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Checklists: Definition, Types & Best Practices For 2022

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Checklists are an essential piece of the workplace.

Though they seem like one of the most simple things we learned in grade school, checklists can become the basis of productive working environments.

Many different types of checklists can help encourage and provide healthy habits.

What Is a Checklist?

Checklists are lists of items marked off, such as requirements, things to do, or things to be remembered.

The lists spur people to complete their tasks and to ensure that nothing gets misplaced along the way.

There are many different checklists, but they all have the same purpose.

Difference Between a Checklist and How-To Guide

A how-to guide has a very different agenda than a checklist.

Checklists remind and provide users the satisfaction of marking things off the list after completion, while a how-to guide is more of a step-by-step process, guiding users along every step of the way to completion.

What Is the Purpose of Checklists?

The primary purpose of a checklist is to ensure that everything gets done.

Checklists guarantee that no project or assignment placed on the list will be lost or unfinished because it was misplaced.

It compiles everything in one area and can be organized based on importance.

Why Are Checklists Important?

There are many benefits to using checklists.

The types of content that are contained and organized in a list vary.

It is easy for things to get lost in the craziness of a workday or the stress of projects and due dates. These lists keep everybody organized and on task.

Benefits of Checklists

Checklists are the key to an organized business.

The lists provide a central location that optimizes productivity.

It also encourages efficiency, especially when dealing with repetitious tasks that often miss or forget a step.

While checklists promote accomplishment, they also reduce the number of neglected assignments.

Common Types of Checklists

Checklists are one of the best productivity hacks out there.

Many lists fall under the checklist umbrella, but they each collect and organize data in a format that prevents it from becoming misplaced.

They keep information in a format to accomplish tasks easier and more efficiently.

Types of Checklists

Checklists include a lot of different types of information.

As many uses can help develop various content strategies.

  • To-Do Checklists: The most common checklist is a to-do list. This list revolves around completing tasks and marking down when the assignments after completion. They are an outline that can be either very organized or a simple composition of all that needs to be done. These assignments never have to be done in a specific order but typically are just a place for everything to be collected.
  • Training Checklists: Training checklists are essential to any company wishing to have knowledgeable employees with all the training necessary to succeed. Every job has specific skills needed to do well, and a training checklist ensures that the employee has the training and is up to date on all the necessary information.
  • Task Checklists: Much like a to-do list, task checklists are lists that must follow a specific order, like a cooking recipe. This list is essential to getting a task done in the necessary order, even if that is just an order of priority. As workers go through the list, they will mark off completed tasks.
  • Troubleshooting Checklists: A troubleshooting checklist is a guide to fix whatever is going wrong. Like a fire safety plan, troubleshooting spells out everything that could go wrong and what to do to put out the fire when it does ignite. A type of preventative maintenance, troubleshooting works to combat common problems with ready solutions.

What Types of Checklists Are Most Popular?

Each list has its function and place, but two types of checklists set themselves apart from the others.

To-do lists and task checklists are probably the most used in the workplace. Both of these help people organize and complete tasks effectively.

Examples of Checklists

These checklists help the blogging process, and working process go much smoother.

It is challenging to create an accurate list with all the necessary information.

Many companies will post their checklists online if they do not contain trade secrets. These lists can be used as an outline to mimic.

1. Blogging Checklist Example

Blogs or written posts typically have many pieces which need to be in every article.

A blog checklist ensures that all requirements are met before submission.

There are many steps to this process, which is why a checklist is essential to ensuring that no step was missed.

2. New Employee Checklist Example

Asana’s New Employee Checklist has an extensive amount of skills and training that are required for anyone applying.

Because Asana wants qualified and experienced employees, they start the hiring process with a checklist that ensures each applicant is capable.

They use their list to get the information they see as vital before hiring an applicant. 

3. Business Example

All Business’ Checklists to Success focuses more on day-to-day activity than big goals.

They utilize five different types of checklists to keep their operation running smoothing and to put out any fires as soon as they start.

Checklist Ideas & Inspiration

Checklists are inclusive and can mean a lot of things.

It is essential to use them correctly to properly understand how to make a checklist, what it should look like, and its driving force.

Here are some mistakes to avoid and inspiration to look for.

Where To Find Ideas & Inspiration for Checklists

There are plenty of places to look. However, finding an accurate list to help organize the tasks you need can be challenging.

Plenty of businesses offer their lists publicly, but it is best to only take inspiration from there and not copy and paste them.

A simple google search can help, but it may be better to focus on something that correlates directly to you.

How Do I Get Checklists?

For the most part, companies make their lists themselves.

However, many tasks can utilize others’ lists.

Using a template to build off of it to suit your needs is especially beneficial.

Personalizing pre-made lists is a great way to utilize and combine resources.

