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Each week brings documents, emails, new projects, and task lists. Just how much of that is completely different from the job you have done before? Odds are, maybe not much. A number of our tasks are variations on something.
Do not reinvent the wheel every time you start something fresh. Instead, use templates–as starting point for 17, standardized files with formatting and text. Once you save another variant of the template add, eliminate, or change any info for that document that is unique, and you are going to have the work done in a fraction of the time.
Programs work anywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management apps, survey platforms, and also email. Here’s the way to use templates and the way to generate documents from a template–so it’s possible to get your tasks faster.
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 from scratch. It is the distinction between copying and pasting some text, or retyping it.
That’s only one advantage: Using a template means you are less inclined to leave out key information, too. For instance, if you need to send freelance authors a contributor agreement, modifying a standard contract template (instead of writing a new contract each time) guarantees you won’t depart out that crucial clause about possessing the material once you’ve paid for it.
Templates also guarantee consistency. Perhaps you send regular project updates to investors or customers. With a template, you know the upgrade will have the same formatting, design, and structure.
How to Create Great Templates
Not many templates are created equal–and a few things don’t need a template. Here are a few guidelines to follow.
First, templates must be comprehensive. So err on the side of adding too rather than too small, it’s more easy to delete info than add it in.
Imagine you’re developing a template of your own resume. You’d want to list in-depth facts and that means you’ll have.
You can always delete less-important notes on, but you may forget it at the final edition if it is not from the template.
Some applications will automatically fill in all these factors for you (more on this in a bit). But should you have to fill in the data on your own, include some text that is obvious and easy to look for so you can locate text that needs to be changed without much effort.