Jonathon Knowles Clock pany from hand cut out template , image source: www.jknowles.com.au
Each week brings new jobs, emails, files, and task lists. How much of this is totally different from the job you’ve done before? Odds are, not much. A number of our daily tasks are variations on something.
Do not reinvent the wheel each single time you start something fresh. Instead, use templates–as starting point for work that is , standardized documents with formatting and text. As soon as you save a separate version of the template, simply add, eliminate, or change any data for that exceptional record, and you’ll have the work.
Programs work everywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey platforms, and email. Here’s how to use templates in your favorite apps–and the way to generate documents from a template–so it’s possible to get your common tasks done quicker.
Templates take the time to build, and it’s easy to wonder if they’re worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template requires far less time than formatting something. It’s the distinction between copying and pasting some text, or retyping it.
That’s only one benefit: Using a template means you are not as likely to leave out key info, too. By way of example, if you need to send freelance writers a contributor agreement, changing a standard contract template (rather than writing a new contract every time) guarantees you won’t leave out that crucial clause about owning the content once you’ve paid for this.
Templates also guarantee consistency. You send investors or customers regular job updates. Using a template, you know the update will have the same formatting, layout, and standard structure.
How to Produce Great Templates
Not all templates are created equal–and some 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 adding rather than too small, it is easier to delete info than add it .
Imagine you’re creating a template of your own resume. You’d want to record details about your responsibilities and accomplishments, so you are going to have.
You always have the option to delete notes that are less-important in the future, but you may forget it at the final 25, when it’s not from the template.
Some tools will automatically fill in these factors for you (more on this in a little ). But if you have to fill in the data by yourself, add some text that is obvious and easy to search for so you can find text that has to be altered without much work.