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Every week brings new projects, emails, files, and job lists. How much of that is different from the work you’ve done? Odds are, not much. A number of our tasks are variations on something.
Do not reinvent the wheel each single time you start something new. Use templates–as starting point for 17, standardized documents. Once you save a separate variant of the template, simply add, eliminate, or alter any data for that record that is exceptional, and you are going to have the new work.
Templates work anywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey programs, and email. Here’s how to use templates from your favorite programs –and to create documents from a template–so you can get your common tasks quicker.
Templates take the time to construct, and it’s easy to wonder if they are worth the investment. The brief answer: absolutely. Editing a template requires far less time than formatting something from scratch. It’s 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 crucial information, too. By way of example, if you want to send freelance writers a contributor agreement, modifying a standard contract template (instead of composing a new contract each time) guarantees you won’t leave out the crucial clause about owning the content as soon as you’ve paid for this.
Templates additionally guarantee consistency. You send investors or clients regular job updates. Using a template, you know the update will have the same formatting, design, and standard arrangement.
How to Produce Fantastic 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 must be comprehensive. It is more easy to delete information than add it in, so err on the side of including too instead of too little.
Imagine you are developing a template of your resume. You’d want to record facts about your duties 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 later on, but if it is not in the template you may forget it at the final version.
Some tools will automatically fill in all these variables for you (more on that in a bit). But if you have to fill in the information on your own, add some text that’s easy and obvious to look for so you can find text that needs to be changed without a lot of effort.