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Each week brings new projects, emails, files, and task lists. How much of that is different from the work you’ve done before? Odds are, not much. Many of our tasks are variants on something we’ve done hundreds of times before.
Don’t reinvent the wheel every time you start something new. Instead, use templates–standardized documents with formatting and text as starting point. Once you save another version of the template add, remove, or change any data for that document that is exceptional, and you are going to have the job completed in a fraction of the time.
Templates work anywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management apps, survey programs, and email. Here’s to automatically generate documents from a template — and how to use templates from your favorite programs –so you can get your common tasks faster.
Templates take time to construct, and it’s easy to wonder if they are worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template takes much less time than formatting something from scratch. It is the distinction between retyping it, or copying and pasting some text.
That is only one benefit: Using a template means you are less likely to leave out key info, also. For example, if you need to send freelance authors a contributor agreement, changing a standard contract template (rather than composing a new contract every time) guarantees you won’t leave out that crucial clause regarding owning the material as soon as you’ve paid for it.
Templates additionally guarantee consistency. Maybe you send clients or investors regular job updates. With a template, you know the upgrade will have the formatting, layout, and arrangement.
How to Create Fantastic Templates
Not many templates are created equal–and some things don’t need a template. Here are a couple of guidelines to follow.
First, templates must be comprehensive. So err on the side of including instead of too little, it’s easier to delete information than add it .
Imagine you are creating a template of your own resume. You’d want to list in-depth details so you are going to have all the information you need to apply for any job.
You always have the option to delete less-important notes later on, but you may forget it at the final edition when it’s not from the template.
Some applications will automatically fill in these variables for you (more on this in a bit). But if you have to fill in the information by yourself, add some text that’s easy and obvious to search for so you can locate.