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Each week brings task lists, emails, documents, and new projects. How much of this is different from the work you have done before? Odds are, not much. A number of our daily tasks are variants on something.
Don’t reinvent the wheel every time you start something new. Use templates–as starting point for new 17, standardized files. Once you save a separate version of the template, simply add, eliminate, or alter any data for that record that is unique, and you are going to have the new work.
Programs work anywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management apps, survey platforms, and email. Here is the way to use templates and how to generate documents from a template–so you can get your common 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’s the difference between copying and pasting some text, or retyping it.
That’s only one advantage: Using a template means you’re less likely to leave out key information, also. For example, if you want to send freelance authors a contributor arrangement, modifying a standard contract template (rather than composing a new contract every time) ensures you won’t depart out the crucial clause about owning the content once you’ve paid for it.
Templates also guarantee consistency. You send regular project updates. Using a template, you understand the update will constantly have the formatting, design, and arrangement.
How to Create Great Templates
Not all templates are created equal–and some things do not require a template. Here are a few guidelines to follow.
First, templates should be comprehensive. It’s easier to delete information than add it in, so err on the side of including rather than too little.
Imagine you are creating a template of your resume. You’d want to record facts about your duties and accomplishments, and that means you are going to have all the info you want to submit an application for any job.
You can always delete less-important notes later on, but when it’s not in the template you might forget it.
Some tools will automatically fill in these factors for you (more on that in a bit). But if you have to fill in the information on your own, add some text that is obvious and easy to search for so it is possible to locate.