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How to create effective document templates

Creating templates in documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more

By Aja Frost · March 8, 2021
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Every week brings new projects, emails, documents, and task lists. Starting each of those from scratch—no matter how small the project—can be a real drain on your time. And, really, how much of that is completely different from the work you've done before?

Odds are, not much. Many of our day-to-day tasks are variations on something we've done hundreds of times before. Like a contract for a freelance project, for example, or a project update email for your clients.

Create and autopopulate a Google Docs template

Don't reinvent the wheel every time you start something new. Instead, use templates—standardized files with text and formatting as the starting point for new work. Once you save a separate version of the template, just add, remove, or change any info for that unique document, and you'll have the new work completed in a fraction of the time.

Templates work everywhere: in word processors, spreadsheets, project management apps, survey platforms, and email. Here's how to use templates in your favorite apps—and how to automatically create documents from a template—so you can get your common tasks done faster.

Why templates?

Templates take time to build, and it's easy to wonder if they're worth the investment. The short answer: absolutely. Editing a template is much faster than formatting something from scratch. It's the difference between copying and pasting some text, or retyping it.

That's not all: using a template means you're less likely to leave out key information, too. For example, if you need to send freelance writers a contributor agreement, modifying a standard contract template (instead of writing a new contract each time) ensures you won't leave out that crucial clause about owning the content once you've paid for it.

Templates also guarantee consistency. Perhaps you send regular project updates to clients or investors. With a template, you know the update will always have the same formatting, design, and general structure.

How to create great templates

Not all templates are created equal—and some things don't need a template. Here are a few guidelines to follow.

First, templates should be comprehensive. It's easier to delete information than add it in, so err on the side of adding too much versus too little.

Imagine you're creating a template of your resume. You'd want to list in-depth details about your responsibilities and achievements, so you'll have all the info you need to apply for any job. You can always delete less-important notes later on, but if it's not in the template you might forget it in the final version.

Templates should also make customization areas clear. Give yourself visual clues, like "Hi [NAME]," "Please hang tight until [DATE]," "You'll be paid [X AMOUNT] every 15 days," and so on.

Some tools will automatically fill in these variables for you (more on that in a bit). But if you need to fill in the data on your own, add some text that's obvious and easy to search for so you can find text that needs to be changed without much effort.

Google Docs Templates

Finally, use a standardized naming system for templates. I add [Template] to the end of the filename for each of my templates, such as "Blog Post [Template]" or "Project Calendar [Template]". To get started on a document simply search for "[Template]" in whatever tool I’m using. Just pick a way to identify your document templates, and stick to it.

Templates are a great sidekick to efficient folder organization. Here's how to build a file and folder organization system to effectively organize all your templates and documents.

Build your own templates

Let's dive in and cover how you can build templates for some common file types, like text documents, presentations, project checklists, and emails. The tools you use for these activities likely vary—you might use Word to draft documents, while your colleague uses Google Docs.

We outlined how to make templates in some of the most popular apps for each category. If we didn't cover your favorite tool, no worries: these strategies work on any platform. If you want to make a template in a different type of app—perhaps to make notes in a CRM or to log data in a database builder app—the general tips will still work there, too.

How to create templates for:

How to create document templates

Creating standardized documents with the same typefaces, colors, logos and footers usually requires lots of double-checking. But with templates, you only have to do the grunt work once.

Just set up your structure and style in advance—and type in the sentences you include in most documents—and you'll save time whenever you create a new file in Google Docs or Microsoft Word. Then, with tools like Formstack Documents and HelloSign, you can build customized documents for clients and customers automatically.

Google Docs

When you create a new Google Docs document, do you default to the "blank" option? If so, you're missing out on hundreds of templates for resumes, meeting notes, and reports.

These templates are accessible in two places. When you’re in your Docs dashboard, clicking More will open up a gallery with around 30 choices. You can also check out Google's public template gallery, which has hundreds more choices. Just click a template in either place to use it as the base of your new document.

Google Docs template gallery

Most of these templates are professionally designed—so when you don't have the time to create a nicely-formatted document, they're a good option.

But style and structure alone don't add up to a truly powerful template. You also want to mix in pre-written text so you can finish the document by filling in a few blanks.

To make your own template in Google Docs, start a new Blank document—or use one of the pre-made templates as a blueprint. Then, fill it with your framework: your formatting, text styles, logos, default text, and anything else most of your documents need.

