You have a 200-page policy template ready to go… almost. Time to proofread that content. In Five Basic Tips to Proofread Your Content, I outlined the need to proofread. But how do you track those tasks? In a proofreading checklist!
Checklists track the detail and keep projects on time.
According to Atul Gawande’s, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, checklists even save lives!
While we might not save a life with a proofreading checklist, we do save the consistency of the document! As my colleague Kelly Schrank points out, we use the checklist to document steps we tend to skip, and we can track productivity.
By creating a detailed proofreading checklist.
Inspired by Kelly’s webinar, “Using Checklists to Increase Consistency and Productivity in Communications Tasks,” I came up with five parts of a proofreading checklist.
1. Document Information
- Who owns the document?
- What is it? In what format?
- What type of proofreading? (line-by-line, general quality check)
- When did I receive it? When does the document owner need it?
- Where does it go after I’ve proofread it?
- How long is the document?
- How much time did the task take?
2. General Proofreading
- Style guide to use
- Alignment (full vs. left)
- Common acronyms and proprietary names in the document
- Format of: dashes; bullets; tables
- Heading styles
3. Header/Footer Format
- Are there dates in these sections? Are they current?
- Is there a website in the footer? Check the link.
- Check pagination format
4. Screenshot and Caption Format
5. Final Tasks
- Check spelling, grammar, punctuation
- Do the hyperlinks work?
- Check for stray blank pages
- Update the Table of Contents
Proofreading Checklist: Productivity
How do we track productivity? I found two ways:
- Check off each item in the list as you complete the task.
- Track the time spent proofreading. This is especially helpful on repetitive projects.
And how did the checklist help with that 200-page policy template? By tracking the time and tasks, I now know that type of document takes a certain number of hours. I can share the checklist with the client, so they know 1) the tasks we’d agreed upon are complete and 2) understand the detail I covered.
Ready to proofread your content? Create a customized checklist.
Contact me and I’ll show you how!
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