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Each week brings new projects, emails, files, and job lists. How much of this is totally different from the job you have done before? Odds are, maybe not much. Many of our daily tasks are variations on something we’ve done hundreds of times before.
Do not reinvent the wheel each time you start something new. Rather, use templates–standardized files as starting point. Once you save another version of the template, just add, remove, or change any data for that document, and you’ll have the new job.
Templates work everywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey programs, and also email. Here’s how to generate documents from a template — and the way to use templates in your favorite programs –so it’s possible to get your common tasks quicker.
Templates take the time to construct, and it’s easy to wonder whether they are worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template requires much less time than formatting something. It’s the difference between retyping it, or copying and pasting some text.
That is not the only benefit: Using a template means you are not as inclined to leave out crucial info, also. For instance, if you want to send freelance writers a contributor agreement, modifying a standard contract template (instead of writing a new contract every time) ensures you won’t leave out that crucial clause regarding possessing the content once you’ve paid for this.
Templates also guarantee consistency. Maybe you send investors or clients regular project updates. With a template, you know the update will constantly have the same formatting, layout, and general structure.
How to Produce Great Templates
Not all templates are created equal–and a few things do not require a template. Here are a few tips to follow.
First, templates should be comprehensive. It’s easier to delete information than add it , so err on the side of including rather than too small.
Imagine you’re creating a template of your resume. You’d want to list in-depth facts about your responsibilities and accomplishments, and that means you are going to have all the information you want to apply for almost any job.
You always have the option to delete notes on, but if it is not in the template you might forget it.
Some applications will automatically fill in these factors for you (more on this in a bit). But should you need to fill in the information on your own, add some text that’s simple and obvious to look for so it is possible to find text that has to be changed without a lot of work.