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simple excel budget template
It may seem to be an easy step. Simply open a new document and begin typing, right? But it’s rare for that to work for me. I like to get a solid working name and an outline before I write a lot of. John’s written about this earlier, after he found he could accelerate his writing procedure ~600 percent by creating an outline first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realized I had been repeating the same process for every new article I work . Like any good programmer, I realized repeating the exact same work over and over means that’s probably a fantastic opportunity for automation.
So I decided to create some templates for myself.
I started by developing a template for my most common Ghost blog article structure. Since that structure’s particular to mepersonally, I also created a template based on how John constructions his articles, and another based on a writer whose work I admire.
For each template I’ve created a gist to show you exactly 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 write. Click on the”view raw” link to the bottom of each gist to observe the plain text version, which you can copy to a new file on your favourite writing program.
With this template, I can start with answering each dot point using a couple of notes about what I need to write in that section. From the time I’m done, I will have a rough sketch of what the finished piece will look like. This should make it easier to enlarge my notes to fully-formed paragraphs and make them flow into each other nicely, since I understand the structure of the whole piece in advance.
Using the template, I found that my summarizing procedure became much more involved. I had actually planned to perform a complete rough draft of that post in the early hours, but it took me a few hours simply to have the outline done, so that I set off the draft for a different day.
On the flip side, I’d over 1600 words composed in my outline, and a solid idea about what each section would contain and how they’d work together to create a sense of flow from the article. Even though outlining took more than usual, drafting took less time since I had set myself up for success. Composing the draft was just a matter of taking each chunk of notes from the outline and filling it out into a readable paragraph or 2.
It had been quite a different process to how I normally do the job, and that I had been tempted a few times to avoid the extra research or thinking necessary to fill out the outline correctly. I frequently put off these things till I’m drafting, which is when I should be focused on writing instead. I stuck to it, however, 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 using this template. It’s a more productive part of my process now, and makes printing easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better function, also.
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