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Each week brings new jobs, emails, documents, and task lists. Just how much of this is different from the job you’ve done before? Odds are, not much. Many of our daily tasks are variants on something we have done countless times before.
Don’t reinvent the wheel each single time you start something fresh. Instead, use templates–standardized files with formatting and text as starting point for work. Once you save a separate version of the template add, eliminate, or change any info for that exceptional document, and you are going to have the job.
Templates work anywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management apps, survey programs, and email. Here is how to automatically generate documents from a template — and the way to use templates from your favorite programs –so it’s possible to get your common tasks done quicker.
Programs take the time to build, and it’s easy to wonder if they are worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template takes much less time than formatting some thing. It’s the difference between retyping it, or copying and pasting some text.
That’s only one advantage: Using a template means you’re less inclined to leave out key info, too. For example, if you want to send freelance writers a contributor agreement, changing a standard contract template (rather than composing a new contract each time) ensures you won’t depart out that crucial clause about owning the content once you’ve paid for this.
Templates also guarantee consistency. Maybe you send investors or customers regular job updates. With a template, you know the update will always have the formatting, design, and arrangement.
How to Create Great Templates
Not all templates are created equal–and some things do not need a template. Listed below are a few tips to follow.
First, templates should be comprehensive. It’s simpler to delete information than add it , so err on the side of adding also instead of too small.
Imagine you’re creating a template of your resume. You would want to record in-depth facts and that means you’ll have all the info you want to submit an application for almost any job.
You can delete notes that are less-important later on, but you might forget it in the last 25, when it is not from the template.
Some tools will automatically fill in all these factors for you (more on this in a bit). But if you need to fill in the information on your own, add some text that is obvious and easy to search for so you can find text that needs to be altered without much effort.