Using Excel for Project Management from project timeline excel template , image source: www.officetimeline.com
Each week brings new jobs, emails, documents, and job lists. How much of this is different from the work you’ve done? Odds are, maybe not much. A number of our tasks are variations on something we’ve done countless times before.
Don’t reinvent the wheel every single time you start something new. Rather, use templates–as starting point for work that is , standardized files with formatting and text. Once you save a variant of the template, just add, eliminate, or change any data for that exceptional document, and you’ll have the new work completed in a fraction of this time.
Programs work everywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey programs, and email. Here is how to use templates from your favorite apps–and to automatically create documents from a template–so it’s possible to get your tasks faster.
Templates take the time to construct, and it’s easy to wonder whether they’re worth the investment. The brief answer: absolutely. Editing a template takes 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 are not as likely to leave out crucial info, also. For example, if you need to send freelance writers a contributor agreement, modifying a standard contract template (rather than writing a new contract each time) guarantees you won’t depart out that crucial clause regarding owning the content as soon as you’ve paid for this.
Templates also guarantee consistency. You send regular job updates to customers or investors. Using a template, you understand the upgrade will have the formatting, design, and standard structure.
How to Produce Great Templates
Not many templates are created equal–and some things do not require a template. Here are a few guidelines to follow.
First, templates should be comprehensive. It’s more easy to delete info than add it , so err on the side of adding also rather than too little.
Imagine you’re creating a template of your own resume. You would want to record details about your duties and achievements, so you’ll have all the info you need to apply for any job.
You can always delete notes that are less-important later on, but you may forget it at the final 25, when it’s not in the template.
Some tools will automatically fill in these variables for you (more on that in a bit). But should you need to fill in the information by yourself, add some text that is obvious and easy to look for so it is possible to find text that has to be altered without much effort.