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Each week brings job lists, emails, documents, and new jobs. How much of that is completely different from the work you’ve done before? Odds are, maybe not much. A number of our daily tasks are variants on something we have done countless times before.
Do not reinvent the wheel each time you start something new. Instead, use templates–as starting point for new 17, standardized files with text and formatting. Once you save another version of the template, just add, remove, or change any data for that record that is unique, 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’s how to use templates and to create documents from a template–so it’s possible to get your tasks done faster.
Templates take time to build, and it’s easy to wonder if they’re worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template requires much less time than formatting some thing. It’s the distinction between copying and pasting some text, or retyping it.
That is not the only benefit: Using a template means you’re less likely to leave out key info, too. For instance, if you need to send freelance authors a contributor agreement, changing a standard contract template (instead of writing a new contract each time) guarantees you won’t depart out the crucial clause about possessing the material as soon as you’ve paid for this.
Templates also guarantee consistency. Perhaps you send regular job updates to clients or investors. With a template, you know the upgrade will have the exact same formatting, layout, and arrangement.
How to Create Great Templates
Not many templates are created equal–and a few things do not require a template. Here are a couple of guidelines to follow.
First, templates must be comprehensive. It’s more easy to delete information than add it in, so err on the side of including too rather than too little.
Imagine you are developing a template of your resume. You’d want to record details about your duties and achievements, and that means you are going to have.
You can always delete notes later on, but when it’s not from the template you might forget it.
Some applications will automatically fill in all these factors for you (more on that in a bit). But if you need to fill in the information by yourself, add some text that’s obvious and easy to look for so it is possible to find text that has to be changed without much effort.