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Every week brings new projects, emails, files, and job lists. How much of this is different from the work you have done? Odds are, not much. A number of our day-to-day tasks are variations on something we have done countless times before.
Don’t reinvent the wheel each time you start something fresh. Instead, use templates–standardized files as starting point for new work. As soon as you save another variant of the template add, eliminate, or change any info for that record that is exceptional, and you’ll have the job done in a fraction of the time.
Programs work anywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey programs, and also email. Here is how to use templates in your favorite apps–and how to automatically generate documents from a template–so you can get your tasks quicker.
Templates take time to build, and it’s easy to wonder if they’re worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template takes much less time than formatting something. It’s the distinction between retyping it, or copying and pasting some text.
That is not the only advantage: Using a template means you are less likely to leave out crucial info, also. For example, if you want to send freelance writers a contributor agreement, changing a standard contract template (instead of composing 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 this.
Templates also guarantee consistency. You send regular job updates to clients or investors. With a template, you understand the upgrade will have the exact same formatting, design, and standard structure.
How to Produce Fantastic Templates
Not all templates are created equal–and a few things do not need a template. Here are a few tips to follow.
First, templates should be comprehensive. So err on the side of including rather than too little, it’s easier to delete info than add it in.
Imagine you’re creating a template of your resume. You would want to record in-depth details and that means you’ll have all the info you want to submit an application for any job.
You can delete less-important notes on, but you may forget it at the final 25, when it’s not in the template.
Some tools will automatically fill in all these factors for you (more on this in a little ). But if you need to fill in the information on your own, add some text that’s obvious and simple to search for so you can locate text that needs to be changed without a lot of work.