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Each week brings task lists, emails, documents, and new jobs. How much of this is different from the work you’ve done? Odds are, maybe not much. Many of our daily tasks are variations on something we have done hundreds of times before.
Don’t reinvent the wheel every single time you start something new. Use templates–standardized files with formatting and text as starting point. Once you save a separate version of the template, simply add, eliminate, or alter any data for that record, and you’ll have the new work done in a fraction of the time.
Programs work everywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey platforms, and email. Here is the way to use templates from your favorite programs –and how to automatically generate documents from a template–so it’s possible to get your tasks faster.
Programs take the time to construct, and it’s easy to wonder whether they are worth the investment. The short 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 not the only benefit: Using a template means you are not as inclined to leave out crucial info, too. By way of instance, if you need to send freelance authors a contributor agreement, changing a standard contract template (instead of writing a new contract every time) guarantees you won’t leave out that crucial clause regarding owning the content once you’ve paid for this.
Templates additionally guarantee consistency. Perhaps you send regular project updates to investors or clients. Using a template, you know the update will have the same formatting, design, and standard structure.
How to Create Great Templates
Not many templates are created equal–and some things don’t require a template. Listed below are a couple of guidelines to follow.
First, templates must be comprehensive. So err on the side of adding too rather than too little, it’s simpler to delete info than add it in.
Imagine you’re developing a template of your own resume. You would want to list facts about your duties and achievements, and that means you’ll have all the information you need to apply for almost any job.
You can always delete notes later on, but when it’s not in the template you might forget it.
Some tools will automatically fill in all these factors for you (more on that in a little ). But should you need to fill in the data on your own, include some text that is simple and obvious to look for so it is possible to find text that needs to be changed without much effort.