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Each week brings new projects, emails, files, and job lists. How much of this is different from the work you’ve done before? Odds are, maybe not much. A number of our tasks are variants on something we’ve done hundreds of times before.
Don’t reinvent the wheel every single time you start something new. Use templates–as starting point for work standardized documents with formatting and text. Once you save a separate variant of the template add, remove, or alter any info for that document, and you’ll have the new job.
Templates work everywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management apps, survey programs, and also email. Here’s the way to use templates and to create documents from a template–so it’s possible to get your tasks faster.
Programs take time to build, and it’s easy to wonder if they’re worth the investment. The short answer: absolutely. Editing a template requires much less time than formatting something. It’s the difference between copying and pasting some text, or retyping it.
That is only one benefit: Using a template means you are not as likely to leave out crucial info, too. By way of example, if you want to send freelance authors a contributor agreement, modifying a standard contract template (rather than writing a new contract each time) ensures you won’t leave out the crucial clause about owning the content as soon as you’ve paid for this.
Templates also guarantee consistency. Perhaps you send clients or investors regular project updates. Using a template, you understand the update will always have the exact same formatting, design, and general arrangement.
How to Create Great Templates
Not all templates are created equal–and some things don’t need a template. Here are a couple of tips to follow.
First, templates should be comprehensive. So err on the side of adding also instead of too little, it’s more easy to delete info than add it in.
Imagine you’re developing a template of your resume. You would want to list details about your responsibilities and achievements, and that means you’ll have.
You can delete less-important notes later on, but when it’s not in the template you might forget it in the last edition.
Some applications will automatically fill in all these factors for you (more on that in a bit). But if you have to fill in the data on your own, add some text that’s obvious and easy to look for so you can locate text that needs to be altered without a lot of effort.