Four Writing Templates To Supercharge Your Productivity

Ev Chapman
June 16, 2022
5 min read

Mastering writing templates will supercharge your productivity as a creator But most creators I know never take the time to create any.

For the past year, I’ve published over 300 essays & articles, thousands of tweets & a weekly newsletter while still having a full-time job. People often ask me how I can produce so much with so little time and the answer is — I use templates for everything.

Templates seem so straightforward and kind of a no-brainer, but they will save you HOURS of time and unlock a ninja 🥷 level of creativity. I’ve spent the last year perfecting these four writing templates so I can create faster & more effectively every day.

Sometimes the best way to create your own templates is to peek inside and have a look at someone else's. So below are four of my templates, how they work and how you can steal them to create your own. It doesn't matter the note-taking tool you use, these can be replicated into most modern note-taking systems.

Let’s take a look at the templates 👇

🐦 TWEET TEMPLATE

Tweets are deceptively simple, but when you get them right it can build your audience & credibility. Get them wrong and no one sees them it’s that simple.

Here’s how it works:

  • As you have an idea for a tweet, rather than just dump it into Twitter, write the idea in the section at the top and save it for your weekly tweet scheduling. Don’t worry about format or anything at this point, just dump the idea in.
  • I keep a database of tweet frameworks that I collect that makes it easier to construct tweets. Having a link directly to the database here makes it easy to browse through and match my idea to a format that might work.
  • Once I’ve got an idea and a framework I can either click the link to tweet now which goes directly to the Twitter composer or go to my Hypefury queue to tweet later.

How To Steal This Template:

👉 Always have a place to dump ideas quickly & more on.

👉 Keep databases of templates to make it easy to apply your idea to frameworks and formats that get attention. And by having the link easily accessible you actually use these databases rather than letting them sit there getting virtually dusty.👉 Use links to get to resources & frequently visited sites quickly.

🧵 THREAD TEMPLATE

I don’t love writing threads, but when I do I use my trusty template to make it easy to get my idea into a framework that I know will work for the format.

Here’s how it works:

  • Brain dump your ideas at the top. This is where I don’t have to worry about the framework of a thread, I just write down my ideas and I can wrangle them later into a format that works for threads.
  • I use a simple thread outline that helps me get my thread written pretty easily:

Lead In Tweet — this one needs time because it’s what is going to catch people’s attention.

Context Tweet — this one gives a little more context to the lead in tweet & primes people for what’s coming.

Main Points — The number of tweets here depends on the subject of my thread. But this is where the bulk will go.

Wrap Up Tweet — I like to give a little conclusion to the main points.

CTA Tweet — Always give a call to action at the end of your thread (if you don’t ask, people won’t do it)

TLDR Tweet — Your last tweet gets seen just as much as your first one, so summarise everything so people don’t have to read the entire thread.

By having this outline I can organise my brain dump in a way that makes it easy to get these threads written.

  • I leave myself little instructions to remind me where to start and what to leave to the end. The Lead In Tweet is something I always leave to the end, so I just remind myself to do this last.
  • I keep my CTA Tweet the same in most of my threads, so instead of going searching for it each time I just keep the text in there ready to copy into the tweet.
  • I can often get bogged down with threads so I keep a few questions to help me get unstuck if I’m going down a rabbit hole. They are simple and remind me to focus on the outcome.

How You Can Steal This Template:

👉 Leave small instructions for yourself to help you get started quickly and walk you through the process of writing.

👉 Keep a few outlines & templates that you can use to structure your information. I find these a gamechanger when it comes to presenting information clearly.

👉 Anything you write more than once, add as boilerplate text.

👉 Questions will help to get above it all when you feel like you’re in the weeds of writing. Don’t be afraid to look up and centre yourself.

PS. If you’re wondering how I get those numbers on the right for character count I use the Roam42 Twitter Plugin.

🗒 ATOMIC ESSAY TEMPLATE

Atomic essays are the core of my daily writing. I use them to test ideas, publish fast & then promote them up the chain to articles and more.

Here’s How It Works:

  • Brain Dump (always). Just always brain dump.
  • I always separate my brain dump from my final draft rather than just editing the brain dump. The reason for this is that I only have 300 words or so to play with in my final draft, so there is often good things I don’t end up publishing. But if the idea has wings and I publish it as an article, I still have those gems in my brain dump that I can use.
  • Just like in my tweet frameworks, I have a Headline frameworks database that makes it dead simple to write good headlines. I spend a little time each week going through Medium and finding headlines that stand out to me and I record them in my headline frameworks database.
  • It sounds stupid, but I keep checklists with in-built links simply remind me to publish everywhere I should. I very rarely actually tick these off, but I do use the links to get to where I need to be to hit the publish button.

How You Can Steal This Template:

👉 NEVER edit your brain dump — instead create extra sections for drafts and final versions.

👉 When working with constraints like Atomic essays word counts can be useful.

👉 Checklists are more useful when they have built in links in them, rather than just a reminder to tick items off.

📨 NEWSLETTER TEMPLATE

One of the requirements, when I started a newsletter, was it had to be zero friction. I already write a lot during the week, so I wanted to write as little as possible when it came to my newsletter

Here’s How It Works:

  • I create links to my content library and writing inbox so I can find what I need quickly. Once in my content library I bring up a view in Notion of everything I have published in the last week — so the process of getting those things in here is super fast.
  • I compile and write everything in Roam first and then I transfer into my email tool. I find that means I can focus on collating and a little bit of writing before I have to think about formatting.
  • Early on I realised that my newsletter list was the most engaged audience I have, so I include a small promotion at the bottom for one of my products. I keep a Product Library page so I can grab the promotion copy for any one of my products and get it in quickly, so it doesn’t become a roadblock for me to get the newsletter published.

How You Can Steal This Template:

👉 Create a database of all the content you publish to make it easier to grab links and pull things into a newsletter.

👉 If you use Roam Research you can use Roam embed blocks (()) to bring in blocks of information from other pages that you use frequently.

Writing templates will save you countless hours as a writer & unlock a new level of creativity. Stop trying to reinvent the wheel as a creator and create (or steal) some templates instead:

  • Observe your own process
  • Create sections for different stages of writing
  • Embed links for quick access to resources
  • Leave notes for yourself to help you through the process

💌 Sign up to my free email course to discover the 3 (PRO) Creator systems you need to go from a stressed-out hustle creator to an effortless leveraged creator.

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