Reuse your own genius

Have you completed a document using Microsoft Word (or another word processor) and made it look exactly right? Did you hone the styles so that formatting is practically automated? Congratulations! You accomplished a grand feat, one that likely took lots of learning, work and revision.

Here’s the really good news: you can reuse all that work the next time you need to create a similar document.

How? Save your current work as a template.

You won’t overwrite the document you created – keep that, by all means! Simply use “save as” to create a new file – a template file. (In Word, you can distinguish templates from documents by the file name extension: doTx versus doCx).

Creating your own template saves you time in several ways:

  • You can give future documents a look consistent to those that you have already produced
  • You don’t need to reinvent the look
  • You can include not just the styles you used but instructions on how to use those styles, making the template understandable to others who may need to use it.

Perhaps most importantly, if you follow this last step, the template doubles as a style guide, one that you can compare to an existing brand you want to match or to help you think about a brand you want to build.

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