Parent Volunteer Sign Up Sheet from free signup sheet template , image source: freewordtemplates.net
free signup sheet template
It might look to be an easy step. Simply open a new document and start typing, right? Nonetheless, it’s rare for that to work for me. I like to get a strong working name 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 creating a summary first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I had been repeating the same procedure for every single new article I work on. Like any fantastic programmer, I realized repeating the exact same work over and above means that is probably a good chance for automation.
So I decided to make some templates for myself.
I began by creating a template for the common Ghost blog post arrangement. Since that arrangement’s particular to me, I also created a template based on how John structures his articles, and another according to a writer whose work I respect.
For each template I’ve created a gist to show you what they look like. They are just Markdown documents, 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 every list 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 line with a few notes about what I need to write in that segment. By 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, since I know the arrangement of the whole piece in advance.
Using the template, I discovered that my outlining process became much more involved. I’d actually planned to perform a full rough draft of that post in the early hours, but it took me a couple of hours simply to have the outline done, so that I put the draft off for a different day.
On the other hand, I had over 1600 words composed in my outline, along with a solid idea of what each segment would contain and how they would work together to create a feeling of flow in the article. Even though outlining took longer than normal, drafting took time because I had put myself up for victory. Writing 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 procedure to how I normally work, and I was tempted a couple of times to prevent the additional research or thinking necessary to complete the outline correctly. I frequently put off these things till I’m drafting, which is when I should be focused on writing rather. I adhered to it, though, and by the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I had.
I’ve really coined my outline and study procedure by applying this template. It is a more productive part of my process now, and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it will lead to better function, also.
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