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Every week brings task lists, emails, documents, and new projects. Just how much of that is totally different from the work you have done? Odds are, maybe not much. A number of our tasks are variants on something we have done countless times before.
Don’t reinvent the wheel each time you start something new. Use templates–as starting point for work that is new, standardized documents with formatting and text. Once you save another variant of the template add, eliminate, or alter any data for that document, and you’ll have the new job completed in a fraction of this time.
Programs work everywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey programs, and email. Here’s how to use templates in your favorite programs –and the way to create documents from a template–so you can get your tasks quicker.
Templates take time to construct, and it’s easy to wonder whether they are worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template takes far less time than formatting some thing from scratch. It is the difference between copying and pasting some text, or retyping it.
That’s only one benefit: Using a template means you are less inclined to leave out key info, too. For instance, if you want to send freelance authors a contributor agreement, modifying a standard contract template (rather than writing a new contract every time) guarantees you won’t leave out the crucial clause about owning the content as soon as you’ve paid for it.
Templates also guarantee consistency. Perhaps you send clients or investors regular job updates. Using a template, you understand the upgrade will constantly have the same formatting, design, and general structure.
How to Produce Great Templates
Not all templates are created equal–and some things don’t need a template. Here are a couple of guidelines to follow.
First, templates should be comprehensive. So err on the side of including instead of too little, it is more easy to delete information than add it in.
Imagine you are developing a template of your resume. You’d want to list facts and that means you are going to have.
You can always delete less-important notes later on, but you may forget it in the last edition when it is not from the template.
Some applications will automatically fill in these variables for you (more on this in a little ). But if you need to fill in the information on your own, add some text that is simple and obvious to search for so it is possible to locate.