As marketers, we all have repetitious tasks. And whether you have a lot on your plate (who doesn’t?), you want to watch the latest episode of Anthony Bourdain or have constant interruptions or distractions, it can be easy to skip a step in the process without even realizing it.
Note: This post is the 4th in a 4-part series. Click here to go to #1: How to Prioritize Your School Marketing Projects Using a Project Backlog; here to go to #2: How to Construct a Big Picture Annual and Editorial Calendar for Your School Marketing; and here for #3. How to Use Automation to Save Time and Improve the Performance of Your School Marketing Projects.
Checklists are extremely useful. They boost productivity and reduce errors. Having a checklist ensures you won’t forget any step in your process. Checklists make tasks easier, giving you more brain power for creativity. They will save you and your team members time, and they make it much easier to delegate or have someone fill in if needed.
With so much to do, trying to keep track of everything in your head can be overwhelming. Checklists help you get what needs to be done out of your head and into a list that’s manageable. And, adding your tasks into a tool that will remind you when it’s time to take care of the item, means you can relax and not think about the task until it’s time to be accomplished or checked up on (when you’ve delegated the task.)
I have found that checklists are a great visual training tool. For one thing, as a manager, you might not complete a certain task very often so it’s a lot easier for training and performance review purposes to have a checklist to refer to. And it makes it easier for new staff to learn their jobs.
6 Easy Steps for Creating the Perfect Checklist
A good checklist is detailed, simple and easy to use even if you’re in a difficult situation. Usually, a checklist will be like an outline, listing only the most important steps. Generally, a checklist is suited best for tasks that you will repeat often, and in a predictable order.
*Word of Caution: Resist the urge to create a complex checklist with dozens of steps. A simple, short checklist that jogs your memory of what needs to be done is more likely to be implemented.
Step 1. Complete the task and jot down each step you take.
Step 2. Identify common mistakes that tend to be a cause of failure. Make sure your checklist covers the steps needed to avoid these mistakes.
Step 3. Seek additional input from others who do the same or similar work.
Step 4. Add in any additional steps that you think are relevant, such as meetings before, during or following the execution of the project.
Step 5. Test the checklist by repeating the original process. What is left out or needs to be adjusted?
Step 6. Continue to evaluate and refine the checklist as needed.
Use Tools for Creating Checklists
Todoist is simple to use. Once you have the app loaded on your device, you simply tap on the + sign and add a task using simple, everyday language. Then, you set a due date or a recurring due date so you never forget a deadline again! You can organize your tasks into projects and set priority levels. You can share projects and delegate tasks to team members. Once you’ve set up your tasks and projects, you don’t have to worry until it’s time to work on them.
I like that you can easily review the week ahead and set productivity goals. It’s always nice to see the progress that has been accomplished. There is a 50% discount on the business version for educators. The regular price for a business account is $28.99 per user per year or $3 per user per month. There is also a free version that is designed for individual use.
A great tool for designing checklists is Canva. Canva has beautiful templates that are customizable with your organizational style and branding.
Checklists have made my life and work easier to manage. I hope you find these simple steps and free checklist samples useful and helpful.
Do you have any tips for creating a foolproof checklist to share with the school marketing community? Please leave your comments below!
Also published on Medium.