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Each week brings new projects, emails, documents, and job lists. How much of this is different from the work you’ve done? Odds are, not much. A number of our tasks are variations on something we have done hundreds of times before.
Don’t reinvent the wheel every time you start something fresh. Use templates–standardized files with formatting and text as starting point for new work. As soon as you save a separate variant of the template, just add, eliminate, or alter any info for that document, and you are going to have the new work.
Templates work anywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management apps, survey programs, and also email. Here’s how to use templates in your favorite apps–and to generate documents from a template–so it’s possible to get your tasks done faster.
Programs take the time to build, and it’s easy to wonder if they are worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template takes much less time than formatting something. It’s the distinction between retyping it, or copying and pasting some text.
That is only one benefit: 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 (rather than writing a new contract every time) guarantees you won’t leave out that crucial clause about possessing the content as soon as you’ve paid for it.
Templates additionally guarantee consistency. Perhaps you send investors or clients regular project updates. Using a template, you know the update will always have the same formatting, layout, and arrangement.
How to Create Great Templates
Not all templates are created equal–and some things do not require a template. Listed below are a couple of guidelines to follow.
First, templates must be comprehensive. So err on the side of including rather than too little, it is easier to delete info than add it .
Imagine you are developing a template of your resume. You would want to record facts about your responsibilities and accomplishments, so you’ll have.
You can always delete notes on, but when it’s not from the template you may forget it.
Some tools will automatically fill in these factors for you (more on that in a bit). But should you have to fill in the information on your own, include some text that is obvious and simple to search for so you can locate.