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Every week brings job lists, emails, documents, and new projects. Just how much of this is different from the work you’ve done before? Odds are, not much. A number of our tasks are variations on something we’ve done countless times before.
Do not reinvent the wheel every time you start something new. Use templates–standardized files with formatting and text as starting point for new work. As soon as you save a separate variant of the template add, eliminate, or alter any data for that record, and you’ll have the work completed in a fraction of the time.
Templates work everywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management apps, survey programs, and email. Here’s how to use templates and to automatically create documents from a template–so you can get your tasks quicker.
Templates take time to construct, and it’s easy to wonder if they’re worth the investment. The answer: absolutely. Editing a template requires far less time than formatting some thing. It’s the distinction between retyping it, or copying and pasting some text.
That is not the only benefit: Using a template means you’re less likely to leave out crucial info, also. By way of example, if you need to send freelance writers a contributor agreement, changing a standard contract template (instead of writing a new contract every time) ensures you won’t leave out the crucial clause about possessing the material once you’ve paid for it.
Templates also guarantee consistency. Maybe you send regular job updates to investors or customers. With a template, you understand the update will constantly have the same formatting, layout, and arrangement.
How to Produce Great Templates
Not many templates are created equal–and a few things don’t need a template. Here are a couple of tips to follow.
First, templates must be comprehensive. So err on the side of adding also rather than too little, it’s more easy to delete info than add it in.
Imagine you are developing a template of your own resume. You would want to record in-depth facts so you’ll have all the info you need to submit an application for almost any job.
You can always delete notes later on, but you might forget it when it’s not in the template.
Some tools will automatically fill in these variables for you (more on this in a bit). But if you have to fill in the information on your own, include some text that is obvious and simple to search for so you can find text that has to be altered without much effort.