I am a very systematic person, probably attributed to my type A personality. And as part of my methodical approach, I use checklists to keep me organized and to help my scattered brain remember and think of all the things.
I have made these checklists available for you to download and modify to suit your needs. Additionally, I walk you through my system and process for using the checklists.
If you also have a great system, leave a comment explaining what works for you. It is great to learn from others.
Descriptions and Links for the Checklists
**NEW UPDATE: June 24, 2021, I uploaded an updated version of all the checklists as I revamped them.**
This walks me through the steps I go through with each client during each stage: intake, editing round one, editing round two, and finishing the project. This checklist references tasks I need to mark in my trackers, which are available for purchase (go to the resources for editors page, then click on trackers product page).
A list of big-picture issues to keep in mind when editing a fiction manuscript. It contains a list of potential issues in topics like plot and characterization. You can circle items from the list that relate to the manuscript and take notes on it.
A list of big-picture issues to keep in mind when editing a nonfiction manuscript. It contains a lit of potential issues in topics like organization and content. You can circle items from the list that relate to the manuscript and take notes on it.
A list of grammar and punctuation concepts I have to make a conscious effort to look for or ones that I needed to relearn/unlearn. These are errors I more easily gloss over. So this is obviously not an extensive list of everything to look for while copyediting, as I don’t need reminders for the grammar and punctuation concepts I naturally notice and fix.
How I Use the Editorial Process Checklist
Up close picture of checklist.
I have orange markings on the “current project” side, but no project assigned in orange is listed as current on my whiteboard. That orange project is actually a future one, but when the blue current project finished intake and editing round one (page one items), I wiped it off to make room for more projects. I put an “E” above that column, so I would know it referred to Eden’s upcoming project.
Then you will see the blue current project is in round three. I don’t have any of the blue current project on the first page since it was all finished there and I needed that space.