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requirements gathering template excel
It might seem like an easy step. Simply open a new document and start typing, right? Nonetheless, it’s rare for that to work for me. I like to get a strong working title and a summary before I write too much. John’s written about this earlier, after he discovered he could speed up his writing procedure ~600 percent by creating an outline .
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realized I was repeating the same procedure 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 fantastic opportunity for automation.
So I decided to make some templates for myself.
I started by developing a template for the most common Ghost blog article structure. Since that structure’s particular to mepersonally, I also created a template based on how John constructions his posts, and another according to a writer whose work I admire.
For every template I’ve created a gist to show you exactly what they look like. They are only Markdown files, so go right ahead and save them, rename them if you like, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you’re ready to write. Click on the”view raw” link to the bottom of each gist to observe the plain text version, which you can copy into a new file in your favorite writing app.
With this template, I can start by answering each dot point using a few notes about what I need to write in that segment. 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 expand my notes into fully-formed paragraphs and make them flow into each other well, because I know the arrangement of the entire piece in advance.
Using the template, I discovered that my outlining process became more involved. I’d actually planned to perform a full rough draft of that post in the early hours, but it took me a few hours just to get the outline done, so I put the draft off for a different day.
On the other hand, I had over 1600 words written in my outline, and a good idea of what each segment would contain and how they’d work together to create a sense of flow in the article. Though outlining took longer than normal, drafting took time because I had put myself up for victory. Writing the draft was just a matter of taking each chunk of notes from the outline and filling it out into a readable paragraph or two.
It had been quite a different procedure to the way I normally work, and that I was tempted a couple of times to avoid the additional research or thinking necessary to fill out the outline correctly. I often put these things off until I am drafting, and that’s when I should be centered on writing rather. I stuck to it, though, and by the time I got around to writing the draft I was grateful I’d had.
I’ve really overhauled my outline and study process by using this template. It’s a more productive part of the process now and makes printing easier. Hopefully it will lead to better function, too.
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