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Every week brings job lists, emails, documents, and new projects. How much of this is totally different from the work you’ve done before? Odds are, not much. Many of our daily tasks are variations on something we have done hundreds of times before.
Don’t reinvent the wheel every single time you start something new. Instead, use templates–standardized files with formatting and text as starting point. As soon as you save a variant of the template, just add, eliminate, or change any data for that unique record, and you are going to have the new work completed in a fraction of the time.
Programs work everywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey programs, and also email. Here’s how to use templates from your favorite apps–and the way to automatically generate documents from a template–so it’s possible to get your tasks faster.
Programs take the time to build, and it’s easy to wonder whether they’re worth the investment. The brief answer: absolutely. Editing a template requires far less time than formatting something from scratch. It is the difference between copying and pasting some text, or retyping it.
That is not the only benefit: Using a template means you are less inclined to leave out crucial information, too. For example, if you need to send freelance authors a contributor arrangement, changing a standard contract template (instead of composing a new contract each time) guarantees you won’t depart out that crucial clause regarding owning the content once you’ve paid for this.
Templates additionally guarantee consistency. Maybe you send regular job updates to investors or clients. With a template, you know the update will have the formatting, layout, and general arrangement.
How to Create Fantastic Templates
Not many templates are created equal–and a few things don’t require a template. Here are a couple of tips to follow.
First, templates should be comprehensive. So err on the side of including too rather than too small, it’s easier to delete information than add it .
Imagine you are creating a template of your resume. You’d want to record in-depth facts so you’ll have all the information you need to submit an application for any job.
You can delete notes later on, but when it is not from the template you might forget it.
Some applications will automatically fill in all these variables for you (more on that in a bit). But should you need to fill in the information on your own, include some text that is simple and obvious to search for so it is possible to find text that has to be altered without a lot of work.