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4 Tips for working with Office Templates

One of the least used, or most incorrectly applied functions of Microsoft Office, is perhaps the 'templates' function. However, when one does apply it correctly, Office templates can give the user a substantial boost in productivity and work experience. The following tips can help your organization in using and applying these Office templates.

1.     Create a 'fit' between standardization and personalization

There are several ways to create templates. Most people prefer to start with a blank document and then fill it to the desired format. This manner of work often makes use of temporary text designation (placeholder text) and style characteristics (font, logos, colors). The purpose of a template is to help the end user by providing a basis to save time when drafting documents, emails and presentations. An important consideration to be made here, is the degree of standardization and personalization. For example, documents may require a different appearance or a different format of content depending on the department or type of communication. A good balance between standardization en personalization ensures that users do not unnecessarily make adjustments to the standard template causing style errors and a lack of uniformity.

2.     Create Intuitive Templates

It goes without saying that the level of frustration can increase rapidly among employees when the templates are too complex and there too many possibilities and style elements present in a template. Keeping the templates simple and taking the user's hand, therefore, prevents employees from doing their own thing and creating their own templates or fundamentally adapting existing ones. In short, the more intuitive the template is, the greater the chance that they will stick to the rules of your branding. That is why it is important that a clear picture is drawn in advance of the degree of freedom of customization options for templates.

3.     Make the Office Templates accessible

In addition to user-friendliness, the easy access of templates is also an important factor for a successful application. Ensure that all relevant templates, for Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel and Word, are available to employees in all locations and departments. A good solution for this is the use of a Cloud service. By storing Office templates in the Cloud and combining this with good Document Management Software (DMS), employees can easily and quickly request all templates and changes can be implemented directly throughout the organization. All templates are always up-to-date and equipped with the right elements!

4.     Make use of Template Management Software

A small company, may sometimes lack the necessary expertise to create well thought-out templates, but this is often a big challenge for large organizations as well. To simplify this and apply the aforementioned tips, you can use document creation software (also called template software). Template software like iWRITER offers the user the opportunity to create documents and templates quickly and flawlessly with simple building blocks and smart entry fields. In addition, the iWRITER tool ensures that the document is automatically formatted in the right corporate identity of your organization. Because the software is fully integrated in Office 365, it is easy to use and is available anytime and anywhere. To experience all the benefits of the template software you can try out the iWRITER demo for yourself.

Wouter Reintjes

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