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Each week brings new projects, emails, documents, and task lists. How much of that is different from the work you’ve done before? Odds are, maybe not much. Many of our daily tasks are variants on something.
Do not reinvent the wheel each single time you start something new. Use templates–standardized files with formatting and text as starting point. Once you save a separate variant of the template add, remove, or change any data for that record, and you are going to have the new work completed in a fraction of the time.
Templates work anywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey programs, and also email. Here is the way to use templates in your favorite programs –and to generate documents from a template–so it’s possible to get your ordinary tasks done quicker.
Templates take the time to construct, and it’s easy to wonder whether they’re worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template requires far less time than formatting something. It is the difference between copying and pasting some text, or retyping it.
That’s not the only benefit: Using a template means you’re not as inclined to leave out key info, too. For example, if you need to send freelance authors a contributor arrangement, changing a standard contract template (instead of writing a new contract every time) ensures you won’t depart out that crucial clause regarding owning the content as soon as you’ve paid for this.
Templates additionally guarantee consistency. You send regular job updates to investors or customers. With a template, you know the update will have the formatting, layout, and arrangement.
How to Produce Great Templates
Not many templates are created equal–and a few things don’t require a template. Here are a couple of guidelines to follow.
First, templates must be comprehensive. So err on the side of adding too instead of too small, it’s easier to delete info than add it in.
Imagine you’re developing a template of your resume. You would want to record in-depth facts and that means you are going to have.
You can delete notes that are less-important on, but you might forget it in the last 25, if it is not in the template.
Some tools will automatically fill in these variables for you (more on this in a bit). But if you have to fill in the data by yourself, add some text that’s obvious and simple to look for so you can locate.