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Each week brings new projects, emails, files, and job lists. How much of that is completely different from the work you’ve done before? Odds are, maybe not much. Many of our daily tasks are variants on something we’ve done countless times before.
Do not reinvent the wheel each single time you start something new. Use templates–as starting point for work that is new, standardized files with formatting and text. As soon as you save a separate variant of the template, simply add, eliminate, or alter any data for that record, and you are going to have the new job done in a fraction of the time.
Templates work everywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management apps, survey programs, and also email. Here’s the way to use templates from your favorite programs –and to automatically generate documents from a template–so you can get your tasks done faster.
Programs take time to construct, and it’s easy to wonder whether they are worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template takes far less time than formatting something from scratch. It is the distinction between copying and pasting some text, or retyping it.
That’s not the only advantage: Using a template means you are not as likely to leave out crucial info, too. For example, if you need to send freelance writers a contributor agreement, modifying a standard contract template (instead of writing a new contract each time) ensures you won’t depart out the crucial clause about possessing the material once you’ve paid for it.
Templates also guarantee consistency. You send clients or investors regular project updates. Using a template, you understand the update will have the exact same formatting, layout, and standard arrangement.
How to Create Great Templates
Not many templates are created equal–and some things don’t need a template. Here are a couple of tips to follow.
First, templates must be comprehensive. So err on the side of including instead of too little, it is more easy to delete info than add it .
Imagine you’re creating a template of your resume. You would want to list in-depth details about your responsibilities and accomplishments, and that means you are going to have all the info you want to submit an application for any job.
You can delete notes later on, but you may forget it in the final 25, if it is not from the template.
Some tools will automatically fill in these variables for you (more on that in a bit). But should you have to fill in the information by yourself, include some text that is easy and obvious to search for so you can find.