24 Google Docs Templates That Will Make Your Life Easier from google docs menu template , image source: www.makeuseof.com
google docs menu template
It may seem like an easy step. Simply open a new file and start typing, right? But it’s rare for this to work for me. I like to get a solid working title and an outline before I write too much. John’s written about this before, after he found he could speed up his writing process ~600 percent by producing an outline first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I had been repeating the exact same procedure for every single new post I work . Like any good programmer, I realised repeating the same work over and over means that’s probably a good opportunity for automation.
So I decided to create a few templates for myself.
I started by developing a template for my most common Ghost blog article structure. Since that structure’s particular to me, I 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 exactly what they look like. They’re only Markdown files, so go ahead and save them, rename them if you prefer, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you are ready to compose. Click on the”view raw” link to the bottom of each gist to observe the plain text version, which you may copy to a new file in your favorite writing app.
With this template, I can start by answering each dot point with a couple of notes about what I need to write in that segment. By the time I’m 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 to each other well, since I know the structure of the entire piece beforehand.
Using the template, I found that my summarizing procedure became much more involved. I had actually planned to perform a complete rough draft of that post in the morning, but it took me a couple of hours just to get the outline done, so I put the draft off for another day.
On the other hand, I had over 1600 words written in my outline, along with 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 less time because I had put myself up for success. Composing 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 2.
It was quite a different procedure to how I normally do the job, and that I had been tempted a few times to prevent the additional research or thinking required to fill out the outline correctly. I frequently put off these things till I am drafting, which is when I should be centered on writing instead. I adhered to it, though, and by 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 using this template. It is a more productive part of my process now, and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it will lead to better work, also.
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