Blank Inventory Spreadsheet from printable inventory list template , image source: charlotteclergycoalition.com
printable inventory list template
It may seem to be a simple step. Simply open a new document and start typing, right? Nonetheless, it’s rare for that to work for me. I love to get a strong working name and a summary before I write too much. John’s written about this before, after he discovered he could accelerate his writing process ~600% by creating a summary .
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I had been repeating the exact same process for every single new post I work on. Like any fantastic programmer, I realised repeating the same work over and above means that’s probably a good opportunity for automation.
So I decided to create a few templates for myself.
I started by developing a template for my most common Ghost blog post structure. Since that arrangement’s particular to mepersonally, I also created a template based on how John structures his articles, and another according to a writer whose work I admire.
For each template I’ve created a gist to show you exactly what they look like. They are just Markdown documents, so go ahead and save them, rename them if you like, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you are ready to write. Click the”view raw” link on the bottom of every gist to observe the plain text version, which you may copy into a new file on your favourite writing program.
With this template, I can start with answering each dot line with a few notes about what I need to write in that section. By the time I’m done, I will have a rough sketch of what the final 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, since I understand the arrangement of the whole piece in advance.
Using the template, I discovered that my outlining process became more involved. I had really planned to do a complete rough draft of the post in the morning, but it took me a few hours just to get the outline done, so that I set the draft off for another day.
On the other hand, I’d over 1600 words written in my outline, along with a good idea of what each section would contain and how they would work together to create a sense of flow in the article. Though outlining took more than usual, drafting took time because I’d put 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 had been quite a different process to the way I normally work, and I was tempted a few times to avoid the additional research or thinking required to complete the outline correctly. I often put off these things till I’m drafting, and that’s when I must be focused on writing rather. I stuck to it, though, and by the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I had.
I have actually overhauled my outline and study procedure by applying this template. It’s a more effective part of my procedure now and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better function, too.
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