Hello Ben. Welcome.
The easiest way to create a duplicate area on a new layout is to duplicate the layout (Layout menu). If you want a common template, it might be easiest to create one for each common layout view (Browse, Layout, and / or Table) and set them aside without any other elements, then duplicate them when you need a new layout.
This does, of course, create an issue if you want to make a change to that common layout - you'll have to make the same change to all the layouts - but at least making a new layout is very quick and easy.
Also, take a look at the Guides options in Layout mode. You can place a set of Guides on your layouts that's shared across all layouts. Turn on Snap to Guides and it becomes much easier to align all your elements to the same place.
The guides have been a great help, thank you.
I am recreating our internal admin system, which I previously developed in PHP.
Really enjoying the speed and simplicity of FileMaker.
I know I have some challenging bits coming up though!
Any good online resources you can point me too?
Online resources ... for what?
Teasing. Seriously, though, there are a lot of goodies online for FileMaker. Depends on what you're looking for. This forum is a good place, including all the technical resources you can find. The white papers, the resource library, webinars, how to articles ... all good stuff. Some of them are on more advanced topics, but you'll get there when you need to.
You can download a copy of the FileMaker Training Series, if you want the "official" training document. The current version covers 11; the version 12 FTS should be available soon. (If you join the Developer Community at $99 a year, the download is free.)
Off this site, you have other resources as well. Some of my favorites:
Lynda.com has a tutorial on FileMaker at
Those are just some quick ones. Lots of others; I'm sure the other folks on the forum will chime in.