How To Create a Checklist

Knowing you need a checklist is a great place to start, but from there, you have to get to the nitty-gritty of making the list.

Checklists are generally simple but require a compilation of all relative tasks and small measurable goals to accomplish each task.

Process of Creating Checklists

Before you can create a checklist, you need to understand the process.

  • Step One: Identify What Needs to be Done
  • Step Two: Organize and Double-check
  • Step Three: Compile Finalized List
  • Step Four: Begin Working

This process begins with finding out what needs to get done and writing it down in a way that sets you up to create the perfect checklist.

How To Create a Checklist

Making a list starts with the most basic task of assembling a job that needs to be done and pulling it together to one location.

From there, it is a matter of organizing and building the list in a way that benefits you and pushes you to get things done.

Step One: Identify What Needs To Be Done

Some tasks can be put on the back burner, while others are time-sensitive.

Identify which jobs need to be at the top and which ones can wait a while.

Step Two: Organize and Double-Check

Tasks are often misplaced or forgotten because they were merely mentioned and not written down.

Double and triple-check that every assignment is accounted for.

Once that list is finalized, organize it if you need to. Remember, content is king and needs to be accurate and up-to-date.

Step Three: Compile Finalized List

Put the list together on a clean sheet.

Keep the mess of paper that you put everything down on, but take that information and re-write it nicely on a new sheet that allows you to use it better.

Step Four: Begin Working

Once the list is complete, begin using it to work through all the tasks.

It is beneficial to mark off completed tasks so nothing is done twice or left unaccounted for.

Checklist Best Practices

One of the best ways to ensure that your checklist will help and not hurt is to use a template.

Your list has to be used correctly and have the necessary information to be helpful as you attempt to complete assignments.

1. Review What Has Not Worked

Everyone has made some list before, and it failed miserably.

As you begin this professional list, find what did not work last time and resolve that issue.

If the issue cannot be resolved, find a workaround that prevents it from slowing people down.

2. Have Someone Else Check It

After you stare at something for too long, it looks right to you.

Others can catch mistakes you missed and help you create a top-notch checklist.

They also can remind you of things you may have missed.

3. Focus on Making Each Step an Action (Do, Find, Get)

The whole point of a checklist is to get people moving by identifying each task they need to do.

Action words encourage people to get up and going, which helps them move through the assignments.

Avoid any passive language and use verbs that implicate movement.

4. Use It and Fix What Did Not Work

Some things are not going to work out; no list is perfect.

Find out what caused wrinkles and confusion and slowed down your employees, and then change the checklist to eliminate those issues.

Checklist Tools to Save Time and Money

Writing out complete checklists can take up a lot of time and may, in the long run, be more hassle than it’s worth.

So the easy solution is to find a user to create the checklist for you.

The right software can be monumentally helpful, especially if it connects to your site.

What Is a Checklist Tool?

A checklist tool is software that compiles all the tasks and assignments to create the needed list for you.

It can save a lot of time and effort, though most software does cost money.

These tools can make the checklist-making process much smoother and easier to use.

There are too many options, so here are a few of our favorite checklist tools that make our process much smoother.

These tools provide a place to compile our tasks and create a comprehensive list.

1. AI Writing Software

AI Writing Software is a collection of writing tools.

They may not be solely bent on making lists, but AI Writing Software like Jasper and Grammarly make writing blog posts properly as easy as making a checklist.

2. Graphic Design Software

Graphic Design Software makes lists a bit more fun, as this is more of a design outlet to display the list.

At its core, graphic design software allows content to renew in a form that makes it fun.

3. Infographic Maker

Much like graphic design software, Infographic Maker also creates a design for the information

Infographics tend to lean more toward posters and social media, whereas graphic design typically stays on the web.

Other Related Content Types to Check Out

Lists are not the only way to get things done.

You can also checkout using these other ways to organize and create types of blog content:

  • Listicle: Listicle refers to the combination of a list and an article.  
  • Evergreen Content: Information that will always stay relevant is evergreen content. It is a basis that will last long past trends.
  • Quality Content: Using Quality Content builds trust with your users. They want to know that they can trust the content you release and do not have to be so on guard.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are many logistical things behind checklists.

Here are a few frequently asked questions about checklists.

What is a checklist used for?

Checklists organize and compile data into one location, making it easily accessible to find and complete tasks.
Checklists prevent jobs from being misplaced or forgotten.

What are the characteristics of a good checklist?

A good checklist includes all the necessary information but is constructed in smaller forms. The best list is attainable to finish but not so easy to forget.

Wrapping Up

Checklists are essential to life, whether a grocery list or a list of topics to write about.

They make life easier and help companies complete tasks faster and in an organized manner.

Checklists set up an outline of what to do and when to do it.

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