Recipe Card Template from microsoft word cookbook template , image source: myexceltemplates.com
microsoft word cookbook template
It might seem to be a simple step. Just open a new document and begin typing, right? But it’s rare for this to work for me. I love to get a solid working name and a summary before I write too much. John’s written about this earlier, after he discovered he could speed up his writing process ~600% by producing a summary 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 article I work on. Like any good 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 began by creating a template for my most common Ghost blog post arrangement. Since that arrangement’s particular to mepersonally, I also created a template based on how John structures his posts, and another based on a writer whose work I admire.
For every template I’ve made a gist to show you what they look like. They’re only Markdown files, so go right ahead and save them, rename them if you prefer, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you are ready to write. Click on the”view raw” link on the bottom of every list to observe the plain text version, which you may copy to a new file in your favourite writing app.
With this template, I can start with answering each dot line with a few notes about what I should 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 simpler to expand my notes into fully-formed paragraphs and cause them to flow to each other nicely, since I know the arrangement of the entire piece beforehand.
Using the template, I discovered that my outlining process became more involved. I’d really planned to perform a full rough draft of the post in the morning, but it took me a couple of hours just to get 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 solid idea of what each section would contain and how they would work together to create a feeling of flow in the article. Even though outlining took longer than usual, drafting took time since I had set myself up for victory. Writing the draft was just a matter of taking each chunk of notes out of the outline and filling it out into a readable paragraph or 2.
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 required to complete the outline properly. I frequently put these things off till I am drafting, which is when I should be centered on writing rather. I adhered to it, though, 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 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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