Year 2017 Excel Calendar Template Monthly Calendar from microsoft excel calendar template , image source: www.georgesbudget.com
microsoft excel calendar template
It might look like a simple step. Just open a new document and start typing, right? But it’s rare for this to work for me. I like to have a strong working title and a summary before I write too much. John’s written about this before, after he discovered he could accelerate 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 process for every new post I work . Like any fantastic programmer, I realised repeating the same work over and over means that is probably a good opportunity for automation.
So I decided to create some templates for myself.
I began by developing a template for the common Ghost blog post structure. Since that structure’s particular to me, I created a template based on how John structures his articles, and another according to a writer whose work I admire.
For every template I’ve made a gist to show you exactly what they look like. They are just 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 write. Click on the”view raw” link to the bottom of each list to observe the plain text version, which you can copy to a new file in your favourite writing app.
With this template, I can start with answering each dot point with a few notes about what I should write in that segment. By the time I am done, I will 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 make them flow into each other well, since I understand the arrangement of the whole piece in advance.
Using the template, I discovered that my summarizing procedure became more involved. I’d really planned to perform a full rough draft of that post in the early hours, but it took me a couple of hours just to get the outline done, so that I put off the draft for another day.
On the other hand, I had over 1600 words written in my outline, and a good idea of what each segment would contain and how they’d work together to create a feeling of flow in the article. Even though outlining took longer than usual, drafting took time since I’d put myself up for success. Writing 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 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 necessary to complete the outline properly. I often put off these things till I am drafting, which is when I must be centered on writing instead. I stuck to it, though, and from the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I had.
I’ve actually overhauled my outline and research process by using this template. It’s a more productive part of the process now and makes printing easier. Hopefully it will lead to better function, too.
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