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Each week brings new projects, emails, documents, and task lists. Just how much of that is completely different from the job you’ve done? Odds are, maybe not much. Many of our tasks are variations on something we’ve done hundreds of times before.
Don’t reinvent the wheel each time you start something new. Rather, use templates–as starting point for new 17, standardized files. As soon as you save a separate version of the template, simply add, remove, or change any data for that document that is unique, and you are going to have the new job done in a fraction of this time.
Templates work anywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey programs, and email. Here is how to use templates in your favorite programs –and to generate documents from a template–so you can get your common tasks faster.
Programs take time to build, and it’s easy to wonder whether they are worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template takes far less time than formatting some thing. It’s the difference between retyping it, or copying and pasting some text.
That’s only one advantage: Using a template means you’re less likely to leave out key info, too. For instance, if you need to send freelance writers a contributor agreement, modifying a standard contract template (instead of composing a new contract each time) guarantees you won’t depart out the crucial clause regarding possessing the content once you’ve paid for this.
Templates additionally guarantee consistency. You send regular job updates to investors or clients. With a template, you understand the update will have the same formatting, layout, and general structure.
How to Create Great Templates
Not many templates are created equal–and some things do not require a template. Here are a few tips to follow.
First, templates must be comprehensive. It is more easy to delete info than add it , so err on the side of including too rather than too little.
Imagine you’re developing a template of your resume. You would want to list in-depth facts about your responsibilities and accomplishments, and that means you’ll have all the information you want to apply for almost any job.
You can always delete less-important notes later on, but you might forget it at the final 25, if it’s not in the template.
Some tools will automatically fill in all these variables for you (more on that in a bit). But if you need to fill in the data by yourself, include some text that is obvious and easy to search for so you can find.