Creating a Spreadsheet from Template in Microsoft Excel from microsoft excel spreadsheet template , image source: msofficeuser.com
microsoft excel spreadsheet template
It may look like an easy step. Just open a new file and start typing, right? But it’s rare for this to work for me. I love to have a strong working title and a summary before I write too much. John’s written about this before, after he found he could accelerate his writing process ~600 percent by producing an outline .
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 fantastic programmer, I realised repeating the same work over and over means that is probably a fantastic opportunity for automation.
So I decided to make some templates for myself.
I began by developing a template for my common Ghost blog post structure. Since that arrangement’s particular to me, I also created a template based on how John structures his posts, and another based on a writer whose work I respect.
For each template I’ve created a gist to show you exactly what they look like. They are only Markdown documents, so go ahead and save them, rename them if you like, 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 list to observe the plain text version, which you can copy into a new file in your favorite writing program.
With this template, I can start with answering each dot line with a couple of notes about what I need to write in that section. From the time I’m done, I will have a rough sketch of what the final piece will look like. This should make it simpler to expand my notes to fully-formed paragraphs and cause them to flow to each other well, because I know the structure of the entire piece beforehand.
Using the template, I discovered that my summarizing procedure became much more involved. I had really planned to perform a complete rough draft of that post in the morning, but it took me a couple of hours simply to get the outline done, so I set off the draft for another day.
On the flip side, I’d over 1600 words composed in my outline, and a solid idea about what each segment would contain and how they’d work together to create a sense of flow from the article. Though outlining took longer than normal, drafting took time since I’d set 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 two.
It was quite a different process to the way I normally work, and I had been tempted a few times to prevent the additional research or thinking required to complete the outline correctly. I often put off these things till I am drafting, and that’s when I should be centered on writing instead. I stuck to it, however, and from the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I’d had.
I’ve actually overhauled my outline and research procedure by applying this template. It’s a more productive part of my procedure now, and makes printing easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better work, also.
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