We are always busy every day and we tend to do a lot of things that are more than what we can handle. This could either be because we are really busy or this could be because of lack of time management and organization. Being organized and keeping oneself organized is a key to a successful and stress-free life. That is why a lot of people find ways on how they can efficiently use and make the most of their time. Most importantly, making the most of one’s time means being productive in everything.
People’s lifestyle nowadays are always on the go and on the lead about a lot of stuff. This makes their lifestyles busier and more hectic than how people lived ten years ago. Busy people who seek organization to make the most out of their time turn to using a checklist. What is a checklist? A checklist is a tool that is very helpful in making one’s daily activities, tasks, and schedules organized. It is because a checklist is is where those things are listed. They also serve as one’s backup memory or as a reminder about something of importance, like project deadlines or business meetings. Checklists are also being used by people who do planners and journals as this is one way for them to organize their stuff.
If used properly, a checklist is surely to be one’s advantage. With the many uses and benefits that one can get just from using a checklist, it is definitely something to talk about. Here are 45 of the best checklist samples that you can get your hands on. These sample checklists are available in PDF, Word, and Excel. You can download these samples online for free. In addition to the free samples we are offering, we have also included the different types of checklists, advantages of using a checklist, some creative checklist ideas and useful tips in making a checklist. Check them all out below!
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Humans are unique and because of that we have grown to create our own styles on everything. We have different styles of reading, different styles in learning, and many more different styles of handling things. Similarly, there are also two known styles or ways on how a checklist is being utilized. They are the do-confirm style and the read-do style. Each of these styles are briefly discussed below.
Most people would usually look at their checklists to check on the tasks that they needed to do before they do them. This style is commonly used by a lot of people, especially when cooking a recipe that is new to them, or when reading a step-by-step tutorial on how to crochet or create other crafts.
Another style used is the do-confirm style. It is called as such because one performs the tasks from memory first and then consults or confirms the tasks in their checklist later on. This style gives the user a lot of freedom as they first do the tasks from memory. Upon checking the checklist, the user can confirm if all the tasks in the checklist are done and no one task has been missed.
What Are the Different Types of Checklists?
Did you know that there are basically five types of checklist being used right now? They are the task checklist, troubleshooting checklist, discipline checklist, coordination checklist, and the to-do checklist. Each of these types of checklists are used in different kinds of situations where they are proven to be useful and effective. Let us talk more about these five different types below.
Task checklists are good for standard operating procedures or SOP because they provide step-by-step instructions or specific details about a list of items or procedures. This is considered to be the most common type of checklist being used. The steps or tasks being written in this checklist should be done or are expected to be done in order. A task checklist though is not to be used in time-critical situations or in emergency situations.
Contrary to a task checklist, which cannot be used in time-sensitive situations, is a troubleshooting checklist. This checklist is good when the user wants to get the right or desired outcome about a specific task. It is called a troubleshooting checklist because it provides a list of things to do in order to analyze, troubleshoot, and resolve problems or issues. Examples of troubleshooting checklists are those used in the aviation industry or the ones used in hospital emergencies. It is the checklist of choice for time-critical situations because they provide clear and concise instructions on what to do to be able to respond accordingly to emergencies.
If you’re the type of person who has trouble controlling your emotions and end up making bad or wrong decisions, then you might want to check out this checklist. A discipline checklist is good for enforcing a certain process or making one adopt a certain process, especially one that involves removing emotions from an individual’s decision-making process. It is used to help an individual make decisions when their mind is free of extreme emotions.
Large projects often get shared from one individual to another or from one group to another. This is commonplace in companies that handles project-based jobs. In order to finish the said project on time and make sure that all of the parts or components are done correctly, all the members of the said project should have coordination. A coordination checklist is used for this purpose. It allows multiple parties to work on the same project and make sure they focus on the same things.
It is also simply referred to as a to-do list. A to-do list is used for personal things that an individual needs to do. The contents and purpose of this checklist vary depending on the objectives or focus of the individual using it. Examples of this type of checklist are cleaning checklists, grocery lists, and daily checklists.
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What Can You Find in a Checklist?
A lot can be written in a checklist, that is why you can also see a lot of things in it. Checklists can be confused with other things, especially those which have checkboxes in them. To help you identify if you are looking at a checklist, we have here a list of the things that you can commonly find in it.
