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free budget template excel
It might seem like an easy step. Just open a new file and start typing, right? But it’s rare for that to work for me. I love to have a strong working title and an outline before I write a lot of. John’s written about this earlier, after he discovered he could speed up his composing process ~600% by creating an outline .
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I had been repeating the same procedure for every new article I work on. Like any fantastic programmer, I realised repeating the 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 creating a template for the most common Ghost blog post structure. Since that structure’s particular to me, I created a template based on how John constructions his posts, and another according to a writer whose work I respect.
For each template I’ve made a gist to show you what they look like. They’re just Markdown files, 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 compose. Click on the”view raw” link on the bottom of every gist to view the plain text version, which you may copy into a new file in your favourite writing app.
With this template, I can start with answering each dot line using a few notes about what I need to write in that section. By the time I am done, I’ll have a rough sketch of what the finished piece will look like. This should make it easier 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 in advance.
Using the template, I found that my summarizing procedure became much more involved. I had really planned to perform a complete rough draft of the post in the morning, but it took me a few hours simply to have the outline done, so I set off the draft for another day.
On the other hand, I had over 1600 words composed in my outline, along with a good idea of what each section would contain and how they would work together to create a sense of flow from the post. Even though outlining took longer than usual, drafting took time because I’d set myself up for victory. Writing the draft was just a matter of taking each chunk of notes from the outline and filling it out into a readable paragraph or two.
It had been quite a different process to how I normally work, and I was tempted a few times to prevent the extra research or thinking required to fill out the outline properly. I frequently put these things off until I am drafting, and that’s when I should be centered on writing rather. I stuck to it, though, and from the time I got around to writing the draft I was grateful I’d had.
I have really overhauled my outline and research procedure by applying this template. It is a more effective part of the procedure now, and makes printing easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better function, also.
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