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Each week brings job lists, emails, documents, and new projects. How much of that is different from the work you have done? Odds are, not much. Many of our tasks are variations on something we have done hundreds of times before.
Do not reinvent the wheel every time you start something new. Instead, use templates–standardized files with formatting and text as starting point. Once you save a version of the template, simply add, eliminate, or alter any data for that unique document, and you are going to have the new job.
Templates work everywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey platforms, and also email. Here is how to use templates and the way to generate documents from a template–so you can get your common tasks quicker.
Templates take time to build, and it’s easy to wonder if they are worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template takes far less time than formatting something. It’s the distinction between copying and pasting some text, or retyping it.
That’s not the only advantage: Using a template means you’re not as inclined to leave out key information, too. For example, if you want to send freelance writers a contributor agreement, changing a standard contract template (instead of writing a new contract every time) guarantees you won’t leave out the crucial clause about possessing the material once you’ve paid for it.
Templates also guarantee consistency. You send regular job updates. Using a template, you understand the upgrade will have the same formatting, design, and structure.
How to Produce Great Templates
Not all templates are created equal–and a few things don’t need a template. Here are a couple of guidelines to follow.
First, templates should be comprehensive. So err on the side of including too rather than too little, it’s more easy to delete information than add it in.
Imagine you are creating a template of your resume. You’d want to record in-depth facts about your responsibilities and achievements, and that means you are going to have all the info you need to apply for almost any job.
You can delete notes later on, but you might forget it if it is not in the template.
Some applications will automatically fill in these factors for you (more on that in a bit). But should you need to fill in the information by yourself, add some text that’s simple and obvious to look for so you can locate text that has to be altered without a lot of effort.