrangement, modifying a standard contract template (rather than writing a new contract each time) ensures you won’t leave out that crucial clause about owning the material as soon as you’ve paid for it.
Templates also guarantee consistency. Perhaps you send investors or customers regular project updates. Using a template, you understand the update will have the formatting, design, and standard structure.
How to Produce Great Templates
Not many templates are created equal–and some things do not require a template. Here are a few guidelines to follow.
First, templates must be comprehensive. It is more easy to delete info than add it , so err on the side of including rather than too little.
Imagine you are creating a template of your own resume. You would want to list in-depth details about your responsibilities and accomplishments, so you’ll have all the info you want to submit an application for almost any job.
You always have the option to delete notes later on, but you might forget it in the final 25, when it is not from the template.
Some applications will automatically fill in all these factors for you (more on this in a bit). But if you have to fill in the information by yourself, add some text that is easy and obvious to look for so it is possible to find.