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one pager website template
It may look like an easy step. Just open a new document and start typing, right? Nonetheless, it’s rare for that to work for me. I like to have a strong working name 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 first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I was repeating the exact same procedure for every single new article I work . Like any fantastic programmer, I realised repeating the exact same work over and over means that’s probably a fantastic chance for automation.
So I decided to create some templates for myself.
I started by creating a template for my common Ghost blog post structure. Since that arrangement’s particular to mepersonally, I created a template based on how John constructions 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’re just Markdown files, so go ahead and save them, rename them if you like, 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 view the plain text version, which you may copy to a new file on 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 segment. From 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 expand my notes to fully-formed paragraphs and cause them to flow to each other nicely, because I understand 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 that post in the morning, but it took me a few hours just to get the outline done, so I set the draft off for a different day.
On the other hand, I’d over 1600 words written in my outline, along with a good idea of what each segment would contain and how they would work together to create a sense of flow in the article. Even though outlining took longer than normal, drafting took less time since I had set myself up for success. 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 2.
It was quite a different process to how I normally do the job, and I was tempted a couple of times to prevent the extra research or thinking necessary to fill out the outline properly. I often put off these things until I’m drafting, which is when I must be focused on writing instead. I stuck to it, however, and from the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I had.
I’ve actually overhauled my outline and research procedure by applying this template. It is a more productive part of my process now, and makes printing easier. Hopefully it will lead to better function, too.
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