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Each week brings new projects, emails, files, and job lists. Just how much of that is totally different from the job you’ve done? Odds are, not much. Many of our tasks are variations on something we have done hundreds of times before.
Do not reinvent the wheel each time you start something fresh. Rather, use templates–as starting point for 17, standardized files with text and formatting. As soon as you save another version of the template, just add, eliminate, or alter any data for that document that is unique, and you are going to have the job done in a fraction of this time.
Templates work everywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management apps, survey programs, and email. Here is how to use templates and to automatically generate documents from a template–so it’s possible to get your ordinary tasks faster.
Templates take the time to build, and it’s easy to wonder if they’re worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template requires far less time than formatting something. It’s the difference between retyping it, or copying and pasting some text.
That is not the only advantage: Using a template means you’re less inclined to leave out key info, too. For example, if you want to send freelance writers a contributor agreement, modifying a standard contract template (instead of writing a new contract each time) guarantees you won’t depart out that crucial clause regarding owning the material as soon as you’ve paid for it.
Templates additionally guarantee consistency. You send regular job updates to clients or investors. With a template, you understand the update will have the same formatting, layout, and general structure.
How to Create Fantastic Templates
Not all templates are created equal–and a few things don’t require a template. Here are a few tips to follow.
First, templates should be comprehensive. So err on the side of adding rather than too little, it’s more easy to delete info than add it .
Imagine you are developing a template of your resume. You’d want to record details and that means you are going to have.
You can delete less-important notes on, but you might forget it when it’s not in the template.
Some applications will automatically fill in all these variables for you (more on this in a little ). But if you have to fill in the information on your own, add some text that is obvious and simple to search for so you can find text that has to be changed without much effort.