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Each week brings new projects, emails, files, and task lists. Just how much of this is different from the work you’ve done before? Odds are, maybe not much. A number of our day-to-day tasks are variants on something we’ve done hundreds of times before.
Don’t reinvent the wheel each single time you start something new. Use templates–standardized documents with formatting and text as starting point for new work. Once you save a separate variant of the template, simply add, eliminate, or change any data for that record that is exceptional, and you’ll have the job.
Templates work everywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey programs, and also email. Here’s the way to use templates and to automatically create documents from a template–so it’s possible to get your tasks done faster.
Templates take time to build, and it’s easy to wonder if they are worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template requires far less time than formatting something from scratch. It is the difference 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 key info, also. For 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 the crucial clause about owning the material once you’ve paid for it.
Templates also guarantee consistency. You send regular project updates. With a template, you know the update will have the exact same formatting, design, and general arrangement.
How to Create Fantastic Templates
Not many templates are created equal–and some things don’t need a template. Listed below are a few guidelines to follow.
First, templates should be comprehensive. So err on the side of including instead of too little, it is simpler to delete info than add it .
Imagine you’re developing a template of your own resume. You’d want to record in-depth facts and that means you are going to have.
You can delete less-important notes later on, but you may forget it at the final 25, if it is not in the template.
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 is obvious and simple to look for so you can locate text that has to be altered without a lot of effort.