Nametag Branding Toolbox University of Maine from avery 5395 template indesign , image source: umaine.edu
avery 5395 template indesign
It may seem like an easy step. Just open a new file and start typing, right? But it’s rare for this to work for me. I like to have a strong working title and a summary before I write too much. John’s written about this earlier, after he found he could accelerate his composing process ~600% by producing a summary first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realized I had been repeating the same procedure for every new article I work on. Like any fantastic programmer, I realised repeating the exact same work over and above means that’s probably a fantastic opportunity for automation.
So I decided to make a few templates for myself.
I started by developing a template for the common Ghost blog article structure. Since that structure’s particular to me, I also created a template based on how John structures his articles, and another based on a writer whose work I admire.
For every template I’ve created a gist to show you what they look like. They’re only Markdown files, so go ahead and save , rename them if you prefer, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you’re ready to write. Click the”view raw” link to the bottom of every gist to view the plain text version, which you may copy to a new file in your favourite writing program.
With this template, I can start by answering each dot line using 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 final piece will look like. This should make it simpler to enlarge my notes into fully-formed paragraphs and cause them to flow into each other nicely, because I know the arrangement of the entire piece beforehand.
Using the template, I discovered that my summarizing procedure became much more involved. I’d really planned to do a full rough draft of that post in the early hours, but it took me a few hours just to get the outline done, so I put the draft off for another day.
On the other hand, I’d over 1600 words written in my outline, and a solid idea about what each section would comprise and how they’d work together to create a feeling of flow from the post. Though outlining took longer than usual, drafting took less time since I’d set myself up for victory. Writing the draft was only a matter of taking each chunk of notes out of the outline and filling out it into a readable paragraph or two.
It was quite a different process to the way I normally work, and I had been tempted a few times to avoid the extra research or thinking required to fill out the outline properly. I often put these things off till I am drafting, which is when I should be focused on writing instead. I stuck to it, however, and by the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I had.
I have actually coined my outline and research process by applying this template. It is a more effective part of my process now, and makes printing easier. Hopefully it will lead to better work, too.
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