p&l template profit and loss statement template microsoft from p and l statement template , image source: wildlifetrackingsouthwest.com
p and l statement 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 like to have a strong working name and an outline before I write too much. John’s written about this earlier, after he discovered he could speed up his writing process ~600% by creating a summary first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realized I had been repeating the exact same procedure for every single new article I work on. Like any good programmer, I realised repeating the exact same work over and above means that is probably a fantastic opportunity for automation.
So I decided to create some templates for myself.
I started by developing a template for my common Ghost blog article arrangement. Since that structure’s particular to me, I also created a template based on how John structures his articles, and another based on a writer whose work I respect.
For every template I’ve created a gist to show you what they look like. They’re only Markdown files, so go ahead and save , 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 on the bottom of each list to observe the plain text version, which you can copy to a new file in your favourite writing program.
With this template, I can begin by answering each dot point with a few 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 finished piece will look like. This should make it easier to expand my notes into fully-formed paragraphs and make them flow into each other well, because I know the arrangement of the entire piece beforehand.
Using the template, I found that my outlining process 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 just to get the outline done, so that I set off the draft for another day.
On the flip side, I had over 1600 words written in my outline, and a solid idea of what each section would comprise and how they would work together to create a sense of flow from the post. Though outlining took more than usual, drafting took less time since I had set myself up for victory. Composing the draft was only a matter of taking each chunk of notes out of the outline and filling it out into a readable paragraph or two.
It was quite a different process to how I normally work, and I had been tempted a couple of times to avoid the additional research or thinking required to fill out the outline properly. I often put these things off until I’m drafting, which is when I should be focused on writing instead. I stuck to it, though, and by the time I got around to writing the draft I was grateful I’d had.
I’ve really overhauled my outline and study procedure by using this template. It’s a more productive part of my process now, and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it will lead to better function, also.
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