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Each week brings documents, emails, new projects, and task lists. How much of that is totally different from the work you have done? Odds are, maybe not much. Many of our day-to-day tasks are variants on something we’ve done hundreds of times before.
Don’t reinvent the wheel every time you start something fresh. Rather, use templates–standardized files with formatting and text as starting point for work. Once you save another variant of the template, just add, eliminate, or change any info for that record, and you’ll have the work done in a fraction of this time.
Programs work everywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management apps, survey platforms, and email. Here is how to use templates in your favorite apps–and to create documents from a template–so it’s possible to get your tasks quicker.
Templates take time to build, and it’s easy to wonder whether they are worth the investment. The brief answer: absolutely. Editing a template requires much less time than formatting some thing from scratch. It is the difference between copying and pasting some text, or retyping it.
That is only one benefit: Using a template means you are not as inclined to leave out crucial information, also. By way of example, if you want to send freelance writers a contributor agreement, changing a standard contract template (rather than composing a new contract each time) guarantees you won’t leave out the crucial clause regarding owning the content once you’ve paid for this.
Templates also guarantee consistency. Perhaps you send investors or clients regular job updates. Using a template, you understand the upgrade will always have the exact same formatting, layout, and general structure.
How to Create Great Templates
Not many templates are created equal–and a few things don’t require a template. Listed below are a couple of tips to follow.
First, templates should be comprehensive. So err on the side of adding instead of too little, it is more easy to delete info than add it .
Imagine you are creating a template of your resume. You’d want to list facts about your duties and accomplishments, and that means you’ll have all the info you want to submit an application for any job.
You always have the option to delete less-important notes on, but if it is not from the template you may forget it.
Some applications will automatically fill in all these factors for you (more on this in a bit). But if you have to fill in the data by yourself, include some text that is obvious and easy to search for so it is possible to find text that has to be changed without much work.