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Each week brings new projects, emails, files, and task lists. Just how much of this is different from the job you have done before? Odds are, maybe not much. Many of our tasks are variations on something.
Don’t reinvent the wheel each time you start something fresh. Use templates–as starting point for work that is , standardized documents with formatting and text. Once you save a variant of the template, just add, remove, or alter any data for that record that is unique, and you are going to have the new job.
Programs work anywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey programs, and email. Here is how to use templates in your favorite programs –and how to create documents from a template–so it’s possible to get your common tasks quicker.
Programs take the time to build, and it’s easy to wonder whether they’re worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template takes far less time than formatting something from scratch. It’s the distinction between copying and pasting some text, or retyping it.
That’s only one benefit: Using a template means you are less likely to leave out key info, too. For example, if you want to send freelance authors a contributor agreement, modifying a standard contract template (rather than composing a new contract every time) ensures you won’t leave out that crucial clause regarding owning the material once you’ve paid for this.
Templates additionally guarantee consistency. Maybe you send regular project updates. With a template, you know the upgrade will constantly have the same formatting, design, and structure.
How to Produce Great Templates
Not many templates are created equal–and a few things don’t need a template. Listed below are a couple of tips to follow.
First, templates should be comprehensive. It’s easier to delete information than add it , so err on the side of including too instead of too little.
Imagine you are developing a template of your resume. You’d want to record details so you are going to have.
You can delete less-important notes later on, but you might forget it at the last version when it is not in the template.
Some tools will automatically fill in these factors for you (more on that in a little ). But if you have to fill in the information on your own, add some text that’s obvious and easy to look for so it is possible to locate text that has to be changed without a lot of effort.