For example, my posts tend to follow the same general formula, so I've created a blog post template. It functions as a general outline, and saves me from fiddling with styles when I need to focus on writing.

Template Blog Post in Google Docs

Now, save the template so you can reuse it again. Google Docs saves new documents automatically, but remember to give it a recognizable template name. Next time you need to make a document with this style, just open the template and click File > Make a copy in the menu. From there, just customize the copied document for your specific needs.

And if you need templated spreadsheets, the same tips work in Google Sheets.

Microsoft Word

Like Google Docs, Microsoft Word is loaded with pre-made templates, from meeting agendas and cover letters to business trip checklists.

However, Word also lets you save your own reusable templates as .dotx files (rather than the classic .docx documents).

Say you've drawn up a business contract that you want to save for future use. Just click File > Save as Template. Next time you start a new document, your template will appear in your gallery of options, alongside Word's pre-existing templates. When you want to make a new version of the contract, create a new file, find the contract template, and click Open.

Microsoft Word templates

If you want to edit your template, select the Open dialog and change the Files of Type option to Templates. Then, search for the template in question, open it, and make your changes. From here on out, every document you create based on that template will incorporate those changes.

Having a distinction between templates and documents is really useful, since it protects you from accidentally modifying, deleting, or losing your master copy.

Formstack Documents

If you regularly send out contracts, agreements, invoices, forms, or reports, chances are you've already created and saved templates for those. That doesn't mean you've circumvented all of the tedious work: Each time you send a new version of the template, you still have to copy-and-paste names, project info, dates, and other relevant details into your document.

Enter Formstack Documents. This tool will combine your template with unique data automatically, so you'll get customized, finished documents without tapping a single key.

You can upload a template you've already made (Word docs, PDFs, spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations are all fair game), or start from scratch using Formstack's online editor.

Build template document in Formstack Documents

To indicate a field that needs to be filled in with new info, use {$fieldName}. For example, {$email} or {$business_name}. Simple, right?

Then, choose where you want completed documents to go. Maybe you want them saved to a Dropbox or Google Drive folder, emailed to you, or sent to a tool where you can collect signatures.

Finally, select your data source. You could manually import data from a spreadsheet—but that sort of defeats the purpose. Instead, use Zapier to set up an automated workflow. Your document templates will be automatically populated with data from another app—like a survey or eCommerce tool.

For example, if you use PayPal to run your online shop, you could use Zapier to create a custom receipt for each customer. Or, if you still want to use spreadsheets, just connect Google Sheets to Formstack Documents and new rows will be turned into formatted documents in seconds.

Create Personalized Documents from Typeform with WebMerge

Create Personalized Documents from Typeform with WebMerge
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  • Typeform logo
Formstack Documents + Typeform


Many customized document templates require approval from a client, employee, manager or partner. With HelloSign, you can painlessly collect signatures from anyone—just upload a template, indicate where recipients need to sign and add information, then send it off.

HelloSign templates

Want to make this process even easier? Use Zapier to connect your CRM, email platform, survey tool, and any other apps, and build workflows that handle your templates automatically.

For instance, I use Proposify to send proposals to potential clients. When a client accepts my Proposify proposal, Zapier tells HelloSign to send my standard freelance writing contract to their email address for signing.

How to create presentation templates

Most of the same document template tricks apply to presentations: create a base presentation with your general layout, apply your style to the slides, then duplicate the presentation and fill in the blanks each time you need to present something.

Or, there's another way. If you often reuse the exact same slides in different presentations—perhaps a slide with your business plan, company statement, goals, or some other common elements—you can copy individual slides from one presentation into another without sacrificing your presentation's design.

Here's a quick tutorial on swapping content in Google Slides (and don't worry, this same trick works in Apple Keynote or Microsoft PowerPoint's desktop versions, too).

Google Slides

Google Slides is a good go-to for presentations, because it's cloud-based—which means your templates follow you anywhere.

And just like Google Docs, it's pretty simple to start building. Just create your core slides in a presentation, with their own unique style and template that fit the content. Then, when making a new presentation, open that core template presentation, select the slides you want to use in the slide menu on the left, and copy them.

Google Slides

Now, just click in the slide picker on the left, and paste those copied slides. They'll retain the original formatting by default, but if you want the slides to match your new presentation style, just click the paste icon and select Match Destination Formatting. Follow the same process for Keynote or PowerPoint.

