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Every week brings new jobs, emails, documents, and task lists. Just how much of that is different from the work you have done before? Odds are, not much. A number of our tasks are variants on something we’ve done hundreds of times before.
Do not reinvent the wheel every time you start something new. Instead, use templates–standardized documents with formatting and text as starting point for work. Once you save a variant of the template, simply add, remove, or change any info for that record, and you’ll have the new job completed in a fraction of the time.
Templates work anywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management programs, survey programs, and also email. Here’s the way to use templates and the way to automatically create documents from a template–so you can get your common tasks faster.
Templates take time to construct, and it’s easy to wonder whether they’re worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template takes far less time than formatting some thing. It is the distinction between copying and pasting some text, or retyping it.
That is not the only benefit: Using a template means you are not as likely to leave out key info, also. By way of example, if you want to send freelance writers a contributor agreement, modifying a standard contract template (instead of writing a new contract each time) guarantees you won’t leave out the crucial clause about possessing the material as soon as you’ve paid for it.
Templates additionally guarantee consistency. Maybe you send clients or investors regular job updates. Using a template, you understand the upgrade will have the exact same formatting, design, and structure.
How to Produce Great Templates
Not all templates are created equal–and some things do not require a template. Here are a few guidelines to follow.
First, templates should be comprehensive. So err on the side of adding also rather than too little, it is simpler to delete information than add it .
Imagine you are creating a template of your resume. You’d want to record details so you’ll have all the information you need to submit an application for any job.
You can always delete notes that are less-important on, but you might forget it at the final 25, when it’s not from 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 by yourself, add some text that is obvious and easy to look for so you can find text that needs to be changed without a lot of work.