writing checklistsWriting checklists is something done by many for practical reasons. Some people are making checklists to organize their thoughts. Some create checklists to serve as quick reminder of certain things. There are, however, more reasons why you should develop the habit of making checklists.

Advantages of Writing Checklists

Checklists help you present your ideas to your readers in an understandable manner. By doing away with long paragraphs, you direct the attention of your readers to important details.  Writing checklists impress upon your readers that you are a well-organized person. You send them a message that you’ve analyzed the topic and made the job of information processing easy for them.

Making checklists do not necessitate superb writing skills. Just follow these reminders and you’ll do well:

Things to remember when writing checklists

1) Determine beforehand the type of checklist you want to create.

The type of checklist that you’ll use depends on what you wish to convey. Make a sequential list if you want your readers to follow specific steps in order. On the other hand, make an on-sequential list if you are writing checklists, for let’s say, shopping.

2) When writing a checklist that is non-sequential, use bullets to specify a new line or item. When using bullets, take into account the manner by which you are distributing your checklist. If by email, prefer asterisks over bullet forms such as dot or square. This is because there are email programs that do not properly display bullets in conventional forms. However, if you are printing your checklists, it is safe to use the conventional ones.

3) When writing checklists that are sequential, use numbers or letters. If you need to write sub-steps for each step, use this order: Roman numeral followed by Capital letter. Then follow the capital letter with an Arabic number, which is then followed by a lower case letter.

To illustrate:

  1. The Start
  2. The first component of the Start
  3. The first component of the first component
  4. a) And the list goes on.

4) When writing checklists that are highly structured, use indentations. Indentations show immediately the significance of each element in the list.

5) Consider checklists in formats such as flowcharts and mind-maps. If you want to illustrate linear steps in a certain process, a flowchart is ideal to use. A flow-chart is likewise practical to use if you want to indicate decision points.

Meanwhile, a mind-map is ideal to use if you want to illustrate relationships. You can make it by creating a number of boxes with interconnecting lines. It is also great to use if you want to show that an idea is connected to another.

Writing checklists can be fun! It is something that can transform you into a well-organized person. Try making checklists now and see the wonders it can do to your thinking and writing skills.

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