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Every week brings documents, emails, new projects, and job lists. How much of that is different from the job you have done before? Odds are, maybe not much. A number of our day-to-day tasks are variants on something.
Don’t reinvent the wheel every time you start something fresh. Instead, use templates–as starting point standardized files with formatting and text. Once you save another variant of the template add, remove, or alter any data for that exceptional record, and you are going to have the work done in a fraction of this time.
Programs work anywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey platforms, and email. Here’s the way to automatically create documents from a template — and how to use templates in your favorite programs –so you can get your tasks done faster.
Programs take time to construct, and it’s easy to wonder if they are worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template requires far less time than formatting something from scratch. It’s the difference between copying and pasting some text, or retyping it.
That’s not the only benefit: Using a template means you are less inclined to leave out crucial info, too. For example, if you want to send freelance authors a contributor agreement, changing a standard contract template (instead of composing a new contract every time) guarantees you won’t leave out the crucial clause regarding owning the content once you’ve paid for it.
Templates also guarantee consistency. Perhaps you send regular project updates to customers or investors. Using a template, you understand the update will have the exact same formatting, layout, and structure.
How to Create Great Templates
Not many templates are created equal–and some things do not need a template. Here are a couple of guidelines to follow.
First, templates must be comprehensive. It is more easy to delete information than add it , so err on the side of adding too instead of too small.
Imagine you’re developing a template of your resume. You would want to record in-depth details and that means you’ll have.
You always have the option to delete notes on, but you may forget it at the last 25, when it is not in the template.
Some tools will automatically fill in all these variables for you (more on that in a little ). But should you need to fill in the data on your own, add some text that’s simple and obvious to look for so you can locate text that needs to be altered without a lot of work.