Alternate presentation apps

Another option is to not worry so much about your presentation's formatting, and just focus on the text, images, and videos in the presentation. There are a number of apps that can turn plain text and images into a presentation in almost no time, including:

  • Deckset and Swipe turn Markdown formatted text documents into presentations, with pre-made templates

  • Evernote's Presentation Mode reformats your notes and web clippings into basic presentations on the fly

  • Slidebean chooses a theme for your presentation automatically based on your pictures and videos

  • Prezi turns your content into an animated presentation—it's eye-catching, though perhaps not time-saving


With most of these apps, use the same tricks you'd use for creating document templates. Write your common points or presentation structure, then copy that document each time you need to make a presentation. All you'll need to do is open that file in your text-powered presentation app—or copy the text into the tool—and select a pre-made template design.

You won't get as customized of a presentation, but you'll save a ton of time.

Check our full roundup of the Best PowerPoint Alternatives to discover other great presentation tools.

How to create spreadsheet templates

Spreadsheets are like LEGO bricks: You start with a bunch of seemingly random pieces, and turn them into complex structures. But unlike a tower of blocks, spreadsheets don’t collapse if you swap out or remove an individual component—so you can reuse and edit them endlessly.

That's why they make great template tools. Even better, creating a spreadsheet template lets you apply the same conditional formatting to multiple data sets.

The tips here work in most spreadsheet tools—so check out our roundup of the Best Spreadsheet Apps for more options, along with some spreadsheet history and extra tutorials.


If you’re crunching large amounts of data, you’re probably doing it in Excel—it's one of the most powerful and popular spreadsheet tools for good reason. Luckily, Excel supports templates quite well, so creating new versions of large files won’t be a pain.

To make a template, open the workbook you want to convert into a template, click Save As and give it a name. Then click the Save as Type box, just as in Word. You can save the file as an Excel Template, but if it's got macros (automated action in the spreadsheet), choose Excel Macro-Enabled Template.

Alternatively, you can modify one of the templates already installed in Excel. To check out your options, select File > New > Spreadsheet Solutions.

You can also take advantage of the existing templates on Once you've found one, click on it to edit in Excel Online or download it to Excel.

Excel Online

If none of those fit the bill, the Excel community has developed templates for almost every purpose imaginable. Do a quick search for Excel template [use case] and take a look at the results.


Smartsheet is a spreadsheet tool that's built around templates. You can make your own using an existing sheet as your baseline: Simply right-click its name and choose Save as Template. The sheet's column names, column types, conditional formatting rules, and dependency settings will be carried over to the template—along with its data and formatting if you choose.

So, if you've got an expense report that tends to look pretty similar from month to month, you can create a template with all your expenses already tallied up. Then, every four weeks or so, you can make any necessary adjustments, and have a report in no time.

Smartsheet also offers an impressive gallery of pre-made templates that cover everything from goal tracking to office relocation plans.

Smartsheet Templates

Once you've found the template you want, click on it and choose Use template. Make it your own by adding data, changing the column names, applying your own formatting, and so on. When you're done, you can save the file as a regular sheet by opening the Actions menu and selecting Save as New. Or, turn that customized version into your own new template by choosing Save as Template instead.

Smartsheet doesn't count templates against your sheets total, either, so you can store an unlimited number in any account.

How to create project management templates

Using templates to start new projects doesn't just cut down on setting up workflows—it also helps you leverage the processes that have worked in the past.

There are three strategies that work in most project management tools: Create a template project using built-in tools, copy an existing project to use as your blueprint, or import a spreadsheet and turn that into a project. Here are examples of these strategies in some popular project management apps.


Trello is designed to break your projects down into groups called boards, which means it's the perfect tool for creating templates—but you'll need to copy those boards to reuse them.

To make a template project, just create a new board, add the appropriate lists and cards, then flesh them out with the relevant attachments, project members, and descriptions (if applicable). For example, if your coworker always handles visuals for your blog posts, you could assign the Create graphics card to them in advance and add template design files—now, every time you use this template for a new project, they'll already be assigned to that task.

Trello template board

When you want to use this template, open the sidebar menu, choose More then select Copy board.

If you don't want to go to the trouble of creating a brand-new board for your template, simply copy an existing one. You can choose whether or not to carry over the cards—a handy way to reuse an old project's list structure without duplicating completed tasks.

