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Every week brings files, emails, new jobs, and job lists. Just how much of this is totally different from the job you have done before? Odds are, not much. Many of our day-to-day tasks are variations on something we’ve done countless times before.
Do not reinvent the wheel every single time you start something fresh. Rather, use templates–standardized files with formatting and text as starting point. As soon as you save a variant of the template, just add, eliminate, or change any info for that document, and you’ll have the new job completed in a fraction of the time.
Templates work anywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey platforms, and email. Here’s how to use templates from your favorite programs –and to generate documents from a template–so you can get your tasks quicker.
Programs 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 some thing from scratch. It is the distinction between copying and pasting some text, or retyping it.
That is only one advantage: Using a template means you’re less inclined to leave out key information, too. For example, if you need to send freelance authors a contributor agreement, modifying a standard contract template (rather than writing a new contract each time) guarantees you won’t leave out that crucial clause about possessing the content once you’ve paid for it.
Templates also guarantee consistency. Perhaps you send regular project updates to investors or clients. With a template, you understand the upgrade will have the formatting, layout, and arrangement.
How to Create Great Templates
Not many templates are created equal–and a few things don’t need a template. Here are a couple of guidelines to follow.
First, templates should be comprehensive. So err on the side of including also instead of too little, it’s more easy to delete info than add it .
Imagine you’re creating a template of your own resume. You’d want to list in-depth facts so you are going to have all the info you need to submit an application for almost any job.
You always have the option to delete notes later on, but you might forget it at the last version when it’s not from the template.
Some tools will automatically fill in these factors for you (more on that in a little ). But should you have to fill in the information on your own, include some text that is simple and obvious to search for so you can locate.