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Each week brings files, emails, new projects, and job lists. How much of that is completely different from the work you’ve done before? Odds are, not much. Many of our daily tasks are variations on something.
Do not reinvent the wheel every time you start something fresh. Instead, use templates–as starting point for 17, standardized files with formatting and text. As soon as you save a separate version of the template add, remove, or change any data for that record that is exceptional, and you are going to have the new job done in a fraction of this time.
Programs work everywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey platforms, and email. Here is how to use templates in your favorite programs –and to automatically generate documents from a template–so it’s possible to get your tasks quicker.
Programs take time to build, and it’s easy to wonder if they are worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template requires far less time than formatting some thing from scratch. It’s the difference between retyping it, or copying and pasting some text.
That is not the only advantage: Using a template means you are not as likely to leave out crucial info, too. For instance, if you need to send freelance authors a contributor agreement, changing a standard contract template (rather than writing a new contract each time) ensures you won’t leave out that crucial clause regarding owning the material as soon as you’ve paid for it.
Templates also guarantee consistency. Perhaps you send investors or customers regular job updates. Using a template, you know the upgrade will have the exact same formatting, layout, and general structure.
How to Create Great Templates
Not many templates are created equal–and some things don’t require a template. Here are a few tips to follow.
First, templates should be comprehensive. So err on the side of adding too instead of too little, it’s more easy to delete info than add it .
Imagine you’re creating a template of your resume. You would want to list in-depth facts so you are going to have all the info you want to submit an application for almost any job.
You can always delete notes that are less-important on, but you might forget it at the final 25, when it is not in the template.
Some tools will automatically fill in all these factors for you (more on this in a little ). But if you have to fill in the data on your own, include some text that is obvious and simple to look for so you can find.