Copy Trello board

You could also create templates for specific project stages rather than the entire project. Say you offer a range of different digital marketing services. Create a list for every service (like SEO Audit [Template]); then when you get a new client, you can copy the lists for the services they've asked for into a fresh Trello board.

Trello even lets you copy individual cards, so you can create a task template with a checklist, attachments, and assignees. Then, to add new tasks with that same set of checklists and attachments, just copy the card and fill in this task's unique details.

For project template ideas, check out Trello's Inspiration collection. You'll find templates for business, productivity, lifestyle, and education designed by people like Buffer's Kevan Lee and Brit & Co's CEO Brit Morin.

Take a look at some creative ways to use Trello, and then learn how to organize your projects and life in Trello with our complete guide to automating Trello.


There are two ways to make templates in Asana: start a new project and save it as a template, or duplicate an existing project.

If you go with the second option, you'll want to change the sections and tasks to make them more generic.


For templates, just open an existing project, click the dropdown menu at the top-right of the main window, and select Use as a Template (Copy Project). Asana recommends creating project templates for processes with five or more steps—either by reusing an old project as a template, or with a new project designed just to be a template.

However, for processes with five or fewer steps, you should create task templates. As with project templates, just add a new template task, or duplicate an existing task and modify it.

Asana task templates

Make your templates easy-to-access by creating a template tag. You can add it to the appropriate tasks, then favorite your template tag. Now, all of the tasks tagged template will show up in your left sidebar where you can easily reproduce them when needed.


Redbooth comes with more than 40 tailor-made workspaces, for everything from planning an off-site executive meeting to designing a new brand, logo, or site. Choose a template, and it'll be added to your Redbooth account where you can customize it and start working.

What if you want to make your own template? Redbooth doesn't let you copy workspaces, so you can't create a generic project and clone it (like you would in Trello or Asana).

But Redbooth will convert spreadsheets into workspaces. You can make a template in Google Sheets, Smartsheet, or Excel, then import it into Redbooth every time you want to use it.

Here's my "New Hire Onboarding" template in Google Sheets:

Template in Google Sheets

And here's what the template looks like once I imported it into Redbooth:

Redbooth template

You can also import projects from Trello, Microsoft Office Project, Wrike, Basecamp, and Asana, so if you have existing templates in any of those platforms, you can use those as well.

While you can't duplicate workspaces, Redbooth does let you duplicate tasks. Try creating a workspace specifically for your template tasks so you can easily find them; when you’re ready to use one, open it and click Copy & assign task from the right dropdown menu. Once it's been created, move it to the relevant workspace.


When it comes to standardized workflows, Basecamp has your back: rather than copying existing projects, you can create endlessly reusable templates. These templates live in a separate section from normal projects, which makes them a cinch to find (and guarantees you won't accidentally delete or change your master copy!).

Template in Basecamp 2

To make one, go to your main dashboard, click Templates and select Create a new template. Next, add discussions, to-do lists, and files. You can also add team members, who will automatically be assigned to every project you create from this template.

Streamline matters even more by adding deadlines. Basecamp will start the timeline once you've launched a project—so if you create a task for "Day 7," Basecamp will schedule that task for one week after the project goes live.

Even better? You can set up a Zap so projects are automatically created from templates when a specific trigger happens: like, say, a new event is added to your calendar, or a new item is added to your to-do list.

Active Collab

Active Collab is another project tool designed for templates. Just open your projects listing, and choose Templates, then click + New Template.

Active Collab templates

The app lets you preset tons of details, so you can immediately jump into the real work next time you start a project. Choose which team members you want to add to every version of this template, create tasks and task lists (with relative due dates, so they'll be based on the day the project goes live), set discussion topics, upload images and files, and attach project notes.

Looking for another project manager? Check out our roundup of the best project management apps for small businesses.

How to create survey templates

Survey design is a blend of art and science. Once you've found a winning combination of length, design, wording, and formatting, use a template to repeat your success again and again (not to mention, shave precious time from the survey creation process).


Figuring out which questions to ask your survey respondents and how to frame those questions is really difficult—and if you don't pull it off, your survey results will be misleading and potentially useless.

That's why SurveyMonkey offers nearly 200 ready-to-use survey templates. They cover all sorts of use cases, from customer satisfaction and employee surveys to market research and website benchmarks, and are designed to prevent bias in responses.

To create a survey from a template, log in and click + Create Survey in the upper-right corner. Choose Start from an Expert Template, then find the appropriate template. Select Use this Template.

