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Every week brings files, emails, new jobs, and task lists. Just how much of this is different from the work you have done before? Odds are, not much. Many of our tasks are variants on something.
Do not reinvent the wheel each time you start something fresh. Use templates–standardized files with formatting and text as starting point for work. Once you save a version of the template, just add, eliminate, or alter any info for that record, and you are going to have the job completed in a fraction of this time.
Templates work anywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management apps, survey platforms, and email. Here is the way to use templates in your favorite programs –and to automatically generate documents from a template–so you can get your common tasks quicker.
Templates take time to build, and it’s easy to wonder whether they’re worth the investment. The short answer: absolutely. Editing a template takes much less time than formatting something. It’s 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 key info, too. By way of example, if you want to send freelance writers a contributor agreement, changing a standard contract template (instead of writing a new contract each time) guarantees you won’t leave out that crucial clause about owning the content as soon as you’ve paid for this.
Templates also guarantee consistency. Maybe you send regular job updates to investors or clients. Using a template, you know the update will have the same formatting, layout, and general arrangement.
How to Produce Great Templates
Not many templates are created equal–and a few things do not need a template. Here are a couple of tips to follow.
First, templates must be comprehensive. It is more easy to delete info than add it in, so err on the side of including also instead of too little.
Imagine you are creating a template of your resume. You would want to record facts so you are going to have.
You can delete notes later on, but you might forget it at the final 25, when it is not in the template.
Some applications will automatically fill in these variables for you (more on this in a bit). But if you need to fill in the data on your own, include some text that is simple and obvious to look for so you can find text that needs to be altered without a lot of effort.