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agile project plan template
It might seem like a simple step. Simply open a new file and start typing, right? Nonetheless, it’s rare for this to work for me. I like to have a strong working title and a summary before I write a lot of. John’s written about this before, after he discovered he could speed up his composing procedure ~600% by creating a summary .
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I was repeating the same process for every new post I work on. Like any good programmer, I realized repeating the same work over and over means that is probably a fantastic chance for automation.
So I decided to create some templates for myself.
I started by creating a template for my most common Ghost blog article structure. Since that structure’s particular to me, I created a template based on how John constructions his articles, and another according to a writer whose work I respect.
For every template I’ve created a gist to show you what they look like. They’re only Markdown documents, so go right ahead and save , rename them if you like, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you’re ready to write. Click the”view raw” link on the bottom of every gist to view the plain text version, which you can copy to a new file on your favourite writing app.
With this template, I can start with answering each dot point with a few notes about what I need to write in that segment. From the time I am done, I will have a rough sketch of what the finished piece will look like. This should make it simpler to expand my notes to fully-formed paragraphs and make them flow into each other nicely, because I understand the arrangement of the whole piece in advance.
Using the template, I discovered that my outlining process became more involved. I had really planned to perform a full rough draft of the post in the early hours, but it took me a couple of hours simply to have the outline done, so that I set the draft off for another day.
On the flip side, I’d over 1600 words composed in my outline, and a solid idea of what each segment would contain and how they’d work together to create a sense of flow in the article. Though outlining took more than normal, drafting took time since I had set myself up for success. Composing the draft was only a matter of taking each chunk of notes from the outline and filling it out into a readable paragraph or two.
It was quite a different process to how I normally do the job, and I was tempted a few times to avoid the extra research or thinking necessary to fill out the outline correctly. I frequently put these things off until I’m drafting, and that’s when I should be focused on writing rather. I stuck to it, however, and from the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I’d had.
I’ve actually coined my outline and study process by applying this template. It is a more effective part of the process now and makes printing easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better work, too.
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