personal balance sheet from personal balance sheet template , image source: www.tumblr.com
personal balance sheet template
It may seem to be a simple step. Just open a new file and start 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 a lot of. John’s written about this before, after he found he could speed up his composing process ~600% by creating an outline first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I was repeating the same procedure for every single new post I work . Like any fantastic programmer, I realized repeating the same work over and over means that’s probably a fantastic chance for automation.
So I decided to create some templates for myself.
I began by developing a template for the most common Ghost blog post structure. Since that structure’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 respect.
For every template I’ve created a gist to show you 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 are ready to write. Click on the”view raw” link to the bottom of every gist to observe the plain text version, which you may copy to a new file on your favorite writing program.
With this template, I can begin with answering each dot line with a few notes about what I need to 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 simpler to enlarge my notes into fully-formed paragraphs and make them flow to each other nicely, because I understand the structure of the whole piece beforehand.
Using the template, I found that my summarizing procedure became much more involved. I’d actually planned to do a complete rough draft of that post in the morning, but it took me a few hours simply to have the outline done, so I put off the draft for another day.
On the flip side, I had over 1600 words composed in my outline, and a solid idea of what each section would comprise and how they would work together to create a feeling of flow in the article. Though outlining took longer than usual, drafting took less time because I had set myself up for success. 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 had been quite a different process to how I normally work, and I had been tempted a few times to prevent the additional research or thinking required to complete the outline properly. I frequently put off these things till I am drafting, which is when I must be centered on writing instead. I stuck to it, however, and by the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I’d had.
I’ve really coined my outline and research process by applying this template. It is a more effective part of the procedure now, and makes printing easier. Hopefully it will lead to better function, also.
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