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Each week brings new jobs, emails, files, and job lists. Just how much of this is different from the work you have done before? Odds are, maybe not much. Many of our daily tasks are variants on something.
Do not reinvent the wheel each time you start something new. Rather, use templates–as starting point for new 17, standardized files with formatting and text. As soon as you save another variant of the template add, eliminate, or alter any info for that record that is exceptional, and you’ll have the work.
Programs work anywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey programs, and email. Here is how to use templates and to automatically create documents from a template–so it’s possible to get your common tasks done faster.
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. It’s the difference between copying and pasting some text, or retyping it.
That’s not the only advantage: Using a template means you’re less inclined to leave out key info, too. For instance, if you need to send freelance writers a contributor arrangement, modifying a standard contract template (instead of writing a new contract every time) guarantees you won’t leave out the crucial clause about owning the content as soon as you’ve paid for it.
Templates also guarantee consistency. You send regular job updates. Using a template, you know the update will have the exact same formatting, layout, and standard structure.
How to Produce Great Templates
Not all templates are created equal–and some things don’t need a template. Listed below are a couple of guidelines to follow.
First, templates should be comprehensive. So err on the side of including also instead of too small, it is simpler to delete info than add it in.
Imagine you are developing a template of your own resume. You’d want to list facts so you are going to have all the information you need to apply for any job.
You can delete notes on, but you may forget it at the final 25, if it’s not in the template.
Some tools will automatically fill in these variables for you (more on this in a bit). But if you have to fill in the data on your own, add some text that is obvious and simple to look for so you can locate text that has to be altered without a lot of work.