general scope of work template from simple project scope template , image source: crowdbank.me
simple project scope template
It might seem to be an easy step. Just open a new file and start typing, right? But it’s rare for this to work for me. I like to have a strong working name and an outline before I write too much. John’s written about this before, after he found he could accelerate his writing process ~600% by creating a summary first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I had been repeating the same process for every new article I work on. Like any good programmer, I realised repeating the exact 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 developing a template for my most common Ghost blog post structure. Since that arrangement’s particular to me, I created a template based on how John constructions his posts, and another according to a writer whose work I respect.
For every template I’ve created a gist to show you what they look like. They are just Markdown files, so go right ahead and save them, rename them if you prefer, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you’re ready to write. Click the”view raw” link on the bottom of every list to observe the plain text version, which you may copy to a new file on your favourite writing app.
With this template, I can begin by answering each dot line with a couple of notes about what I should write in that section. From 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 nicely, because I understand the structure of the whole piece in advance.
Using the template, I found that my summarizing procedure became more involved. I had actually planned to do a complete rough draft of the post in the early hours, but it took me a couple of hours just to get the outline done, so I put the draft off for a different day.
On the other hand, I’d over 1600 words composed in my outline, and a solid idea about what each segment would comprise and how they would work together to create a sense of flow from the post. Even though outlining took more than usual, drafting took time because I’d 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 had been quite a different procedure to how I normally work, and that I had been tempted a couple of times to avoid the extra research or thinking required to fill out the outline correctly. I often put these things off until I’m drafting, and that’s when I must be centered on writing rather. I stuck to it, however, and by the time I got around to writing the draft I was grateful I’d had.
I have actually coined my outline and study procedure by using this template. It is a more productive part of the process now and makes printing easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better function, also.
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