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Each week brings new projects, emails, documents, and task lists. How much of this is different from the job you’ve done before? Odds are, maybe not much. Many of our tasks are variations on something we have done countless times before.
Do not reinvent the wheel every single time you start something fresh. Instead, use templates–as starting point for 17, standardized files with formatting and text. As soon as you save another version of the template add, remove, or change any info for that unique document, and you are going to have the new job completed in a fraction of the time.
Templates work everywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey platforms, and email. Here’s the way to use templates in your favorite programs –and to generate documents from a template–so it’s possible to get your ordinary tasks done faster.
Templates take time to build, and it’s easy to wonder whether they’re worth the investment. The short answer: absolutely. Editing a template takes much less time than formatting something from scratch. It’s the difference between retyping it, or copying and pasting some text.
That is not the only benefit: Using a template means you’re not as inclined to leave out key information, also. For example, if you want to send freelance writers a contributor arrangement, modifying a standard contract template (instead of composing a new contract each time) ensures you won’t depart out that crucial clause regarding possessing the material once you’ve paid for this.
Templates additionally guarantee consistency. You send investors or clients regular job updates. With a template, you understand the update will have the exact same formatting, layout, and general structure.
How to Produce Great Templates
Not all templates are created equal–and some things don’t require 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 in.
Imagine you are creating a template of your own resume. You would want to record in-depth facts so you are going to have all the info you want to apply for almost any job.
You can delete notes later on, but you may forget it when it is not in the template.
Some tools will automatically fill in these factors for you (more on that in a bit). But if you need to fill in the data on your own, add some text that is easy and obvious to look for so you can locate.