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Each week brings files, emails, new jobs, and task lists. How much of that is completely different from the job you have done before? Odds are, maybe not much. A number of our daily tasks are variants on something.
Do not reinvent the wheel each time you start something new. Rather, use templates–standardized files with formatting and text as starting point for work. As soon as you save another version of the template, simply add, remove, or change any info for that record that is unique, and you are going to have the work completed in a fraction of this time.
Templates work anywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey programs, and also email. Here is the way to use templates and how to automatically generate documents from a template–so you can get your tasks done faster.
Templates take the time to construct, and it’s easy to wonder whether they are worth the investment. The short answer: absolutely. Editing a template takes much less time than formatting something. It is the difference between copying and pasting some text, or retyping it.
That’s only one advantage: Using a template means you’re less inclined to leave out crucial information, also. For instance, if you need to send freelance authors a contributor agreement, changing a standard contract template (rather than writing a new contract every time) guarantees you won’t depart out that crucial clause regarding possessing the material once you’ve paid for it.
Templates additionally guarantee consistency. You send regular job updates to clients or investors. With a template, you know the update will always have the formatting, design, and structure.
How to Create Fantastic Templates
Not many templates are created equal–and some things do not require a template. Here are a couple of guidelines to follow.
First, templates must be comprehensive. It is more easy to delete info than add it in, so err on the side of including rather than too small.
Imagine you’re developing a template of your resume. You would want to record facts so you’ll have all the information you want to submit an application for any job.
You always have the option to delete notes later on, but you might forget it when it is not from the template.
Some tools will automatically fill in all these factors for you (more on this in a bit). But if you need to fill in the information on your own, include some text that is obvious and simple to look for so it is possible to locate.