Infographic Executive Summary from project executive summary template , image source: www.atlanticbusinessmagazine.net
project executive summary template
It might seem like a simple step. Simply open a new file and start typing, right? But it’s rare for that to work for me. I like to have a strong working title and a summary before I write a lot of. John’s written about this before, after he discovered he could speed up his composing procedure ~600 percent by creating a summary .
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I was repeating the same process for every new post I work . Like any fantastic programmer, I realised repeating the same work over and above means that is probably a fantastic opportunity for automation.
So I decided to make a few templates for myself.
I started by creating a template for the most common Ghost blog post arrangement. Since that structure’s particular to mepersonally, I also created a template based on how John structures his posts, and another according to a writer whose work I respect.
For each template I’ve created a gist to show you what they look like. They are only 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 compose. Click on the”view raw” link to the bottom of every gist to observe the plain text version, which you can copy to a new file in your favorite writing app.
With this template, I can begin with answering each dot point with a couple of notes about what I should write in that segment. By the time I am done, I’ll have a rough sketch of what the final piece will look like. This should make it simpler to expand my notes into fully-formed paragraphs and cause them to flow into each other well, since I understand the structure of the entire piece beforehand.
Using the template, I discovered that my summarizing procedure became much more involved. I had really planned to perform a complete rough draft of that post in the early hours, but it took me a couple of hours just to get the outline done, so that I put off the draft for a different day.
On the other hand, I had over 1600 words written in my outline, along with a good idea about what each segment would contain and how they’d work together to create a sense of flow in the post. Even though outlining took more than usual, drafting took time because I had set myself up for success. Composing the draft was only a matter of taking each chunk of notes from the outline and filling out it into a readable paragraph or two.
It was quite a different process to the way I normally work, and that I had been tempted a couple of times to avoid the additional research or thinking required to complete the outline correctly. 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 from the time I got around to writing the draft I was grateful I’d had.
I’ve really coined my outline and research process by using this template. It’s a more productive part of the process now and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it will lead to better function, also.
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