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Each week brings documents, emails, new jobs, and job lists. How much of this is totally different from the work you’ve done before? Odds are, not much. A number of our day-to-day tasks are variants on something.
Do not reinvent the wheel each single time you start something fresh. Use templates–standardized documents as starting point for new work. Once you save a separate variant of the template, just add, eliminate, or change any data for that document, and you are going to have the job done in a fraction of this time.
Templates work anywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management apps, survey platforms, and email. Here is the way to use templates in your favorite programs –and to create documents from a template–so it’s possible to get your tasks done faster.
Templates take time to build, and it’s easy to wonder whether they’re worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template requires much less time than formatting some thing. It is the difference between copying and pasting some text, or retyping it.
That’s not the only advantage: Using a template means you are not as inclined to leave out crucial info, too. For example, if you want to send freelance writers a contributor arrangement, changing a standard contract template (rather than writing a new contract every time) ensures you won’t depart out that crucial clause about possessing the material as soon as you’ve paid for this.
Templates also guarantee consistency. Maybe you send regular job updates to investors or clients. Using a template, you know the update will always have the same formatting, design, and standard arrangement.
How to Create Great Templates
Not all templates are created equal–and a few things don’t require a template. Here are a few tips to follow.
First, templates must be comprehensive. So err on the side of adding rather than too small, it’s simpler to delete info than add it in.
Imagine you are creating a template of your own resume. You would want to record facts about your responsibilities and achievements, so you are going to have all the info you need to submit an application for almost any job.
You can always delete notes later on, but you may forget it in the last edition if it is not in the template.
Some tools will automatically fill in these factors for you (more on that in a bit). But should you need to fill in the information on your own, include some text that is obvious and simple to look for so you can locate.