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Every week brings task lists, emails, documents, and new projects. How much of this is completely different from the job you’ve done? Odds are, not much. Many of our tasks are variants on something we have done hundreds of times before.
Don’t reinvent the wheel each time you start something new. Rather, use templates–standardized documents with formatting and text as starting point for new work. As soon as you save a variant of the template add, remove, or change any data for that record, and you’ll have the work done in a fraction of the time.
Templates work anywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey platforms, and also email. Here is how to use templates from your favorite apps–and to automatically generate documents from a template–so it’s possible to get your tasks done quicker.
Templates take time to construct, and it’s easy to wonder whether they’re worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template takes far less time than formatting some thing. It is the distinction between copying and pasting some text, or retyping it.
That’s only one advantage: Using a template means you are not as inclined to leave out crucial information, too. By way of example, if you need to send freelance authors a contributor arrangement, modifying a standard contract template (instead of composing a new contract each time) ensures you won’t leave out the crucial clause about possessing the content once you’ve paid for this.
Templates also guarantee consistency. Perhaps you send investors or customers regular project updates. Using a template, you understand the update will have the formatting, design, and structure.
How to Create Great Templates
Not many templates are created equal–and some things do not need a template. Here are a few guidelines to follow.
First, templates must be comprehensive. It’s more easy to delete information than add it , so err on the side of including also rather than too small.
Imagine you are creating a template of your own resume. You’d want to record details about your duties and achievements, and that means you’ll have all the info you want to apply for any job.
You can delete notes later on, but when it’s not in the template you may forget it at the final version.
Some applications will automatically fill in these variables for you (more on that in a bit). But should you have to fill in the information by yourself, include some text that’s obvious and simple to search for so you can locate text that needs to be altered without a lot of work.