When you think about using a template or checklist do you feel like you’re giving up on your own creativity? Do they seem too rigid and exacting? Some people only use them as a last resort because they don’t want to put boundaries around their ideas. The use of popular brainstorming techniques have convinced us that boundaries should be avoided. But there is much evidence to refute this.
It has been shown that people who are given no constraints produce less innovative results than those who have specific boundaries to accommodate. By purposely avoiding templates, they are missing out on tools that provide great value. That’s why we recommend and supply templates for all our projects whenever possible. You’ll find several templates and checklists in the Toolbox that will help you get off to a faster start.
Templates can be divided into two distinct types, those that require you to fill in the blanks (templates) and those that require you to check off items (checklists.)
If you are willing to use templates, you will find that you get several benefits that include:
- Using the thinking of others: Templates and checklists reflect the analysis of tasks by others who have previously completed them. Rather than starting with a blank sheet of paper, you start working immediately.
- Saving time and money: Using the thinking of others helps you get off to a fast start and a quicker conclusion. Your results will be better.
- Providing inspiration: Rather than squashing your imagination, templates can inspire you to think in a new direction.
- Adding professional knowledge: In the case of something like a design template, you benefit from the knowledge of professionals who have studied the problem and can provide you with quality solutions.