Templates help out immensely when starting a mix, I use protools and the import session data is great. I have basically created a session with any track I can ever think I'll ever need, all routed to their proper aux tracks, all my reverbs, delays, paralell chains, VCA's. All my busses are labeled and I have a load spare just in case I need them. But basically I create a new session and import the audio tracks for it, Then I open the import session data dialogue and import the data into my new session. Hard to explain in detail, but if you are a protools user look it up on youtube. It was the best thing I ever did. Creating my template session did take me hours and is constantly being refined but its such a timesaver when setting up a mixing session.
Hope this helps,