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Each week brings new projects, emails, files, and job lists. How much of that is different from the work you have done before? Odds are, maybe not much. Many of our tasks are variations on something we’ve done countless times before.
Do not reinvent the wheel each time you start something fresh. Use templates–as starting point for work that is new, standardized files with formatting and text. As soon as you save another variant of the template, just add, remove, or change any info for that document that is unique, and you’ll have the job.
Templates work everywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management apps, survey platforms, and email. Here’s the way to create documents from a template — and how to use templates in your favorite apps –so it’s possible to get your common tasks quicker.
Templates take time to build, and it’s easy to wonder if they’re worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template takes 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 benefit: Using a template means you are less inclined to leave out crucial information, too. By way of example, if you want to send freelance authors a contributor agreement, changing a standard contract template (rather than composing a new contract every time) ensures you won’t depart out the crucial clause regarding possessing the content once you’ve paid for this.
Templates also guarantee consistency. Perhaps you send regular job updates to clients or investors. Using a template, you know the upgrade will constantly have the exact same formatting, design, and standard arrangement.
How to Create Great Templates
Not many templates are created equal–and some things do not need a template. Here are a few guidelines to follow.
First, templates must be comprehensive. So err on the side of including instead of too small, it’s easier to delete information than add it in.
Imagine you’re developing a template of your own resume. You’d want to list in-depth details and that means you’ll have all the info you need to apply for almost any job.
You can always delete less-important notes later on, but you might forget it if it is not from the template.
Some applications will automatically fill in all these variables for you (more on this in a bit). But if you have to fill in the information by yourself, add some text that is obvious and simple to search for so you can find.