Google Docs Checklist vs Process Street Checklist: The Future is Now, Which Tool Wins?

Google Docs Checklist

In July 2018, the number of active Google Drive users surged into the billions.

This means the number of users had increased by 200 million within just one year.

One reason for Google Drive’s success is its extensive usability. You can send emails, create spreadsheets, arrange meetings, update your calendar, create slideshows, and produce text documents.

It is with this function, produce text documents that we begin this Process Street article comparing a Google Docs checklist with a Process Street checklist.

You see, like Process Street, Google has recognized the benefits checklists bring at both a business and a personal level. Google has made it possible to create checklists with its text document function.

Our questions driving this article are:

  • Why would you want to create a Google Docs checklist?
  • How would you go about creating a Google Docs checklists?
  • Is a Google Docs checklist right for you and your business?

If you are new to checklists, Google Docs, and Process Street, then this is the article for you.

You can click on any of the below subheaders to jump to the relevant section.

Shall we get started?

What is a Google Docs checklist?

what is a google docs checklist

A Google Docs checklist is a bulleted list, consisting of typed items, one item per line.

During my high-school days, my checklists were botched, coffee-stained paper lists. It is no wonder they were un-effective. Luckily, things moved forward for me. Starting university, I knew I had to take measures to offset my naturally dis-organized self and maintain high levels of productivity. I scoured the web for productivity hacks and work management tools. From my research, I came across checklists in a more civilized form.

You guessed it, I am talking about digitized checklists.

Electronic checklists can be collaborative, edited and accessed by multiple people. Certainly, there are a lot of web applications, extensions, and sites acting as checklist tools. For me though, Google Doc’s checklist feature was my go-to gizmo.

I recorded my checklists in Google Drive as bulleted lists. Creating each checklist was easy. Here is how I did it.

Make a checklist in Google Docs

To make a Google Docs checklist, I carried out the following steps.

Make a checklist: Create your list

To create a Google Docs checklist, start by typing out your list of items.

Google docs checklist - step-one

Make a checklist: Bullet-point your list

Next, highlight and select all items in the list. Click the down arrow to the right of the Bulleted List icon present in the top toolbar. Choose the checkbox option.

google docs checklist - step two

Make a checklist: Check-off your tasks

Left-click on a checkbox once to highlight all checkboxes in the list. Left-click twice on the same checkbox to highlight that one. Right-clicking will then present you with a pop-up window to choose a new bullet replacing the checkbox. Select the checkmark icon.

Step-three

The benefits of using a Google Docs checklist

You can tell that creating checklists in Google Docs is a simple, quick, swift process. For me, these clean, straightforward checklists improved the coordination and output of my university work. The more I utilized a checklist approach with Google Docs, the more time I gained.

I was completing work faster.

My work was better.

I was happier.

To be completely honest with you, it was surprising that this seemingly basic tool brought such far-reaching benefits. So I did some digging. What was it about checklists? Why were they prooving so useful for me?

Benefit one: Checklists democratize knowledge 💡

Listing and recording steps within a process makes the process accessible to others. Operations can be standardized to a best practice.

Benefit two: Checklists reduce error ⁉

Checklists act as a prompt, guiding the user, ensuring no item is missed. Seminal work has shown that humans can only retrieve approximately seven pieces of information from our memory with relative accuracy. Introduce complexity, stress, and fatigue, and our memory fails us at an increased rate.

In addition, growing the number of tasks within our to-do lists reduces accuracy and speed of task handling. These fallibilities are compensated for by using checklists. That is, checklists work to reduce human error.

Benefit three: Checklists reinforce teamwork 👫

Mutual support within your team is reinforced. Team members can cross-check recorded tasks, observing what has been done and in what order. Transparency is created with regard to people’s progress.

Even with a simple checklist – like the ones I was creating within Google Docs – can you reap these above-mentioned benefits.

Checklists in the real world

“We are not built for discipline, we are built for novelty and excitement, not for careful attention to detail. Discipline is something we have to work at” Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

The benefits of checklists truly hit home once I read The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. If you haven’t already read this book, I recommend you dive in. You can access The Checklist Manifesto here.

Alternatively, check out Process Street’s synopsis The Checklist Manifesto Review here.

The book supports the above-outlined benefits that come with using checklists, whilst giving examples of checklists in action in the real world. For example:

  1. Checklists are used in surgical procedures 🏥: For instance, the World Health Organization (WHO)’s World Alliance for patient Safety launched the Safe Surgery Lives campaign. A surgical safety checklist was developed in this campaign to improve patient safety
  2. Checklists are used in high-tech, complex industries 👩‍🔬: For example, in the aerospace industry, there is a standard cockpit checklist that pilots must adhere to
  3. Checklists are used in high-risk industries 🤕: Such as nuclear power. A checklist is deployed to access nuclear power plant safety

As you can see, checklists are applied across a wide range of industries. Top industry experts have recognized the substantial benefits checklists bring to operations, applying the tool accordingly.

Keep reading so that you don’t miss out and start creating your checklists today.

