Each week comes with new emails, projects, task lists, and documents when working in a company. Creating these from scratch can be quite draining, no matter how small the project is. In fact, most of these projects are similar, and you keep repeating the same thing over and over.
It’s not advisable to reinvent the wheel and create a new document every time you start a new project. Instead, try using templates as the starting point for the new project. Making a template is quite easy, and you can save and use it for separate projects.
You need to add, change, or remove some information to tailor the template to the current project. This makes your work easier, helping you complete the work in a fraction of the time. Templates can be used in spreadsheets, word processing programs, survey platforms, emails, and even project management software.
So how can you create a template? Read below for tips:
1. Creating Document Templates
Creating a document from scratch is a time-consuming process. This is especially true for standardized documents with similar logos, footers, typefaces, and colors. But when working from a template, you will only need to do the work once.
Creating a template involves setting up your style and structure in advance and filling in the information you would like to include in the document. This helps you save time when creating a new file in Microsoft Word and Google Docs. Additionally, you can take advantage of other tools such as HelloSign and Formstack Documents to automatically create customized documents for your customers.
Follow the below steps to create templates in Microsoft Word and Google Docs:
Microsoft Word comes equipped with pre-created templates for everything from cover letters to meeting agendas to trip checklists. This is quite similar to Word Docs. However, you can save your reusable templates as .dotx files instead of .docx documents with Word Docs.
If you create a business contract template that you would like to use in the future, click File, then Save it as a Template. This helps you access the template whenever you want to create a new document. The template will be in the gallery options the next time you open a new document.
If you want to create a new business contract or a different version of the same contract, look for the template, then click Open. Once the template is open, you can edit it and make changes where applicable. You can do this by clicking the Open dialog, then changing the File Type to Template.
After editing the template, the resulting document will incorporate every change you made. However, ensure that you save your documents and templates separately. This helps you avoid accidental deletion or modification of the master copy.
You can also create press release templates from Microsoft Word Docs. Fortunately, there are many sources online that will help you create industry-specific press release templates.
Check out more here for press release formatting tips.
When creating a new Google Docs document, most people often choose the default “blank” option at the top of the page. If you do this, you are missing out on the numerous templates offered by Google Docs. They have hundreds of templates, from reports to meeting notes to resumes.
You can access these templates from two different areas. You can find the templates in the dashboard of your Google Docs.
Click on “More” to access the gallery of over 30 template choices. You can also find other templates in Google’s template gallery.
With over 100 template choices, it will be easier to create a new document or file. Just click on your preferred template and use it as the basis for your new documents. The good news is that all these templates are designed by professionals to help you create a well-formatted file or document for your clients.
However, the templates’ colors, structure, and style aren’t enough to create a truly powerful template. You should also add other written text to complete the document and fill in all the blank spaces. To create a Google template, start with a blank document or use a pre-existing template as a draft.
Then fill in the blank document with your preferred text styles, formatting, default texts, logos, and all the other things the document needs. Then save the template for future use. While Google Docs automatically saves all the new documents created, you should label them appropriately to ensure they are recognizable.
The next time you need to create a new document with a similar style, open the template and click on File–Make a Copy on the menu. Then, you can customize the template to fit your specific needs.
2. Creating Presentation Templates
Almost all the steps for making a template in Google Docs apply to presentations. All you need to do is to draft a base presentation document using your preferred style and general layout to customize your slides. You can use this template to create a new presentation by filling in the blanks based on your current project.
However, there is another easier way to do this. If you prefer using the same slides in all your presentations—maybe you have a slide with your company statement, business plan, company bottom line, or goals—it’s easy to import a slide from one presentation to the other without affecting its design.
Follow the below template making tips to help you swap content in different Google Slides and alternate presentation applications:
Using Google Slides is great for presentations because you can access your templates from anywhere. This is because Google Slides are cloud-based.
Building a Google slide is as simple as creating Google Docs templates. Start by creating and designing your primary slides for the presentation and filling them with your preferred content.
You can use these templates for different projects when making a new presentation. Open the primary presentation template and select the slides you would like to import from the slide menu, then copy them. Then, click on the slide picker found at the left of your screen to paste the slide you copied.
By default, these slides will maintain their original formatting and style. But if you would like to edit them to match the current presentation you’re working on, simply hover your mouse over the paste icon and click on Match Destination Formatting. This same process also applies to PowerPoint and Keynote.
Use Alternate Presentation Applications
The other alternative is to focus more on your images, videos, and text instead of the formatting when creating a presentation. There are numerous free and paid applications that can help you turn plain images, text, and other content into presentation slides.
These applications include Prezi, Slidebean, Deckset, Swipe, and Evernote. These applications turn plain documents into presentations with beautifully designed pre-made templates. You can always choose the theme of your presentation based on the project and add the appropriate videos, photos, and text.
Fortunately, most of these applications use the same tips you would when making document templates. All you need to do is to write down the common points of the presentation, design the structure, and copy the document every time you need it. While you will not get customized presentation templates in these applications, they will save you a lot of time and energy.
3. Creating Spreadsheet Templates
A spreadsheet is similar to a LEGO brick. The foundation starts with a few random LEGO pieces, which turn into a very complicated structure. However, unlike the blocks, your spreadsheet will not collapse if you get rid of one piece of the structure.
For this reason, you can always create your own spreadsheet and reuse it by editing it each time you have a new project. This is why spreadsheets make great template tools. And even better news, creating templates on spreadsheets allows you to apply the same conditional formatting to different data sets.
These tips work with almost all spreadsheet tools. Below are some popular spreadsheet tools to use:
Today, almost everyone is using Excel to crunch and handle large numbers and data. It’s the most popular and powerful spreadsheet tool out there and for good reason. Fortunately, Excel often supports templates very well, making it easier to create a new version of a large file.
To create a template, start by opening the workbook you would like to convert, clicking Save As (Control + S), and giving your document a name. Then, click on the Save as Type box and save the file as a template. However, if the Excel file has macros or any automated actions, you can choose to save it as an Excel Macro-Enabled Template.
On the other hand, you can reuse one of the already-installed templates in Excel and modify it to fit your needs. To find these templates, click on File > New > Spreadsheet Solutions. Alternatively, you can use any of the templates on Office.com. After finding a template you like, click on it to download or edit it online.
Start Making a Template Today
Templates are among the most amazing tools that make our work easier. Not only does a template save you from having to create a document, spreadsheet, or presentation from scratch, it also allows you to retain the original formatting with minimal editing.
Follow our amazing tips above for making a template to help you. By following our guide above, you will likely end up with great templates that make your work easier.
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