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Every week brings new projects, emails, files, and job lists. Just how much of this is different from the work you have done? Odds are, maybe not much. A number of our tasks are variations on something.
Don’t reinvent the wheel each single time you start something fresh. Use templates–as starting point for 17, standardized files with formatting and text. Once you save another version of the template, simply add, eliminate, or change any info for that exceptional record, and you’ll have the new job done in a fraction of the time.
Programs work everywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management apps, survey programs, and email. Here’s the way to use templates and to automatically create documents from a template–so it’s possible to get your tasks quicker.
Programs take the time to construct, and it’s easy to wonder if they’re worth the investment. The brief answer: absolutely. Editing a template requires much less time than formatting something. It is the distinction between copying and pasting some text, or retyping it.
That is only one benefit: Using a template means you are less likely to leave out key information, also. For example, if you need to send freelance writers a contributor agreement, modifying a standard contract template (rather than writing a new contract every time) guarantees you won’t leave out that crucial clause regarding owning the content once you’ve paid for it.
Templates also guarantee consistency. You send regular project updates to investors or clients. With a template, you know the update will constantly have the same formatting, design, and standard structure.
How to Produce Fantastic Templates
Not all templates are created equal–and a few things do not require a template. Here are a few guidelines to follow.
First, templates should be comprehensive. It’s more easy to delete info than add it , so err on the side of adding too instead of too small.
Imagine you are creating a template of your resume. You would want to list facts and that means you are going to have all the information you need to submit an application for almost any job.
You can always delete notes later on, but you may forget it at the final 25, if it is not in the template.
Some tools will automatically fill in these variables for you (more on this in a bit). But if you need to fill in the information by yourself, include some text that’s easy and obvious to look for so it is possible to find text that needs to be changed without a lot of work.