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Each week brings task lists, emails, files, and new projects. Just how much of that is totally different from the work you have done before? Odds are, maybe not much. Many of our daily tasks are variants on something.
Don’t reinvent the wheel each single time you start something new. Instead, use templates–as starting point for 17, standardized documents with text and formatting. As soon as you save another variant of the template, simply add, eliminate, or change any info for that document, and you’ll have the new job.
Programs work anywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey programs, and email. Here’s how to use templates and how to automatically create documents from a template–so you can get your tasks done quicker.
Templates take time to construct, and it’s easy to wonder whether they are worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template requires far less time than formatting something from scratch. It is the distinction between retyping it, or copying and pasting some text.
That is not the only advantage: Using a template means you’re less likely to leave out key info, also. For example, if you want to send freelance writers a contributor agreement, changing a standard contract template (rather than writing a new contract every time) guarantees you won’t depart out the crucial clause regarding owning the material once you’ve paid for it.
Templates also guarantee consistency. You send investors or clients regular job updates. With a template, you understand the update will constantly have the formatting, layout, and standard structure.
How to Create Great Templates
Not many templates are created equal–and a few things don’t need a template. Here are a couple of tips to follow.
First, templates should be comprehensive. It is simpler to delete information than add it in, so err on the side of including rather than too small.
Imagine you are developing a template of your resume. You would want to record in-depth facts and that means you’ll have all the info you want to apply for any job.
You can always delete notes later on, but you might forget it in the last 25, when it’s not from the template.
Some tools will automatically fill in these factors for you (more on this in a bit). But if you need to fill in the data on your own, add some text that’s easy and obvious to look for so it is possible to find.