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things to do lists template
It might look like a simple step. Simply open a new file and begin typing, right? But it’s rare for that to work for me. I love to get a solid working name and a summary before I write a lot of. John’s written about this earlier, after he discovered he could accelerate his writing process ~600% by producing a summary .
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I was repeating the same procedure for every single new article I work on. Like any fantastic programmer, I realized repeating the exact same work over and above means that’s probably a fantastic chance for automation.
So I decided to make a few templates for myself.
I started by creating a template for my common Ghost blog article structure. Since that structure’s particular to me, I also created a template based on how John constructions his posts, and another according to a writer whose work I admire.
For each template I’ve made a gist to show you what they look like. They are 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’re ready to write. Click on the”view raw” link to the bottom of each list to view the plain text version, which you may copy into a new file in your favorite writing app.
With this template, I can begin by answering each dot point using a few notes about what I should write in that segment. From the time I’m done, I’ll have a rough sketch of what the finished piece will look like. This should make it simpler to enlarge my notes to fully-formed paragraphs and cause them to flow into each other nicely, since I understand the arrangement of the whole piece beforehand.
Using the template, I discovered that my outlining process became much more involved. I’d actually planned to perform a full rough draft of that post in the morning, but it took me a few hours simply to have the outline done, so I set the draft off for a different day.
On the flip side, I’d over 1600 words composed in my outline, along with a good idea about what each section would comprise and how they’d work together to create a sense of flow from the post. Even though outlining took longer than usual, drafting took time because I’d set myself up for victory. Composing the draft was only a matter of taking each chunk of notes out of the outline and filling it out into a readable paragraph or 2.
It had been quite a different procedure to how I normally do the job, and I had been tempted a few times to avoid the additional research or thinking required to fill out the outline properly. I often put these things off until I am drafting, which is 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’d had.
I’ve actually overhauled my outline and research process by applying this template. It’s a more effective part of my procedure now and makes printing easier. Hopefully it will lead to better function, too.