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Every week brings job lists, emails, files, and new projects. How much of that is different from the job you have done? Odds are, not much. Many of our daily tasks are variants on something we have done hundreds of times before.
Do not reinvent the wheel each time you start something new. Instead, use templates–as starting point for 17, standardized files with formatting and text. Once you save another variant of the template, simply add, eliminate, or alter any info for that record that is unique, and you’ll have the job completed in a fraction of this time.
Programs work everywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey programs, and also email. Here is the way to use templates and the way to generate documents from a template–so you can get your common tasks done quicker.
Programs take time to construct, and it’s easy to wonder whether they’re worth the investment. The short answer: absolutely. Editing a template requires much less time than formatting something. It is the difference between retyping it, or copying and pasting some text.
That is not the only advantage: Using a template means you’re not as likely to leave out key info, also. For instance, if you want to send freelance authors a contributor agreement, changing a standard contract template (rather than writing a new contract each time) ensures you won’t depart out that crucial clause about possessing the material as soon as you’ve paid for this.
Templates additionally guarantee consistency. Maybe you send regular project updates to investors or customers. With a template, you know the upgrade will always have the same formatting, design, 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 guidelines to follow.
First, templates must be comprehensive. It’s easier to delete info than add it in, so err on the side of including instead of too small.
Imagine you are developing a template of your own resume. You’d want to record in-depth details about your responsibilities and accomplishments, so you’ll have all the info you need to submit an application for any job.
You can always delete notes later on, but you might forget it in the final version when it’s not in the template.
Some tools will automatically fill in these variables for you (more on that in a bit). But if you have to fill in the data by yourself, include some text that is easy and obvious to look for so you can locate.