- Checkboxes. The very distinct feature that one can find in a checklist are the checkboxes on the left side of each item or task. These boxes are marked or checked every time an action has been done to the said task. A check mark is drawn if the task has been done and an X is written if the task has not been done. But not all checklists use checkboxes. There are checklists that make use of tables, lines, and even circles.
- List of tasks or things to do. You will know that you are looking at a checklist because it will provide you with a list of things or tasks. The list can be about chores, homework, business meeting, travel stuff, and many more.
- Due date or deadline of a task or project. Most tasks need to be done before their specific deadlines, thus a checklist indicating the due date of the said task is very efficient. With the date written together with the task, one will know which task needs to be covered first.
- Who is responsible for the said task or project. Checklists that are made for work stuff may or may not include the name of the person responsible for the said task. It depends on who and what project or task the checklist will be used for.
- Instructions on how to use it. Personal checklists, like to-do lists, are easy to make and use. But there are checklists that are not as simple as we expect them to be. Some of them might require for one to read the instructions before they start using it.
How Often Should You Use a Checklist?
There is no limit as to how often you want to use a checklist. In fact, a lot of people use checklists every day to help them with their projects in school or at work, to help them do their groceries or pay their bills, and to help them keep themselves organized on a daily basis. Checklists can become a part of an individual’s daily activities. Long-term use of checklists allows one to establish or build a routine to improve one’s life and way of living.
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Helpful Tips in Creating and Using a Checklist
Since it said to be a useful tool, a lot of people have started using a checklist with the hopes of getting themselves become organized. Some would succeed, but a lot would fail. This is not because a checklist is something difficult to use. It is just that they simply don’t know the key to making it effective. An effective checklist is one that is able to help you make yourself organized. How can you check if your checklist is effective? Your checklist is effective if you have successfully finished all of your tasks before a given deadline and you still have time to relax. Use the tips below to help you create and use an effective checklist.
- Use a clean sheet of paper. If you want to start getting yourself organized, then you need to use something that gives you a sense of organization, and that would be through a clean sheet of paper. This is a good way to start if it’s your first time to make a checklist. You can always use any other sheets of paper once you get a hang of using a checklist. A clean sheet of paper for an effective checklist is something worth spending on.
- Add margins. A margin will make your clean sheet look neat. It adds a professionally framed feel to your sheet that makes you want to work on your checklist even more. Your checklist is a reflection of how organized you are. If your checklist looks neat and professional, then nobody would doubt how organized you are as a person.
- Use checkboxes. Checkboxes are widely used for checklists. It is safe to say that it is a checklist favorite. Some people would automatically think of checkboxes right after they hear the word checklist. You don’t always have to use checkboxes though. There are other ways to make a checklist aside from checkboxes
- Prioritize. Perhaps the most important thing to do when creating a checklist is prioritizing the tasks from the most important to the least important. The word itself sounds so easy to do, but when you are actually doing it you’ll find yourself stuck in the task with little to no signs of progress. When prioritizing, the most important tasks should be written on top and the least important tasks at the bottom. This ensures that what’s important gets done first.
- Make a realistic list. Do not write a bunch of stuff that you know you can never finish within a specific period of time. Only write what you can do for the day, week, or month. It is not good practice to leave out or put tasks on pending if you can’t do them. This is because you will eventually forget about them over time. You’ll be surprised to find out that you have not done the task, not until its deadline.
- Update tasks. A checklist should always be updated to avoid doing the same thing that has already been done. That is obviously a waste of time and resources. Once you are finished with a task, put a mark or an indication that it as been done.
- Perform listed tasks. Always do the tasks that you have listed. You should be committed in doing the tasks. Only write the tasks that you are capable of doing for such time. This will give you a feeling of fulfillment once you have all the tasks done and will further motivate you in doing more tasks as you are accustomed to.
- Provide enough space to write on. Motivate yourself in finishing your checklist by keeping your checklist always clean and neat. Providing enough space to write on and some extra space to write your additional tasks will keep your checklist organized.
- Be creative. Not all checklists are written and created on paper. You can make a checklist using craft foams, stickers, whiteboard, and other interesting stuff. Search the Internet for different and unique ideas. You can use an idea that you like or put different ideas into one checklist for a customized checklist.
If you find the need to use a checklist, then go ahead and download the different checklist templates that you can find in this article. They will definitely make your checklisting task easy and convenient.
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