Templates are a great invention because they can speed up your work and because they are versatile.
Templates are worthwhile in three cases:
- When you often do or write the same thing
- When you need a consistent layout or design
- When it's about speed
In the first case, you can save time by, for example, creating email templates to respond to frequent requests. (Even better would be to publish the answers directly on your own website.)
In the second case, you make sure that the company layout and design always look the same or you set up tables in the same way. This way, you don't have to create or revise this basic framework over and over again.
In the third case, you speed up your work by working with templates. Numbers, addresses, e-mail addresses and other data can be inserted quickly – and without being prone to errors.
Of course, these templates have to be created first. In most cases, however, this one-time extra effort pays off. In addition, you can often “recycle” old documents and use them as templates by replacing or removing the existing text with placeholders. Sometimes the files then have to be saved in a certain format or moved to a special folder – or you simply copy them manually.
Examples of Use
Templates can be used in almost all areas of life, but digital work is the easiest. The best way is to create templates for often used documents like checklists so you can use them over and over again. For example, I have templates for the daily, weekly, and yearly overviews in my digital journal.
I also use templates with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. In Word, I have templates for agendas, protocols, academic papers, and my personal letterhead. In Excel I have a template for my financial budget and in PowerPoint for my presentation design.
These templates make my life a lot easier. On the one hand, they make my presentations look consistent and on the other hand, I don't have to create the basic layout over and over again.
Last but not least, I also use templates for this website: I saved the code of a typical article page as a preset, so I only have to insert the specific metadata and text of the article each week.
I would never have believed that something as simple as templates would simplify my life so much. Yet templates can be used anywhere from office programs to note apps to task managers to code editors.
If you were to start using templates everywhere you could, what important things could you focus on instead, and how much progress would you make in that time?