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Each week brings new projects, emails, documents, and task lists. Just how much of this is different from the work you’ve done? Odds are, not much. Many of our day-to-day 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 as starting point for new work. Once you save a separate version of the template 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 programs, survey programs, and email. Here is the way to use templates and the way to automatically create documents from a template–so it’s possible to get your tasks done faster.
Programs take time to construct, and it’s easy to wonder whether they’re worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template takes much less time than formatting some thing from scratch. It is the distinction between copying and pasting some text, or retyping it.
That’s not the only benefit: Using a template means you are less inclined to leave out crucial information, too. By way of instance, if you need to send freelance writers a contributor arrangement, modifying a standard contract template (instead of writing a new contract each time) ensures you won’t leave out that crucial clause about owning the material once you’ve paid for this.
Templates also guarantee consistency. You send clients or investors regular job updates. Using a template, you understand the upgrade will always have the formatting, design, and structure.
How to Produce Great Templates
Not many templates are created equal–and a few things don’t require a template. Here are a few guidelines to follow.
First, templates must be comprehensive. So err on the side of adding too instead of too small, it’s easier to delete info than add it .
Imagine you’re creating a template of your resume. You would want to record details so you are going to have all the information you need to apply for almost any job.
You can always delete notes later on, but if it is not from the template you might forget it.
Some tools will automatically fill in these variables for you (more on this in a bit). But if you have to fill in the information on your own, include some text that is obvious and simple to look for so you can locate text that needs to be altered without a lot of effort.