Construction bid form from printable construction estimate template , image source: templates.office.com
printable construction estimate template
It might seem like a simple step. Just open a new file and begin typing, right? But it’s rare for that to work for me. I love to get a solid working title and an outline before I write a lot of. John’s written about this before, after he discovered he could accelerate his writing procedure ~600% by producing an outline first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realized I was repeating the same procedure for every single new article I work . Like any fantastic programmer, I realized repeating the exact same work over and over means that is probably a good chance for automation.
So I decided to make a few templates for myself.
I started by creating a template for my most common Ghost blog post arrangement. Since that arrangement’s particular to me, I 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 made a gist to show you what they look like. They are only Markdown documents, so go right 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 on the bottom of every 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 with answering each dot point using a few notes about what I need to write in that segment. From the time I’m done, I will have a rough sketch of what the final piece will look like. This should make it easier to enlarge my notes to fully-formed paragraphs and make them flow to each other nicely, since I know the arrangement of the whole piece beforehand.
Using the template, I found that my outlining process became more involved. I’d really planned to do a full rough draft of that post in the early hours, but it took me a couple of hours just to get the outline done, so I set the draft off for another day.
On the other hand, I’d over 1600 words composed in my outline, along with a solid idea about 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’d put myself up for victory. Writing the draft was just a matter of taking each chunk of notes out of the outline and filling out it into a readable paragraph or 2.
It was quite a different process to how I normally work, and I was tempted a few times to prevent the extra research or thinking required to complete the outline correctly. I often put these things off till I am drafting, which is when I should be centered on writing instead. I adhered to it, though, and from the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I’d had.
I have really overhauled my outline and study process by using this template. It’s a more effective part of the process now, and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better function, too.
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