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Each week brings documents, emails, new projects, and job lists. How much of that is totally different from the work you’ve done? Odds are, maybe not much. A number of our day-to-day tasks are variations on something.
Don’t reinvent the wheel every single time you start something fresh. Use templates–standardized files with formatting and text as starting point. Once you save a version of the template, simply add, eliminate, or change any data for that document, and you’ll have the new work.
Programs work anywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey programs, and email. Here’s the way to use templates from your favorite apps–and the way to automatically create documents from a template–so you can get your tasks done quicker.
Programs take the time to construct, and it’s easy to wonder whether they are worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template requires much less time than formatting something from scratch. It is the difference between retyping it, or copying and pasting some text.
That’s not the only benefit: Using a template means you are not as likely to leave out crucial info, too. By way of instance, if you want to send freelance authors a contributor arrangement, changing a standard contract template (instead of writing a new contract each time) guarantees you won’t leave out the crucial clause about possessing the content as soon as you’ve paid for this.
Templates also guarantee consistency. Maybe you send investors or clients regular job updates. With a template, you know the upgrade will have the exact same formatting, layout, and structure.
How to Create Fantastic Templates
Not all templates are created equal–and a few things don’t need a template. Here are a few tips to follow.
First, templates should be comprehensive. So err on the side of including instead of too small, it’s more easy to delete info than add it in.
Imagine you are developing a template of your resume. You would want to list facts so you are going to have all the info you want to submit an application for almost any job.
You always have the option to delete less-important notes on, but if it’s not in the template you may forget it at the last version.
Some tools will automatically fill in all these factors for you (more on that in a bit). But if you have to fill in the information on your own, include some text that’s simple and obvious to search for so it is possible to find text that has to be changed without much effort.