Simple Black & White Business Card Business Card from black business card template , image source: creativemarket.com
black business card template
It might seem like a simple step. Just open a new document and start typing, right? Nonetheless, it’s rare for this to work for me. I like to get a solid working title and a summary before I write a lot of. John’s written about this earlier, after he discovered he could accelerate his composing process ~600% by creating a summary .
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I was repeating the exact same procedure for every single new post I work on. Like any good programmer, I realised repeating the exact same work over and over means that’s probably a good 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 arrangement. Since that arrangement’s particular to mepersonally, I also created a template based on how John structures his posts, 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 just Markdown files, so go right ahead and save them, rename them if you prefer, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you’re ready to write. Click on the”view raw” link on the bottom of each list to observe the plain text version, which you can copy into a new file on your favorite writing app.
With this template, I can begin with answering each dot point using a couple of notes about what I need to write in that section. From the time I’m done, I’ll have a rough sketch of what the final piece will look like. This should make it simpler to enlarge my notes to fully-formed paragraphs and make them flow into each other well, because I understand the structure of the whole piece beforehand.
Using the template, I discovered that my summarizing procedure became much more involved. I had really planned to do a complete rough draft of that post in the morning, 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 other hand, I had over 1600 words composed in my outline, and a good idea about what each segment would contain and how they’d work together to create a feeling of flow from the article. Though outlining took more than usual, drafting took time because I had set myself up for success. Composing the draft was just a matter of taking each chunk of notes from the outline and filling out it into a readable paragraph or 2.
It had been quite a different process to how I normally work, and that I was tempted a couple of times to avoid the extra research or thinking required to fill out the outline properly. I often put these things off until I am drafting, and that’s when I must be focused on writing instead. I adhered to it, however, and from the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I’d had.
I have really coined my outline and research procedure by applying this template. It is a more productive part of my procedure now, and makes printing easier. Hopefully it will lead to better function, too.
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