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Every week brings task lists, emails, documents, and new jobs. Just how much of that is different from the work you’ve done? Odds are, not much. A number of our tasks are variants on something we’ve done countless times before.
Do not reinvent the wheel each single time you start something fresh. Rather, use templates–standardized files with text and formatting as starting point for new work. As soon as you save a version of the template, just add, remove, or change any data for that record that is unique, and you’ll have the work done in a fraction of the time.
Templates work anywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management apps, survey programs, and also email. Here’s the way to use templates from your favorite programs –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 whether they’re worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template takes far less time than formatting something. It is the distinction between copying and pasting some text, or retyping it.
That is not the only advantage: Using a template means you are not as inclined to leave out key info, also. By way of example, if you want to send freelance writers a contributor agreement, modifying a standard contract template (instead of composing a new contract every time) ensures you won’t depart out that crucial clause about owning the content as soon as you’ve paid for it.
Templates also guarantee consistency. Maybe you send investors or clients regular job updates. Using a template, you know the update will always have the exact same formatting, layout, and general arrangement.
How to Produce Great Templates
Not all templates are created equal–and a few things do not need a template. Here are a few tips to follow.
First, templates must be comprehensive. So err on the side of adding too instead of too small, it’s simpler to delete information than add it .
Imagine you are creating a template of your resume. You’d want to list facts about your responsibilities and achievements, and that means you are going to have.
You always have the option to delete less-important notes later on, but when it is not in the template you may forget it.
Some applications will automatically fill in all these variables for you (more on that in a little ). But if you need to fill in the data by yourself, include some text that’s obvious and simple to look for so it is possible to locate text that needs to be changed without a lot of effort.