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Each week brings documents, emails, new projects, and job lists. Just how much of this is completely different from the work you have done before? Odds are, maybe not much. Many of our day-to-day tasks are variations on something we’ve done hundreds of times before.
Do not reinvent the wheel every time you start something new. Rather, use templates–standardized documents with formatting and text as starting point for work. Once you save a version of the template add, remove, or change any data for that document that is exceptional, and you’ll have the work completed in a fraction of this time.
Programs work anywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey programs, and email. Here’s the way to create documents from a template — and how to use templates from your favorite programs –so it’s possible to get your common tasks faster.
Programs take time to build, and it’s easy to wonder if they’re worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template requires much less time than formatting some thing from scratch. It is the distinction between retyping it, or copying and pasting some text.
That’s not the only advantage: Using a template means you are not as likely to leave out crucial info, too. For example, if you want to send freelance writers a contributor agreement, modifying a standard contract template (rather than writing a new contract each time) guarantees you won’t leave out the crucial clause about possessing the content once you’ve paid for it.
Templates also guarantee consistency. You send regular job updates to investors or customers. With a template, you know the upgrade will have the formatting, design, and standard arrangement.
How to Produce Great Templates
Not all templates are created equal–and a few things do not need a template. Listed below are a few guidelines to follow.
First, templates should be comprehensive. So err on the side of including rather than too little, it’s more easy to delete information than add it .
Imagine you’re creating a template of your resume. You would want to list in-depth details about your responsibilities and accomplishments, and that means you are going to have all the info you want to apply for almost any job.
You can delete less-important notes on, but when it is not from the template you may forget it in the final edition.
Some applications will automatically fill in these factors for you (more on that in a bit). But should you need to fill in the data by yourself, include some text that’s simple and obvious to look for so you can find.