To help you get started, let’s first focus on how you can use Google Docs to create straightforward checklists for your simple tasks. I will then show you how to progress in your checklist journey by using Process Street for free. Process Street is your next step up in terms of checklist tools. With Process Street, you can add complexity to your checklists, expanding their use case.

But more on that later.

First, let’s create your Google Docs checklist.

If you feel a little daunted about how to get started, then have no fear, we have checklist templates here. That’s right, we at Process Street have gathered together 8 Google Doc’s checklist templates just for you.

Let’s jump right to it.

Checklist template: What a checklist template is and our top Google Docs checklist templates

google docs checklist templates

A checklist template provides the backbone for a quality checklist, to be utilized during a certain project, maintaining processes devoid of error.

At Process Street we have combed through the web and brought together our top Google Doc checklist templates for business. These checklist templates are free and ready to use right away. Each checklist is designed with a specific business process in mind. However, you can download and edit each template to your desire.

Ready to get started creating your Google Docs checklist?

Of course, you are.

Checklist template 1: Inventory Checklist Template

Google Docs checklists - checklist template one

Use this Inventory Checklist Template to organize the stocks of your business’s supply.

Click here to access this Inventory Checklist Template

Checklist template 2: Inspection Checklist Template

Google Docs checklist - checklist template two

Use this Inspection Checklist Template to access quality. In this instance, the checklist has been designed to access the quality of a Hotel. However, you can edit and adapt this checklist to suit your needs.

Click here to access this Inspection Checklist Template

Checklist template 3: Training Checklist Template

Google Docs checklist - checklist template three

Implement this Training Checklist Template to make sure you follow a high-quality training regime.

Click here to access this Training Checklist Template

Checklist template 4: Marketing Checklist Template

Google Docs checklist - checklist template four

Use this Marketing Checklist Template to accomplish your marketing goals and objectives. You can edit this checklist, but make sure your marketing checklists include content marketing, social media marketing, and mobile marketing.

Click here to access our Marketing Checklist Template

Checklist template 5: Task Checklist Template

Google Docs checklist - checklist template five

Organize and prioritize tasks for your projects with this Task Checklist Template.

Click here to access this Task Checklist Template

Checklist template 6: HR Policies Checklist Template

Google Docs checklist - checklist template 6

Use this HR Policies Checklist Template to ensure policies for your business are followed. This checklist is perfect for helping your new employees familiarize themselves with your companies policies.

Click here to access the HR Policies Checklist Template

Checklist template 7: Daily Checklist Template

Google Docs checklist - checklist template 7

Use this Daily Checklist Template for any purpose. This could be reminders, lists of required items, or things to be done in your day.

Click here to access the Daily Checklist Template

Checklist template 8: Onboarding Checklist Template

Google Docs Checklist - checklist template 8

Use this Onboarding Checklist Template to help you with the hiring process.

Click here to access the Onboarding Checklist Template

Google Docs vs Process Street

google docs vs process street

As promised, we now turn our attention to Process Street as your checklist tool.

Google Doc checklists are a great starting point, for you to quickly create a basic checklist for your most straightforward tasks. Issues will arise, however, once you start introducing an element of complexity within your checklists. With complexity, things begin to fall apart.

I found this out the hard way. For example, I had my basic checklist in Google Docs outlining my process for essay production. However, I had no way to incorporate my supervisor’s feedback into the process. The number of drafts I had to submit differed before my work was approved. I had no way of foreseeing the number of drafts I would need, no way of recording my supervisor’s feedback in one place, and essentially my checklists began to get a little messy. If only I knew about Process Street at the time.

In this instance, Process Street’s approvals feature would have meant:

  1. My supervisor’s comments were recorded
  2. I was unable to move forward in the essay process until my work had been approved
  3. Each draft before the approval of my work would have been recorded

You can see how Process Street is better equipped to manage more complicated workflows than a Google Docs checklist.

To illustrate this further, let us compare two checklists. A Google Docs checklist and a Process Street checklist.

Process Street vs Google Docs: HR checklists

Above you were presented with a Google Docs checklist, namely the HR Policies Checklist Template. Process Street also provides a wealth of checklist templates, ready and free for you to use right away. I have detailed 30 of our HR related checklists below. Simply click on the links to be directed straight to the checklist.

  1. Accountant Job Description Checklist
  2. Ari Meisel’s How to Streamline the Hiring Process Guide
  3. Big Five Personality Test (Structure Template)
  4. Call Center Employee Onboarding Checklist
  5. Customer Service Interview Process with Questions
  6. Customer Service Manager Job Description Template
  7. Customer Service Manager Job Description
  8. Developer Onboarding Checklist for Startups
  9. DISC Assessment (Structure Template)
  10. Diversity Hiring Process
  11. Diversity Initiatives Quarterly Improvement Process
  12. Diversity Management Monthly Audit
  13. Diversity Questions Survey
  14. Diversity Training Process
  15. Employee Background Check
  16. Employee Discipline Checklist
  17. Employee Onboarding
  18. Employee Relations
  19. Graphic Designer Job Description Template
  20. Holiday Leave Application
  21. Holland Codes Test
  22. HR Interview Process with Question
  23. HR Manager Job Description Template
  24. Human Resouces Pre Employment Screening
  25. IQ Test
  26. IT Manager Job Description Template
  27. Marketing Manager Job Description Template
  28. Myers-Briggs Jungian Personality Test Template
  29. Office Council Resolution Checklist
  30. Unconscious Bias Training Guide

Taking our Employee Onboarding Checklist, we compare this with Google Doc’s HR Policies Checklist Template.

