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Each week brings files, emails, new jobs, and task lists. How much of that is different from the work you’ve done before? Odds are, not much. Many of our tasks are variants on something we’ve done hundreds of times before.
Do not reinvent the wheel each time you start something fresh. Instead, use templates–standardized documents with formatting and text as starting point for new work. As soon as you save another variant of the template add, remove, or alter any info for that record, and you’ll have the work done in a fraction of this time.
Templates work everywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey platforms, and also email. Here’s how to use templates from your favorite programs –and to create documents from a template–so it’s possible to get your ordinary tasks done faster.
Programs take time to construct, and it’s easy to wonder whether they’re worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template takes far less time than formatting something. It’s the distinction between retyping it, or copying and pasting some text.
That’s not the only advantage: Using a template means you are not as likely to leave out crucial info, also. For instance, if you need to send freelance writers a contributor arrangement, modifying a standard contract template (instead of writing a new contract each time) ensures you won’t leave out that crucial clause about owning the content once you’ve paid for it.
Templates additionally guarantee consistency. You send regular job updates to investors or customers. Using a template, you know the update will always have the formatting, layout, and standard structure.
How to Create Great Templates
Not all templates are created equal–and a few things do not require a template. Here are a couple of tips to follow.
First, templates should be comprehensive. It’s more easy to delete information than add it , so err on the side of adding also rather than too little.
Imagine you’re developing a template of your resume. You’d want to record in-depth details about your duties and accomplishments, so you are going to have all the info you want to submit an application for any job.
You can delete less-important notes later on, but you may forget it at the final 25, when it’s not from the template.
Some tools will automatically fill in these factors for you (more on that in a little ). But if you need to fill in the data on your own, add some text that is obvious and easy to search for so it is possible to find.