Chapter Eight

Use A Checklist

Checklists seem lowly and simplistic, but they help fill in for the gaps in our brains and between our brains.
–Atul Gawande

Checklists help us avoid serious mistakes and omissions. But most importantly, checklists make us mindful.

Being mindful means focusing on the task at hand; it means being present in the moment. That is why pilots, astronauts, investors, lawyers, and surgeons use checklists.


The following writer’s checklist taps you on the shoulder and asks, “Are you sure you know what you want to say and how you want to say it? Are you sure your readers have everything they need?”

Checklists not only ask if we tightened the bolts on the wheels; they ask if we put the wheels on the right car.

Cover of Words - How To Write Essays, Reports, blogs, presentations, books, proposals, memos, and other nonfiction