Click here to access our Employee Onboarding checklist

Both templates are used during a new employee onboarding process. However, the two checklist templates differ significantly.

The Google Docs HR Policies Checklist Template is a…

  • simple
  • check-box
  • list

Just like that ⬆

There are no further features. There is no depth to the checklist.

Compare this to Process Street’s Employee Onboarding Checklist. This checklist has features creating a dynamic, interactive platform, that allows collaboration between the employee and the relevant manager.

For example, in task five an email can be sent from within the checklist to the employee.

Although it is possible to add comments in Google Docs suggestive mode, direct, personalized emails cannot be sent.

At Process Street we believe teamwork plays a big part in an organization’s success. For this reason, we have adapted our checklists to encourage team synergy and unity. This stands as a major advantage over any checklist created in Google Docs.

Here is how Process Street’s checklists encourage teamwork:

  • With our role assignments feature: Our role assignments feature allows tasks to be pre-assigned within your team. Work can be effortlessly delegated and the progress of each team member can be freely monitored. Invites to tasks are automatically sent
  • With our dynamic-due dates feature: Want to make sure a member of your team completes a task for a given deadline? No problem. With our dynamic due dates feature you can assign due dates to a given task. A reminder will automatically be sent to the relevant individual as required when running the checklist. You can combine our dynamic-due dates feature with our role assignments feature for a fully tailored made checklist
  • With our Approvals feature: I covered our approvals feature previously. With our approvals feature you can streamline any process that needs authorization by another person – internal and external to your team. You can create single-instance approvals, multi-stage approvals or sequential approvals
  • With our comments section: Adding comments on our checklists allows you to communicate with the rest of your team. This is comparable to adding comments in Google Docs. You can mention team members in your comments, to automate an email notification to that user
  • With our form fields: Just like the email widget form field above, our form fields support teamwork and collaboration within each of our checklists. All information is recorded in one place, making it easy for others to hop-in and out as they please, and access information as required

You can adapt and utilize any one of these features by creating and editing your own checklists in Process Street for free.

Process Street: How we can help you with your checklists

If you haven’t already guessed, Process Street is superpowered checklists.

If you are new to Process Street and want to know more about what we do, watch our Monthly Webinar: An Introduction to Process Street for further insight.

With Process Street, checklists are used as a Business Process Management tool. So our checklists are not static objects. They are ever-changing, adaptable and quickly adjustable machines, that harness complexity for effective management of your business operations.

We have a library of free to use templates so that you can jump right in and use Process Street today. Above I listed just a handful of our HR-related templates.

But we have so many more!

From marketing templates, to finance templates, to Management Systems templates…

You name it, we have it.

I have listed a few more of our templates below, to give you a snapshot of the type of checklist templates you can freely obtain with Process Street. I recommend that you explore Process Street’s extensive library of pre-made templates to find the checklist template right for you.

Process Street’s Marketing templates

Process Street’s Finance template

Process Street’s Management Systems templates

Google Docs checklist vs Process Street checklist: Choose a checklist maker right for you and your business

In this article we have:

  • Discussed why checklists are needed, stating the benefits that come by implementing checklists
  • Explained what a Google Docs checklist is and how one can be created
  • Provided you with Process Street’s 8 top Google Docs checklist templates
  • Explained the limitations of using Google Docs as your checklist tool
  • Explained how Process Street offsets the limitations of a Google Docs checklist
  • Explained how you can use Process Street, detailing a list Process Street’s checklist templates

The main take-home of this article is that checklists are vital for ensuring the success, smooth and efficient running of your business operations. Like past-Jane, if you have never used digitized checklists before, creating a Google Docs checklist is a great starting point. However, you must be aware of the limitations these simple checklists bring. That is, don’t find out the hard way as I did. I have given you hindsight. Use it.

Use Process Street for the creation of your checklists rather than Google Docs.

Although a Google Docs checklist creates a good backbone for understanding digitized checklists and how to use them, they are unlikely to be applicable for the majority of your business operations. Let’s face it, most business processes are complex.

You need an alternative tool, one that can cater to the level of complexity present in a business. This is where Process Street steps in.

Utilize Process Street to manage your business processes.

Democratize knowledge.

Reduce errors.

Enhance teamwork.

Beat your competition.

Get our posts & product updates earlier by simply subscribing

Jane Courtnell

Hi there, I am a Junior Content Writer at Process Street. I graduated in Biology, specializing in Environmental Science at Imperial College London. During my degree, I developed an enthusiasm for writing to communicate environmental issues. I continued my studies at Imperial College's Business School, and with this, my writing progressed looking at sustainability in a business sense. When I am not writing I enjoy being in the mountains, running and rock climbing. Follow me at @JaneCourtnell.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.

Get a free Process Street account
and take control of your workflows today.

No Credit Card Required