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Each week brings new jobs, emails, documents, and job lists. How much of that is completely different from the job you have done before? Odds are, not much. Many of our tasks are variants on something.
Don’t reinvent the wheel every single time you start something new. Rather, use templates–standardized documents with text and formatting as starting point for new work. As soon as you save a separate variant of the template, just add, eliminate, or change any data for that unique record, and you are going to have the work completed in a fraction of the time.
Templates work everywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey programs, and email. Here’s how to automatically generate documents from a template — and how to use templates from your favorite apps –so you can get your tasks done quicker.
Programs take the time to build, and it’s easy to wonder if they’re worth the investment. The short answer: absolutely. Editing a template requires much 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 advantage: Using a template means you’re not as inclined to leave out key information, also. By way of instance, if you want to send freelance writers a contributor arrangement, changing a standard contract template (instead of composing a new contract every time) guarantees you won’t leave out the crucial clause about owning the content as soon as you’ve paid for this.
Templates also guarantee consistency. Perhaps you send clients or investors regular project updates. With a template, you know the update will have the exact same formatting, layout, and structure.
How to Create Great Templates
Not all templates are created equal–and some things don’t require a template. Listed below are a couple of guidelines to follow.
First, templates should be comprehensive. It is simpler to delete info than add it , so err on the side of including too rather than too little.
Imagine you’re developing a template of your own resume. You would want to list details about your responsibilities and accomplishments, so you are going to have all the information you need to apply for almost any job.
You can always delete less-important notes on, but when it’s not from the template you might forget it at the final edition.
Some applications will automatically fill in all these variables for you (more on that in a bit). But should you need to fill in the information on your own, include some text that’s simple and obvious to search for so you can locate text that needs to be altered without a lot of work.