I’m not sure exactly how far back this goes so bare with me on this tale. I know that I got my first taste of the power I could wield with templates when I took my Microsoft Office User Specialist class in high school. I chose the program as a sophomore in high school because I liked computers a bit and thought I could be a Secretary. I had this weird fascination with watching the inner workings of offices wherever I went and I thought that meant I would make a good secretary. My parents were a little confused with why that was my goal, but were willing to support me any way that they could. Thus, I wound up learning about how businesses use Office 2003 to make their lives easier.
As a gamer, I was always trying to find ways to be more efficient of my time and applied that to homework often. With the knowledge I was picking up about Office, I created templates for the major types of assignments that I would get ( which was pretty limited at that point). Shaving off several minutes getting a template for certain class assignments or for note taking typically added up or made me happy to see what more I could do. I carried this habit through college and to my first Tech Support Jobs.
When I took on the role of Account Coordinator, which was basically a Team Leader, templates became a more central part of what I did. I made many templates because I hated typing things out and it typically ensured responses were accurate and followed procedure. I painstakingly made email templates, call recording templates, report templates, and more. I would spend hours tweaking them and coming up with new templates. There were even times I’d do this off hours staying wayy into Third Shift because I had learned a new technique.
The thrill of sharing them with my co-workers also drove me further in my pursuits. At first, I only shared them with a few people as shortcuts to help them out. After a while my templates became necessities as I found it ensured everyone followed the team procedures which needed to be very strictly adhered to per our customer’s request. I got a sense of joy however, when they were recognized as making someone’s life easier or being exactly what they needed. Even though it’s been a few years since I’ve worked there, I still hear tales of how they use my templates and it brings a sense of pride to me. My legacy will live on in a way.
Now, at my current job, my affair continues even more so. I’ve now branched out from simply just Office Templates and make any kind of form or documentation I can get my hands on. It’s an insatiable quest to perfect and create new templates to increase efficiency. I enjoy learning new software or techniques to improve on my methods. My current goal is to learn some automation software as well to enhance the templates I’ve created.
It’s a weird addiction and I’m still not even sure I get it, but there are certainly worse things. But now it feels good to confess about my weird fascination. Do any of you have any obsessions on par with templates? What drives them and how do you embrace them to be productive or better at your job?