SurveyMonkey template

At this point, you can edit questions, add or delete them, and change the design and display of the survey.

Once you've crafted a survey you're happy with, you’ll probably want to use it again. There are two ways to reuse surveys in SurveyMonkey.

First, you can make a clone. Click + Create Survey in the upper right corner, choose Edit a Copy of an Existing Survey, and choose your de facto template. Enter a title for the copy of the existing survey. Then click Let's go! to edit the theme, questions, and settings.

Alternatively, if you have a Platinum account and you're the Primary Admin or Admin, you can add a template to the group library. Click Library in the header of your account, then + New Item. Choose an existing survey to make into a template. Every aspect of the survey design will be included in the template, including all questions, the theme, logic, options, and images—so remember to change anything that you don't want to include in the new survey.

Looking for a different survey app? Check out our roundup of the best survey builder tools, many of which let you copy surveys to use as templates like SurveyMonkey.


Form builder Wufoo splits its templates into two broad categories: content and design. Begin by choosing the form, template, survey, registration, lead generation, online order, or tracking template you'd like to use—then pick out a color scheme using Wufoo's CSS theme gallery. The result? A survey that fulfills both your aesthetic and copy goals.

Wufoo template form

When you want to re-send a survey or send a modified version to a fresh group, go to the Forms tab, find the survey you want to reuse, and click Duplicate. Wufoo gives the child form the same name as its parent, so make sure to immediately rename it so you don't get confused about which is which.

In addition to template forms, Wufoo also supports templating text in forms. In other words, it'll dynamically replace a shortcut phrase with information the user has entered in your survey.

To make a shortcut, you put the corresponding field number in brackets: {entry:FieldX}.

For example, if the first field in your survey is First name, and the second is Last name, you could create a confirmation at the end of your form that reads:

Thanks for your time, {entry:Field1} {entry:Field2}.

If Jon Snow filled out the survey, his confirmation would read:

Thanks for your time, Jon Snow.

Nifty, right? Here are Wufoo's step-by-step instructions.

Find other great form builder tools in our roundup of the best form builder apps.

How to create email templates

Templates have changed the way I send email. I used to dread typing out routine messages and would often put them off; now, they're the first ones I respond to, since the task has become so quick.

Here's how.


Gmail users, did you know you could set up email templates? To activate Gmail templates, click the Gear icon, select Settings, then choose the Advanced tab.

Halfway down the list, you'll find Templates. Click Enable, then save the changes.

Now you can set up your first template. Create a fresh email, type out your template, then click the three dots in the lower right-hand corner of your Compose window.

Choose Templates > Save draft as template, then give your template a name.

Voila—you've made your first ready-to-go message. Anytime you want to use it, open a new email, click the three dots again to access Templates and find the name of the template you want to use.

Make Gmail an even better email tool with some power-user Gmail settings.


Setting up templates in Outlook takes just seconds. Create a new email (or press Ctrl + Shift + M), type in your email template text, and then click the File tab. Choose Save as > Save as file type, then select the Save as Outlook template option and add a name to your template.

Using templates is a little less direct: click New Items > More Items > Choose Form. Then, in the Look In: box, choose User Templates in File System. Highlight the template you want and open it, then customize and send the template email.

If there are a few templates you use all the time, you could instead add them to your Quick Steps ribbon. Open the ribbon, click Create new, then type a name for the template (for instance, "status update template," or "meeting confirmation template.") Then, choose New Message, click Show options and insert the subject line and text of your template. Next, select Finish. Now the template is available to use in a single click from the ribbon in the future.


Crafting a beautiful email for your customers and contacts takes a lot of time and energy, so having go-to templates is a huge productivity boost. Email list tool Mailchimp includes the tools needed to make beautiful email templates that will be automatically customized for your readers.

You can access templates at any time by clicking Templates in the upper navigation bar. To make a new one, select Create Template.

Mailchimp's templates come in two flavors: Basic (blank layouts) and Themes (pre-designed and pre-formatted templates).

If you're creating an email campaign around information from a different site, you can use an AutoConnect template (found under Themes.) Once you connect an AutoConnect template to another application (options include iTunes, Twitter, Facebook, SurveyMonkey, Eventbrite, eBay, and Etsy), Mailchimp will pull in the relevant info and images.


For example, let's say you're promoting an Etsy product. Set up an AutoConnect template with Etsy, and Mailchimp will pull in your header image, profile info, and link to your shop.

If you regularly publish blog posts, you'll find the RSS-to-email templates really handy. Pick a style, tell Mailchimp which RSS feed you'd like to use, and decide on a cadence (daily, weekly, or monthly). Now your subscribers will consistently get fresh content, and you don't have to lift a finger.

When you're ready to send out a campaign, click the Campaigns tab and choose Create Campaign. Once you've selected the details of your campaign and entered the Design stage, you'll be able to choose a template. Copy, delete, and rearrange your text and picture blocks to make a unique version of your template, or leave it as is. Then, send it off.

Mailchimp also lets you duplicate individual campaigns. Go back to your Campaigns tab, find the one you want a copy of, click the dropdown arrow, and choose Replicate.

Want to use email templates in other newsletter tools? Take a look at our guide to the best email newsletter apps—most of them support templates as well.

Use text expanders to build templates in any app

It's awesome when you're using an app that supports templates (like all of the options in this roundup), but what about when you’re using an app that doesn't? Thanks to text expanders, you can insert templates in a matter of seconds—no copying and pasting required.

A text expansion app lets you set up keyboard shortcuts for basically any content you'd like.


For instance, since I'm always getting emails from PR reps asking me to plug their clients’ products, I've set up a polite "no thank you" template using the shortcut no;.

Every time I type no;, that string is replaced by:

Hi (name),

Thanks for reaching out! Unfortunately, I don't think I'm a good fit for this article. If you could remove me from your email list, I'd really appreciate it.



Not only are text expansion apps great for email templates, they also work well for social media posts, answers to frequent requests or questions, meeting agendas, standard proposals, and project outlines.

If you want to be still more efficient, take advantage of macros. Macros are essentially baked-in shortcuts, but they change depending on the context.

For instance, if you wanted your template to include the current month, day, and year, you’d insert the "date" macro. Then, every time you used that specific template, the text expansion app would automatically pull in the correct date.

There are also macros for time, images, and clipboard (whatever you copied last will be pasted in).

That's just a quick intro to text expanders. To learn everything you need to become a text expander expert, and to find other great text expander tools, check out our text expander guide.

Create templates for any app with automation

Want to use templates even easier in any app—even those that don't support templates? If your app is one of the 650+ tools supported by automation tool Zapier, you could have templated documents, invoices, projects, emails, and tasks created automatically whenever they're needed.

Say you want to create a template in a project management app like Insightly, or need template notes for your next outline in Evernote. Or perhaps you want to send a template email reply automatically without having to open Gmail. Zapier can help.

First, you'll need something to trigger the automation. Perhaps you have a form people fill out to order your product. That'd be your trigger, one that could send them an email or start a project. Or perhaps you want to send template emails, and like adding contact info to spreadsheets. A new row in the spreadsheet could be the trigger.

Another way to trigger the automation is a schedule. Say you need to start new projects every month, make invoices each week, and do the same 3 tasks each day. Zapier's Schedule tool can run on any schedule you want, and trigger your automation to run every day, week, or month.


Once you've got a trigger, it's time to make that template. With apps like Basecamp, you could simply make a new project or document from a template. With everything else, type your template into the Zap template. You can add standard text, pull in names and other details from your trigger app, and tweak any of the settings in your integration. Then, test the integration and turn it on, and your template will be made every time it's needed.

Email Template in Zapier

Just think through the documents, tasks, and other things you have to create with templates, and see how many of them also could get made whenever a trigger event or scheduled date occurs. Automate each of them with a Zap, and you'll save even more time with your templates.

Template everything

Once I discovered the amazing power of templates, I started templatizing everything. Then, of course, I ended up with tons of templates I never used again.

To avoid my mistake, I suggest watching for patterns in your work—once you find one, create a template for it. For example, if you realize you've sent three meeting confirmation emails in an hour, make a meeting confirmation template. If you notice your schedule for the team retreat looks really similar to last quarter's schedule, set up a team retreat template.

By following this approach, you'll end up with the perfect amount of templates.

This article was originally published in May 2016 and has since been updated with contributions from Elena Alston.

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mentioned apps
  • ActiveCollab
  • Asana
  • Basecamp 2
  • Email by Zapier
  • Formstack Documents
  • Gmail
  • Google Docs
  • Google Sheets
  • HelloSign
  • Mailchimp
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Redbooth
  • Smartsheet
  • SurveyMonkey
  • Trello
  • Wufoo

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