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best excel budget template
It might look to be an easy step. Simply open a new document and start typing, right? But it’s rare for that to work for me. I like to have a strong working title and an outline before I write too much. John’s written about this earlier, after he discovered he could accelerate his writing process ~600% by producing a summary first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realized I was repeating the exact same process for every new article I work on. Like any fantastic programmer, I realised repeating the same work over and above means that is probably a good opportunity for automation.
So I decided to make some templates for myself.
I started by developing a template for the most common Ghost blog article structure. Since that arrangement’s particular to mepersonally, I created a template based on how John structures his posts, and another according to a writer whose work I respect.
For each template I’ve made a gist to show you exactly what they look like. They are only Markdown documents, so go ahead and save them, rename them if you prefer, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you’re ready to compose. Click on the”view raw” link to the bottom of each gist to observe the plain text version, which you can copy to a new file on your favorite writing app.
With this template, I can start by answering each dot point using a couple of notes about what I need to write in that section. From the time I am done, I’ll have a rough sketch of what the final piece will look like. This should make it simpler to expand my notes into fully-formed paragraphs and make them flow to each other well, because I know the structure of the whole piece beforehand.
Using the template, I found that my summarizing procedure became more involved. I’d really planned to do a complete rough draft of that post in the morning, but it took me a few hours just to have the outline done, so that I put the draft off for a different day.
On the other hand, I’d over 1600 words composed in my outline, and a good idea of what each segment would contain and how they’d work together to create a sense of flow in the post. Though outlining took more than normal, drafting took less time because I’d set myself up for victory. Writing the draft was just a matter of taking each chunk of notes out of the outline and filling it out into a readable paragraph or two.
It had been quite a different process to the way I normally do the job, and I was tempted a few times to prevent the extra research or thinking required to complete the outline correctly. I frequently put off these things until I am drafting, which is when I should be focused on writing instead. I stuck to it, however, and from the time I got around to writing the draft I was grateful I’d had.
I’ve actually coined my outline and study process by using this template. It is a more productive part of the process now, and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it will lead to better work, too.
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