Free Strategic Planning Templates from strategic plan template nonprofit , image source: www.smartsheet.com
strategic plan template nonprofit
It might look to be an easy step. Just open a new document and start typing, right? But it’s rare for this to work for me. I love to have a strong working name and a summary before I write too much. John’s written about this before, after he discovered he could accelerate his writing process ~600 percent by creating a summary first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I had been repeating the exact same procedure for every new article I work on. Like any fantastic programmer, I realized repeating the exact same work over and over means that is probably a good chance for automation.
So I decided to create some templates for myself.
I started by developing a template for the common Ghost blog article arrangement. Since that arrangement’s particular to mepersonally, I created a template based on how John structures his posts, and another according to a writer whose work I respect.
For every template I’ve created a gist to show you exactly what they look like. They’re just Markdown documents, so go ahead and save them, rename them if you like, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you’re ready to compose. Click on the”view raw” link to the bottom of every gist to view the plain text version, which you can copy to a new file on your favourite writing app.
With this template, I can start with answering each dot line using a few notes about what I should write in that section. By the time I am done, I will have a rough sketch of what the final piece will look like. This should make it simpler to expand my notes to fully-formed paragraphs and cause them to flow into each other well, because I understand the structure of the whole piece in advance.
Using the template, I found that my summarizing procedure became much more involved. I’d actually planned to perform a complete rough draft of that post in the morning, but it took me a couple of hours just to get the outline done, so I set the draft off for a different day.
On the other hand, I’d over 1600 words written in my outline, along with a good idea about what each section would comprise and how they’d work together to create a feeling of flow from the post. Though outlining took longer than usual, drafting took less time because I had set myself up for success. 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 2.
It had been quite a different procedure to the way I normally work, and that I had been tempted a few times to avoid the additional research or thinking required to complete the outline correctly. I often put these things off until I’m drafting, and that’s when I must be centered on writing instead. I adhered to it, though, and by the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I had.
I’ve really coined my outline and research process by using this template. It is a more effective part of my process now and makes printing easier. Hopefully it will lead to better function, too.
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