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In some cases there is an existing process or procedure that you religiously have to follow in order to achieve the desired outcome. With this in mind, a checklist is used to present the chronological order of how things to be done. However, its purpose is not limited to that; it can be used for various reasons and purpose.
As mentioned, a checklist can also be used to record all the things you need to, even little thing such as groceries, daily chores, tasks, and so on. It’s a helpful tool to use to help you remember what you need to do, thus, helping ensure that you successfully achieve the goals you have previously set.
A checklist is a versatile document that can be tailored to fit the purpose you will use it for; you can make a task checklist to help make sure you remember what tasks you need to do for the day. See, it can help you successfully accomplish what you need to do should you make it the right way. To help you ensure that, here are the essential elements a checklist must have:
1. Heading: The heading of a checklist must immediately convey what it will be used for. For example, when you use the heading Job Application Checklist it means that it is used for the purpose of job application. This also suggests that all the items in the checklist has everything to do with job application. It is important to ensure that there is a heading so that you can be reminded on what you need to accomplish and how it is important that you do what has been included in the list.
2. Labels: The labels in your checklist must be clear and direct. It should allow you to know what items to write on each column or row. It ensures that items on your checklist are separated logically by level of priority, status, etc. Through labels, you can logically separate the items on you checklist for a more comprehensive organization and arrangement, and a more neat overall appearance.
3. Items: The items on the checklist are the things or tasks that needs to be accomplished. A document can only be called a checklist when there are items listed that you should check off. Thus, it is important to write the items on your list in an order that will allow you to accomplish your goal more efficiently. It is also important to note that the items on your list must be related or relevant to the heading or what the checklist is used for.
4. Time/Date/Duration: In order to remain motivated in accomplishing, the tasks in your checklist the time/date/duration when each task should be completed should be stated. For a single task in the checklist it must have a column labeled as the duration or how much time should be spent on it. For example, the item clean and arrange the house in a house dinner party checklist should be completed within two hours; the specific allocation of time should be visible on the checklist to help you stay on schedule.
5. Check boxes: Since it is a checklist, there should be check boxes beside each item so that you get the satisfaction of checking items off the checklist. More than that, it serves as a reminder that you have successfully completed tasks that were already checked off. It helps making tracking tasks more easy and efficient. On another note, a checklist approach is also used for survey questionnaires where respondents check off their answers to each question.
A checklist can only be effective when it is made with considerations on what it will be used for, when it will be used, what should be included on the list, and so on. To help make sure you make an effective checklist, here is an easy guide that you can refer to:
1. Write heading: The heading on your checklist should be written at the topmost part of the paper. This ensures that you see the heading to help remind you to check on it and accomplish the tasks. You can immediately type out the name of your checklist, e.g. Home Inspection Checklist, then make sure it is aligned and centered. You also need to make sure that you use a clear font style and use a bigger font size for it to be visible; you can also bolden the letters or simply choose a bolder font style.
2. Use a table: Although this is not compulsory, using a table for your checklist is easier. It also allows you to put more columns and/or rows that you need. When using Microsoft Word, you can easily insert a table on the page by clicking the Insert tab, then click table. A drop down of options will be given, you can then choose how many rows and columns you would want to insert on the page. Should you need more rows, you can click the Insert Table option, a new window will appear allowing you to manually input the number of rows that you will need.
3. Indicate necessary labels: Once you have the table inserted on your page that means you need to proceed to writing the labels to each column. The labels should indicate what to list or write under each column, this will make your checklist become more organized and ensure that it looks neat. The labels should tell you where to put the items or tasks, where to put the time/date/duration, where to put the status, and so on. To add labels, just click on each column and immediately type out the label. Make sure the labels are clear; if there is a need to abbreviate words to fit into the columns, make sure that it is easily understandable, preferably a known abbreviation.
4. Write down items: After making sure that the table has all the labels needed, proceed to writing down the items on your checklist. The items should be relevant or related to the purpose of the checklist. In addition to that, make sure that your items are logically or systematically organized. If necessary, organize the items to follow a chronological order. For example, if one task should be done before proceeding to another, it should be how your items are arranged to make sure you successfully accomplish your goal.
5. Indicate time/date/duration: As mentioned earlier, it is necessary that you indicate the time or duration for each task. This will help you become more accountable with how spend your time. Aside from that, it will help you stay motivated to complete each task with the given time frame. You can add the allocated time beside each item or task, or better yet, allocate a specific column for it. This way you become conscious with your time helping you to stay on schedule.
6. Proofread and edit accordingly: Once you have completed all the necessary elements on your checklist, make sure there are no mistakes and errors. You have to double-check if you have organized your items properly, indicate the necessary labels, allocated enough time for each task, and so on. If there are things you want to change, edit your checklist before actually using it. You may also check home-based employee checklist examples.
Now that you know how to easily make an effective checklist, here are additional tips you can refer to help with the process:
There are two major types of checklists; the read-do and do-confirm checklists. These checklists have distinct attributes that make them unique on their own. Below are the definition and brief explanation about the two types of checklist:
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about checklists:
A checklist is a list of items required, things to be done, or points to be considered used as a reminder. Basically, it is a list containing tasks that are usually required when a goal wants to be accomplished. The defining characteristic of a checklist is that it has check boxes where items are actually checked off the list.
There is not much of a difference between a list and a checklist; both are used as a list of tasks, activities, or things that needs to be accomplished. Both are also used as a reminder of the things that have been completed and what still needs to be done.
A checklist is a versatile document that can be made for whatever purpose. Thus, it is a very effective tool to use when a person is driven to successfully complete and achieve the goals and/or objectives they have already set. In relation to that, here are some of the benefits of using a checklist: