A document is a representation of an idea or thought that is either in written or digital form. This is most prominent in offices, business transactions, schools, and for personal use. It is designed to record information that is beneficial to the author or its reader.

Table of Content


Documents Definition & Meaning

A document is defined as a piece of paper or set of papers that are written, printed, or in digital format that is used to record data for personal or business purposes.

It is a source of reference, proof, an official record, or is used to impose authority.

What Is a Document?

Documents provide evidence or factual support for statements and transactions between individuals or organizations. They have a wide variety of features and are distinguished by their levels of classification as documents could either be shared with the public, are private, or marked as highly classified.

Types of Documents


Proposal is a formulated plan or suggestion which is used to persuade its reader to implement or approve a proposed project.

Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes have recorded notes of the discussion during a meeting.


Agreement is a written document that records the terms and conditions and expectations laid out by both parties.


Contract is a type of agreement that binds parties creating mutual obligations enforceable by law.


Quotation is a document that a seller provides to a buyer that contains the stated price and conditions regarding a certain product or service.

Job Description

Job Description defines an employee’s duties and responsibilities in the company.

Letters and Cover Letter

Letters and Cover letter are written form of communication which conveys a message from one person to another.


Memo is a written message which is usually short, direct to the point, and is designed to be easy and quickly understood.


Invoice is used to collect and record a list of transactions between a buyer and a seller.


Receipt is proof of purchase that records the transaction and the payment made by the buyer to the seller.


Statement is a document that outlines financial transactions for a customer or is a record of a company’s finances.

Purchase Order

Purchase Order is an official document sent by a buyer to a seller when placing an order.


Checklist is a list that helps complete a certain task or assignment.


Budget is a record of personal or company finances including a review of financial assumptions and summary.

Press Release

Press Release is an official written statement regarding a certain topic or issue which is delivered to news media outlets.


Analysis document is a form of qualitative research that is interpreted by a researcher or analyst.


Datasheet is a collection or summary of information that is used to describe the characteristics of an item or product.


Estimate is a non-biding document provided to a buyer indicating the price of a certain item or service which may be subject to change.

Family Tree

Family tree is a record of family relationships using a conventional tree structure.


Feedback is a form that contains suggestions, reactions and comments regarding a certain issue or performance.


Form is a general document use to record or collect information for whatever purpose it may serve.


Inventory is a list of items that are currently stored or is on hand.


Itinerary is a detailed list of places, dates, contacts, and activities.


List is a complication of documents pertaining to a particular subject that is summarized in chronological order.


Log is a document that is used to collect and record certain information.


Note is a record of a discussion, topic, or transaction which is used as proof or aid to memory.


Notice is a form of notification, warning, or announcement.


Order is a document used as an intention to formally arrange an order in regards to a particular item or service.


Outline is a structured document that is summarized and usually focuses on the focal points of a certain topic.


A plan is a formulated idea or proposal that often describes its purpose, benefits, and conditions.


Policy is a set of written rules, regulations and terms that a reader is required to follow.


Report is a detailed summary of a certain topic that is presented to a specific audience.


Resume is a document submitted by a job applicant that describes personal information such as education, skills, qualifications, and previous work experience.


Schedule is a detailed list of activities and events that are planned to happen.


Sheet is a document used to write down, record, and compile information.


Survey is a document used to gather information, particularly for research purposes.


Timelines are used to present a chronological summary or listing of historical or planned events.


Timetable is a scheduled list of events and activities.


Trackers are documents used to track, record, and manage activities and transactions.

White Paper

White paper is an in-depth report that records and guides its readers about a specific issue and the problem that surrounds it.


Summary is a brief statement or review pertaining to a certain topic.


Affidavit is a written sworn statement from an individual which can be presented to the court as evidence.


Essay is an analytic or interpretative composition regarding a particular subject.

Mission Statement

Mission statement is a short action-based statement that defines a purpose of an organization.


Email is a digital document that is written and sent using an email provider.


Agenda is a documented list of activities and important matters that needs to be solved or achieved.

Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney is a written authorization that designates a certain individual to act on another’s behalf in private affairs, business, or some other legal matter.


Planning documents are the essential deliverables as part of the whole project planning process.

Bill of Sale

Bill of Sale is a legal document that is used when there is a need to transfer ownership of personal property from one party to another.


Deeds is a written legal document that serves as a record or proof of ownership of a property.


Genogram is a graphic display of a person’s family relationship and history.


Review is an assessment or evaluation regarding a particular subject or performance.

Pay stub

Pay stub, or in other terms pay slip is a summary of an employee’s wage and deduction.

Fax Cover Sheet

Fax cover sheet is the first page that is faxed to the recipient before they received the actual document.


Evaluation document that measures performance or an analysis of a certain product or service.


Worksheets are commonly used for students which are given by a teacher or tutor to complete a particular task.


Workbook is a collection of worksheets that are complied to help organize data.


Questionnaire is a document that contains a list of questions to be answered.


Quiz an exam or test where participants need to answer a series of questions and essays.


Roster is a list of personnel and the order in which their duty is to be performed.

Sign Up

Sign Up is a form where a user or participant enters a piece of information in order to request access or participation.


Payroll is a documented list of an employee’s salary, hours worked, and salary calculation.

Case Study

Case Study is a detailed examination of about a particular individual, a group of people, or a certain subject matter.

Organizational Charts

Organizational charts are used to show the structure, relationships, and ranks between members of an organization.


SOP or standard operating procedure is a document that details the instruction and operations within an organization.


Sprint planning is a document that tracks goals, set expectations and plans for execution.

Brief Template

Brief Template is a document that shows where to start and how to follow through with an ongoing project.


OKR or Objective and Key Results is a tool that is designed to help organizations establish far-reaching goals in days instead of months.


KPI or Key Performance Indicator is a tool that is used to measure performance on a given time for a specific objective.


Ledger is an accounting book where account transactions are recorded.

Bill of Material

Bill of Material is a list of materials and other components used to manufacture a product.

Price Comparison

Price comparison is a document that helps you organize and compare the price of products or services from a list of suppliers or vendors.

One Sheet

One sheet is a one-page document that highlights a specific product or service with the goal of promotion.

Site Map

Site Map is a visual or textually organized model of a website’s content.

Instruction Manual

Instruction manual is a document that guides a user on how to do something or how to use something.

Policy and Procedure

Policy is a set of guidelines to follow while a procedure is the instructions on how a policy is followed.

Corporate Bylaws

Corporate Bylaws is a list of rules that define a corporation’s purpose and how it will operate.

Test Case

A test case is a document that details a set of test data, preconditions, expected results and post conditions.

User Story

User Story is a short, simple and plain-language explanation of a feature or functionality written from a user’s point of view.

Project Charter

Project Charter is a formal document that provides an outline of the objectives and the people participating in a project.


Matrix is a method for representing text data.


Handbook is a guide or reference that contains instructions or advice about how to do something or useful information about a subject.


Reconciliation is a review document designed to compare one set of records with another set of records.

Use Case

Use case is a list of actions that describes how a user interacts with a system or product.


Workflow is defined as a sequence of tasks from start to finish.


Pipeline is defined as the general shape or pattern of the message flow.

Critical Path

Critical Path is the longest sequence of tasks that must be completed to complete a project.

Sales Forecast

Sales forecast are predictions and estimates of the number of goods and services that can be sold over a period of time.


Rubric is a document used by teachers to gather data about their student’s progress on a particular assignment or skill.

Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a process of flowcharting to enable documentation of specific business processes making it more efficient and effective.


Screenplay is a script of a movie or play that includes the actor’s lines and instructions.

Time Blocking

Time blocking is a technique that helps manage, prioritize and schedule activities to increase productivity.

Action Item

Action Item is a documented task or activity that needs to be accomplished.

Terms and Conditions Template

Terms and conditions template provides the essential elements needed to create rules and guidelines regarding a specific transaction, behavior or activity.

Financial Projection Template

Financial Project Template will help forecast and calculate your financial activities.

Risk Register

Risk register is project management documenting tool used to identify risk and to come up with action plans to manage the risk.

Address Book

Address book is a list of contacts that includes names, email addresses, and contact numbers.

Smart Goals

Smart goals is a goal-setting tool that stands for  Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.


Bibliography is a selective or complete list of books and articles that have been used by the writer when writing a particular book or article.

Business Case

Business case is a document used in project management to examine the opportunities, alternatives, project stages, and financial investment to make a recommendation for the best course of action.


Syllabus is a document that outlines what will be covered in a course of study.


Retrospective is a document that discusses the product development and release process and the team’s performance.


Recap is a summary of what has been discussed.

Bill of Lading

Bill of Lading is a legal document that serves as a receipt of freight services, a contract between a freight carrier and shipper, and a document of title.

Team Charter

Team charter is a document that outlines what your team stands for, the operation process and expected outcomes.


SBAR which stands for Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation is a written or verbal communication that critical information during an emergency situation.

Unit Plan

Unit Plan is defined as a description of the lessons in the unit that specifies the main task and goal of each lesson.

Likert Scale

Likert Scale is a list of surveys or questionnaires which makes use of a rating scale such as close-ended questions to collect data.

Apa Format

Apa Format is a documentation style format produced by the American Psychological Association that is used for writing academic papers regardless of subject or discipline.


References are documents that provide readers about the source thus creating an association between documents that contain related, essential information.


Petition is a written request for a particular cause and is signed by a significant number of people.

Bill Tracker

Bill Tracker is a document that organizes and manages bills to be paid to ensure these are paid on time.

Review of System

Review of System is a technique used by healthcare providers which consists of a list of questions, arranged by organ system, and designed to uncover dysfunction and disease within that area.

Permission Slip

Permission slip which is usually used in schools provides authorization to the name indicated in the document for whatever purpose it serves.

Checkbook Register

Checkbook Register is a record of all of the check and cash transactions your business has during an accounting period.


Script is written work that details the setting, characters, dialogue, and stage directions for movies, TV shows, and stage plays.

Schedule of Values

Schedule of Values is a comprehensive list of work items and contract prices needed during the duration of the project.

Lessons Learned Templates

Lessons learned templates are documents that help you break down a potential and existing problem that has been found within a project.

Pleading Paper

Pleading Paper is the format of a document that is filed with the court when a pre-made form is unavailable.

Goal Setting

Goal Setting is an action plan that will motivate and direct an individual or group of people to accomplish their goals.

Roles and Responsibilities

Roles and responsibilies are a definition of a person’s tasks, position, and duties in a team.

Receipt Book

Reciept Book is a small pad that consists of multiple copies of receipts where one copy is given to your customer or client as proof of their payment.


Check-In is a document that records details of borrowing an item or temporary usage of a property.

Notion Templates

Notion Templates is a publicly shared page in Notion that can be duplicated.

Logic Model

Logic Model is a description between a program’s resources, activities, and intended effects.

Note Taking

Note taking is the process of recording bits of essential information from different platforms and sources.

Study Template

Study template is designed to help students manage and organize their study habits.

Revision Timetable Templates

Revision Timetable Templates are designed to help you create a schedule for your revisions before the exam.

Paragraph Template

Paragraph Template is an organizer that helps assists students write a paragraph.


Paycheck is a piece of paper issued by an employer to pay an employee for services rendered.


Breakdown is a document that provides a categorization of certain items or finances.


Biography is a detailed description of a person’s life.


Chapter is used to classify one subject or section from another.

Term Sheet Template

Term Sheet Template is a document that summarizes the terms and conditions of the tentative agreement.

Kanban Cards

Kanban Cards are a visual representation of a work item or an authorization to produce, purchase, or move goods.

CRM Templates

CRM Templates are documents used to help track contacts or leads online in spreadsheet format.

Corporate Resolution Templates

Corporate Resolution Templates is a written legal document that provides the rules and framework as to how the board of directors can act under particular circumstances.

Feasibility Study Templates

Feasibility Study Template is a tool used in business research to assess the risks associated with a proposed project or operation.

Business Requirements Document Templates

Business Requirements Document Templates are designed to record all of the details necessary for projects and plans of any type.

Project Scope Templates

Project Scope Templates is a handy tool that provides a detailed outline that includes the activities, resources, timelines, and deliverables of a project.


Register or registration document that gives identification details to property or an official record of names and other information.

IOU Templates

IOU template is a tool that provides details of a debt owed by one party to another.

Living Will Templates

Living Will Templates are forms that instruct medical staff on how to treat a patient with a terminal condition.

Articles of Incorporation

Articles of Incorporation is a set of formal documents that an organization files to a government body to legally document the creation of a corporation.

Work Breakdown Structure

Work Breakdown Structure is a tool used in project management that shows the connections between the objectives, measurable milestones, and deliverables.

Child Care Authorization

Child Care Authorization is a legal document that authorizes an individual or institution to take care of a child or make important decisions regarding the child’s welfare.

Last Will and Testament

Last Will and Testament is a legal document that records the wishes and instructions on what should be done with the deceased person’s property and other personal affairs.

Affidavit of Identity

Affidavit of Identity is a legal document that affirms a person’s identity.

Deposit Slip Template

Deposit Slip Template is an accounting tool that details the time, date and amount of money deposited to a bank account.

Satisfaction of Mortgage

Satisfaction of Mortgage is a document that serves as proof that you have paid off your mortgage in full.


Vacancy letter is a document used to express your interest to apply for a job.

Documents – Uses, Purposes, Importance


Documents are used for reference, as a source of information for research or studies, and as proof that a transaction has been made.

Transfer of Information

Documents are written down by the author to facilitate the transfer of information from one person to another. It is important that the context is easily understood by its intended reader.

Set Expectations

Written documents provide consistency and define the expectations that should be followed by the parties involved.

Provides Security

Documents may provide security in case there are issues in the future. They can be used to support any disputes and misunderstandings which is why it is important to keep a record of any transaction between both parties.

What Is in a Document?


Documents are identified because of their title which is usually located in the upper portion of the document. A title is usually written in bold letters so the reader can determine what the document is all about.

Personal Information

Personal information is sometimes written down on a document. The author’s name, designation, address, and other relevant details are disclosed to identify its creator.

Main Body

The main body is where the content is written down and explained. It can be as short as a single statement, a combination of words and numbers, or several pages long.


Some documents such as agreements, proposals, contracts, or permission slips may require the signatures of the author or from its reader. This is usually located on the last page or lower portion of the document.


Another optional yet found in a number of documents is the date. Dates that are found in a document could be deadlines, a reference of its completion, or simply allows you to easily organize information chronologically.