Free Excel Project Management Templates from project management checklist template , image source: www.smartsheet.com
project management checklist template
It may seem like a simple step. Just open a new document and start typing, right? Nonetheless, it’s rare for this to work for me. I like to have a solid working title and a summary before I write too much. John’s written about this before, after he found he could accelerate his composing procedure ~600% by producing a summary first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I had been repeating the same process for every single new article I work . Like any good programmer, I realised repeating the same work over and over means that is probably a good 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 articles, and another according to a writer whose work I admire.
For every template I’ve made a gist to show you exactly what they look like. They’re only Markdown documents, so go right ahead and save , rename them if you prefer, 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 view the plain text version, which you can copy into a new file in your favorite writing program.
With this template, I can start with answering each dot line with a couple of notes about what I need to write in that section. By the time I’m done, I’ll have a rough sketch of what the final piece will look like. This should make it easier to expand my notes into fully-formed paragraphs and cause them to flow into each other nicely, because I know the arrangement of the whole piece in advance.
Using the template, I discovered that my outlining process became much more involved. I’d really planned to do a full rough draft of that post in the early hours, but it took me a few hours simply to have the outline done, so I put the draft off for another day.
On the flip side, I had 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 from the post. Though outlining took longer than normal, drafting took less time because I had put myself up for success. Writing the draft was only a matter of taking each chunk of notes from the outline and filling it out into a readable paragraph or 2.
It was quite a different procedure to how I normally do the job, and that I had been tempted a few times to prevent the extra research or thinking required to complete the outline correctly. I frequently put off these things till I’m drafting, and that’s when I should be centered on writing rather. I adhered to it, though, and from the time I got around to writing the draft I was grateful I had.
I’ve really overhauled 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 work, too.
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