The Astonishing Power of Creating Checklists in Your Online Business

I love checklists. If there is a repeatable process in my online business, then I want to document it, refine it, and use it.

When it comes to creating my checklists, I use Sweet Process. It is a great tool for capturing all the repeatable tasks you are performing as a blogger. I love documenting processes in my business because:

  • It is a great reminder for me on how I’ve done things in the past.
  • I have a best practices template to follow since I improve them along the way.
  • It offers me the opportunity to delegate tasks to a virtual assistant.

In some ways, our Blogging Your Passion University is a collection of best practices in the form of checklists for bloggers. You won’t find much theory in our course, what you will find are blog training videos that push you to action.

Over a year ago when setting up my wife’s blog, I even watched my own videos from BYPU so I could remember the right ways to:

  • Create a Facebook Fan page
  • Make the necessary changes in the WordPress settings
  • Create a Twitter profile

It is difficult to remember everything all the time. This is why checklists can be such a great tool for your blogging journey.

What are some of my checklists?

Let me share with you some of the checklists I have in my SweetProcess account. I have checklists for:

  • How to promote new blog posts on social media
  • How to promote an upcoming webinar
  • How to do the post production of a podcast
  • How to add a new podcast to iTunes
  • How to prepare for a Skype video interview
  • How to manage my Google+ Community group
  • How to schedule tweets of my most-popular blog posts

These are just a few of the checklists I am using in my online business. I would encourage you to begin creating checklists of all the things you are doing with your blog.

Step #1: Begin collecting your work in real time

I like to use Evernote to do this. On the Mac it is super simple to do. As I am going about my day, I simply record what I am working on at the moment. All I do is click the Evernote symbol in my top bar and my latest working note shows up. I add a brief description of whatever I am doing at the moment (see pic).

creating checklists

Step #2: Document your current step by step process

This is the part that most people avoid. You will feel like you are adding more work to your already busy schedule. My promise to you is that it’s worth it. Before you ever consider hiring an assistant, you need to document your work.

I like to use the SnagIt tool to grab quick screenshots of what I am doing. I then go into SweetProcess and create a new checklist. Sometimes when I am in a hurry, I just get the screenshots loaded in the right order with the goal of filling in details later.

sweet process review

Step #3: Use your checklists and improve your processes

Once you have created a handful of checklists, you can then begin to use them in your regular workflow. Having checklists recorded will help you in several ways:

  • Which checklists you need to have someone else do
  • Which checklists you need to give some attention to and improve
  • Which checklists you need to be reminded to do more often

If you would like to see an example of one of my checklists I have created with SweetProcess, then click here: How to do Post Production of a Podcast in iTunes.

I hope you can see the incredible power in documenting your work. Give it a try yourself. Either use SweetProcess or just get an Evernote notebook started.

Question: Do you have any procedures documented for your blog?

    Jonathan has been blogging since 2009 and is still in awe that the Creator of the Universe desires to have a relationship with him. His passions include spending time with his kids, reading, March Madness, surprise get-a-way trips with his wife, and watching funny YouTube videos.

    • http://www.HireYourVirtualAssistant.com Owen McGab Enaohwo

      Wow Jonathan thanks for featuring SweetProcess in your article. I am available to answer any questions that anyone in your community might have about how to Systematize their business and/or create a procedure for their business. Leave your question in the comment and I will respond.

      • http://bloggingyourpassion.com/ Jonathan Milligan

        Hey Owen. Thanks for stopping by. We need to get you on the Blogging Your Passion Podcast so our community of bloggers can learn some tips from you.

        • http://www.HireYourVirtualAssistant.com Owen McGab Enaohwo

          Be glad to. @jmilligan:disqus feel free to email the podcast details to me “[email protected]

    • Rocky

      As usual, Jonathan, you are setting a great example with your ability to organize. Once again, I am impressed. Thanks for leaving a roadmap!

      • http://bloggingyourpassion.com/ Jonathan Milligan

        Hey Rocky, you are welcome. I just enjoy sharing what I am currently doing in my own blogging journey. Glad it was helpful…

    • Susan P. Cooper

      I am going to check out SweetProcess right now. I always use a list to prioritize my tasks. 🙂 Great article.

      • http://bloggingyourpassion.com/ Jonathan Milligan

        Hey Susan. I think it could be great for you since you have a virtual assistant. You can add a user at no extra cost. Elizabeth can check items off as she goes through the checklist. You can then see what things she got done under the activity account. Pretty slick…

        • http://virtualadmintogo.com/ Elizabeth Scott

          Jonathan – This is absolutely something I am checking this out right now. I have already been in contact with Owen and am going through the trail process right now. Thank you Jonathan for this great suggestion. 🙂

        • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan P. Cooper

          My VA is working on setting up a free trial right now. 🙂

    • tawnyak

      Based on another one of your articles about how you do your planning in Evernote, I created a “to-do” list for a group I was developing. After I was finished, I moved the file to my Archive folder so I can re-use it when developing my next group.

      This is a terrific idea Jonathan that will keep me on task and save me time.

    • Antionette Blake

      I am having my blog transferred from WP.com to WP.org and need to get more organized. I find using the old fashion pen and paper helps me stay more organized and gives me some down time from the tech world.

      • http://bloggingyourpassion.com/ Jonathan Milligan

        You make a good point. Breaking away from the tech world is good for thinking and planning for sure!