There needs to be an order on how to do things in order to ensure success. The order on how to do things must be followed in order to complete the process and ensure the desired goal is achieved. With this in mind, having a checklist when doing certain things help you fulfill tasks and activities with much ease.
Not only does a checklist ensure that a specific process is followed, it also helps in making sure you remember things as they are. The human memory is fickle; thus, it is important to find effective ways to aid it. That is why a checklist is a very useful tool; it helps in making sure an organized rundown of the things you need to remember is always in hand to help you successfully complete a task or activity.
A checklist can only be effective when it is made the right way. You can only achieve the right order of things when logical reasoning is applied when organizing and arranging the tasks that will be included on the checklist. With that in mind, you need to know the essential elements you need to include when making a checklist. Hence, said mentioned elements are listed below:
1. Clear heading/title: In order for your checklist to be easily understood, there needs to be a clear heading/title on its topmost part. The heading/title must immediately express what the checklist is for; it must be direct and straightforward e.g. task checklist, project requirement checklist, etc. In addition, the heading/title serves as a reminder on how important the items on the list is and how important it is to finish everything within a certain period of time.
2. Comprehensive table: A checklist is basically a table containing an organized list of tasks and activities required to complete an even bigger task or activity. With this in mind, a comprehensive table is needed so that you can have a broad area you can work with. This will also allow you to have rows where you can list down all the tasks and/or activities you need to do, and columns where you can list the categories for the said tasks and activities.
3. Time/date/duration: It is important to include the specific time/date/duration for the entire checklist itself and for each specific tasks when making a checklist. Doing this ensures that you complete the entire checklist and complete the tasks and/or activity it is used for within the scheduled time. Writing down the certain period of time for each tasks and for the checklist reminds you to work twice as hard and to continue on with what you have already started. Setting a time frame also ensures that you prioritize which tasks to do and to also help you keep track of your progress.
4. Appropriate labels: There is a need for appropriate labels in a checklist. This ensures that you know and understand the items in the checklist as well as the category it is aligned with. For example, in an inspection checklist, labels ensure that you know the level of priority, status, etc. for each task. In return, this helps you work more efficiently and effectively since you have knowledge on what your goal should be. In addition, this makes it easier for you to review the contents of your checklist
5. Check boxes: This might seem unnecessary, but having check boxes on your checklist gives you the satisfaction every time you tick off items on your list. Having a check box beside each item on your list will also serve as a motivational factor since you can literally check items off after each of them is completed or accomplished. Plus, it helps make the checklist more organized and sleek.
As mentioned, a checklist can only be effective when it is made the right way. Now that you know and understand the essential elements it should have, you can easily begin your making one. Remember that a checklist can help you keep track of your progress and what you still need to do, that’s why it is important to be mindful of the necessary inclusions should you start to create one. However, should you still find to difficult making a checklist that will suit your needs, here is an easy guide that you can refer to as you create one:
1. Write the heading/title: The first step that you need to when making a checklist is writing its heading or title on the center uppermost part of the page. This way you easily get to see what the checklist is for, what its purpose is, and why it is necessary. When making a checklist in Microsoft Word, you can immediately type or write out the title; for example: Job Application Checklist, on the part of the page. Then make sure it is aligned and centered. Make sure you use a clear and readable font style and size so that you can easily see and read it, reminding you of what you should prioritize and what you need to do.
2. Insert table: As mentioned, there needs to be a comprehensive table that will allow you to insert columns and rows so you can list your categories and items. With that in mind, you can easily insert a table in Word by going to the Insert tab, then click Table. This will give you a drop-down option on how many rows and columns to include in the table. However, should you feel like you need more rows than what is seen on the drop-down, you can also manually insert a table by clicking Insert Table where a new window will open allowing you to manually input the number of rows you would like to add. After doing so, click OK to insert the table on the page.
3. Add appropriate labels on columns: Now that you have the table with the right number of rows and columns, you can proceed to writing labels for each column where the categories will be located. It is important to include categories for the column so that you are aware of your progress so far; the categories for your checklist can be the level of priority for each task, the status, etc. To add the labels, just click on each column then type out the appropriate label, then you can proceed to another column. Remember to use categories that will relate to the overall process of the task or activity that you are doing. You may also see to do checklist examples.
4. Organize and list items: Once you have the labels for the categories in your checklist, you should immediately organize what needs to be on the list. Make sure that there is a logical arrangement to the items so that a smooth flow for the tasks is established. This also ensures that you get to do and complete a task that is a priority or a requirement for the next task. After organizing you can proceed to listing the items on the rows of your table. If you want, you can also include a check box beside every item on the checklist. You can either insert a shape on the table or use a bullet design for the list.
5. Proofread and edit: Before using the checklist, make sure there are no mistakes with the items as well as the labels. Make sure that your items are organized and arrange logically and systematically so that you can work with a sensible and smooth flow. If you see some mistakes and errors with how you have formatted the table, spellings, spacing, etc., edit accordingly. Make sure your checklist is understandable so that you can work properly.
A checklist is a great tool to use when you want to remember the flow of a process or simply to remind you of your priorities. Just like a list, a checklist helps you keep track and be on the right track so that you can complete the tasks and activities that you need to do. In this point, since you already know how to create a checklist in Microsoft Word, here are some additional tips you can refer to as you go with the process of making one:
A checklist can be used for various tasks and activities. How it will be used solely depends on how you create it. To help you understand what type of checklist you would want to use, here is a list of the types of checklist:
1. Read-Do Checklists: A read-do checklist allows you to outline the required steps to complete a task or activity. The items on this type of checklist is listed in a descending manner, which means the items listed first should be completed before proceeding to another. This is just like a recipe or an organized guide or a list for directions for a procedure where you cannot proceed to another task if the first one is not done yet. This checklist strictly follows a specific order of things. You may also see construction checklist examples.
2. Do-Confirm Checklists: On the contrary, a do-confirm checklist does not follow a specific order or directions or procedure or process. Things or items on the checklist can be done in any order; this offers more freedom in doing and completing the tasks. There is no rule or standard in which you have to adhere; you can list things in any order so long as it is more convenient for you. This checklist is generally used to confirm, and make sure that no tasks are forgotten or overlooked.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about checklists:
A checklist has been defined as a list of items required, things to be done, or points to be considered used as a reminder. It is basically a comprehensive list that is used to remind a person what needs to be done in order to accomplish a bigger task or activity. It contains a list of the things needed to be done along with categories in which each item will be checked for, e.g. the status of each task.
A checklist is basically used as a reminder that there is an order on how things should be done. It is a guide that helps a person avoiding failing to accomplish necessary steps or tasks to complete an activity. In addition, it also helps in keeping track and recording the progress made, and most importantly, it helps you be on the right track as you work in completing said tasks.