Kudos if your practical streak compelled you to continue reading past that headline. The fact is, when you think of a template, you’re probably not moved to soaring flights of spiritual inspiration.
But maybe you should be. After all, the word template has its etymological roots in temple, a consecrated place of worship. The closer relative templet came into usage in the 17th century, to refer specifically to part of the support structure of a building (holy or otherwise). And by the 19th century, that architectural usage had developed into the word template as we use it today: a pattern or gauge that provides a guide for the creation of something new.
If you ask us, it’s not crazy to think of a template as a sort of holy architecture for communications.
Every organization has routine communications to create, whether a simple blog post or complex client-facing correspondence. And too often, we waste time reinventing the wheel (and risk introducing errors or inconsistencies) when it’s time to get those communications out the door.
Not only are templates enormous time and money savers, they also ensure that your communications are visually and formally consistent, and anchored in your house style.
A template that provides the structure for visuals and content makes simple communications almost effortless. And even with more complex communications, such as strategic plans or project reports, working with a template frees up your brain—and your budget—to focus on your message.
Building a temple of templates: it’s often one of the first things we discuss when consulting with clients about how to streamline and improve their communications. And it doesn’t have to be complicated. When creating a blog post, a slide deck, or a project report, set your document design, determine your formatting styles, and block out space for visuals and captions. Then your save your work as a template.