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Each week brings new jobs, emails, files, and task lists. How much of this is totally different from the work you’ve done? Odds are, not much. Many of our daily tasks are variations on something we’ve done hundreds of times before.
Don’t reinvent the wheel every single time you start something new. Instead, use templates–as starting point for work that is new, standardized files with formatting and text. Once you save a separate version of the template add, eliminate, or change any data for that document, and you are going to have the new work.
Templates work everywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey programs, and email. Here is the way to automatically generate documents from a template — and the way to use templates from your favorite apps –so it’s possible to get your common tasks faster.
Templates take the time to construct, and it’s easy to wonder whether they are worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template requires much less time than formatting something. It is the distinction between copying and pasting some text, or retyping it.
That is only one benefit: Using a template means you’re less likely to leave out crucial information, also. For instance, if you need to send freelance writers a contributor agreement, changing a standard contract template (instead of writing a new contract every time) guarantees you won’t leave out that crucial clause regarding owning the material as soon as you’ve paid for this.
Templates also guarantee consistency. Maybe you send customers or investors regular project updates. With a template, you understand the update will always have the formatting, layout, and arrangement.
How to Produce Great Templates
Not all templates are created equal–and some things don’t 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 , so err on the side of adding rather than too little.
Imagine you are creating a template of your resume. You’d want to list in-depth details about your duties and achievements, and that means you’ll have all the information you want to submit an application for almost any job.
You can always delete less-important notes later on, but when it’s not in the template you might forget it.
Some applications will automatically fill in these variables for you (more on this in a little ). But if you need to fill in the information by yourself, add some text that’s obvious and easy to search for so it is possible to find.