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Every week brings task lists, emails, files, and new jobs. Just how much of this is totally different from the job you’ve done before? Odds are, not much. A number of our tasks are variations on something we’ve done countless times before.
Don’t reinvent the wheel every single time you start something fresh. Use templates–standardized files as starting point for work. As soon as you save a separate version of the template, simply add, remove, or change any data for that record that is exceptional, and you’ll have the job.
Templates work everywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey programs, and email. Here’s how to use templates and how to automatically generate documents from a template–so you can get your ordinary tasks done quicker.
Programs take the time to build, and it’s easy to wonder whether they’re worth the investment. The brief answer: absolutely. Editing a template takes far less time than formatting something. It’s the difference between copying and pasting some text, or retyping it.
That is only one advantage: Using a template means you are not as likely to leave out crucial info, too. For example, if you want to send freelance writers a contributor agreement, changing a standard contract template (instead of 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 additionally guarantee consistency. You send regular job updates to clients or investors. With a template, you know the upgrade will have the formatting, design, and general arrangement.
How to Create Fantastic Templates
Not all templates are created equal–and a few things do not need a template. Here are a couple of guidelines to follow.
First, templates must be comprehensive. So err on the side of adding rather than too small, it’s easier to delete information than add it in.
Imagine you’re creating a template of your own resume. You would want to record in-depth facts so you are going to have all the information you need to apply for almost any job.
You can always delete notes later on, but when it’s not from the template you may forget it in the final edition.
Some tools will automatically fill in these factors for you (more on that in a little ). But should you need to fill in the data by yourself, include some text that is easy and obvious to look for so it is possible to locate.