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Each week brings new projects, emails, documents, and job lists. How much of that is completely different from the work you have done? Odds are, not much. Many of our tasks are variations on something we’ve done hundreds of times before.
Do not reinvent the wheel each time you start something fresh. Use templates–standardized files with formatting and text as starting point for new work. As soon as you save another variant of the template add, remove, or change any info for that record, and you are going to have the job done in a fraction of the time.
Programs work anywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management apps, survey programs, and email. Here is how to automatically create documents from a template — and how to use templates from your favorite programs –so it’s possible to get your common tasks quicker.
Templates take time to construct, and it’s easy to wonder if they’re worth the investment. The short answer: absolutely. Editing a template requires much less time than formatting something from scratch. It is the difference 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 info, too. For example, if you want to send freelance authors a contributor agreement, changing a standard contract template (rather than composing a new contract every time) guarantees you won’t leave out the crucial clause about possessing the material as soon as you’ve paid for it.
Templates also guarantee consistency. You send regular job updates to investors or customers. With a template, you understand the upgrade will constantly have the formatting, design, and general structure.
How to Produce Fantastic Templates
Not many templates are created equal–and a few things don’t require a template. Here are a couple of tips to follow.
First, templates must be comprehensive. So err on the side of adding instead of too small, it’s simpler to delete info than add it .
Imagine you are creating a template of your own resume. You would want to record facts and that means you are going to have all the info you want to submit an application for any job.
You can delete notes on, but you may forget it at the final edition when it’s not from the template.
Some applications will automatically fill in all these variables for you (more on this in a little ). But if you need to fill in the information by yourself, add some text that’s simple and obvious to look for so it is possible to find text that needs to be changed without much work.