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Each week brings files, emails, new jobs, and task lists. How much of this is different from the job you’ve done before? Odds are, not much. A number of our tasks are variants on something.
Do not reinvent the wheel every single time you start something new. Use templates–as starting point for 17, standardized files with text and formatting. Once you save a separate variant of the template, just add, remove, or alter any info for that record, and you’ll have the new work done in a fraction of the time.
Programs work everywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey programs, and also email. Here’s the way to use templates and to automatically generate documents from a template–so you can get your tasks quicker.
Programs take the 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 something from scratch. It is the distinction between copying and pasting some text, or retyping it.
That’s only one advantage: Using a template means you are not as likely to leave out key info, too. For instance, if you want to send freelance writers 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 about possessing the material once you’ve paid for it.
Templates additionally guarantee consistency. You send regular project updates to investors or clients. Using a template, you know the update will always have the formatting, design, and general structure.
How to Create Great Templates
Not all templates are created equal–and some things do not need a template. Listed below are a couple of tips to follow.
First, templates should be comprehensive. So err on the side of adding too instead of too little, it’s easier to delete information than add it .
Imagine you’re developing a template of your own resume. You’d want to list details and that means you’ll have.
You can delete notes on, but if it is not from the template you might forget it in the last version.
Some tools will automatically fill in all these variables for you (more on this in a bit). But should you have to fill in the data on your own, add some text that’s obvious and easy to search for so you can locate text that has to be altered without a lot of effort.