Today at work I began creating a template to use when creating new case study documents to show our clients. The template isn’t so much set in stone, but it serves as an outline to follow. After working on this all day I started thinking about the use of templates as a way to manage information and how this can have both positive and negative consequences.
Creating a template can be a very important exercise to carry out. It can be a great tool to help in increasing efficiency. However, it makes me wonder about the human need to have everything fit neatly into a specified container. It gives us peace of mind, but it also limits us in our thinking.
If everything is jammed into this same container this doesn’t allow much room for differentiation. Without differentiation things start to become bland. Not only that, but these containers also begin to narrow the scope of our perception. Eventually, after seeing the same thing for so long we can’t even imagine anything outside of this standardized template. Without this ability to see beyond what we perceive to be normal we limit our capacity to be creative.
However, when the end goal is the transference of information, making sure that this information is communicated often supersedes the lesser goal of how that information is communicated. This is especially the case the more information there is. We are now in an age of information overload. There’s too much data being created at the same time and being able to manage it and communicate if effectively has never been as important as it is right now.
This is the key role of a professional writer. Manage large amounts of information, whether it is text, images, audio, video, etc., and devise the most effective ways to access this information in order to communicate an intended message.
Creating a standardized template for a certain document can be an effective way to convey important information. It allows you to fill in the blanks rather than having to start completely from scratch. The formatting also stays consistent with previous documents you’ve created. Templates can be very helpful, but we have to be careful that we don’t rely on them to the point of eliminating any artistic freedom. Templates themselves should be revised and updated with new styles from year to year to keep up with the creative changes as a company evolves and grows over time.