Action Items

Action items push you or the people assigned to the task to deliver and accomplish tasks. Learn more about this document so you can curate it using the necessary elements and the preferable structure. action-items

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Action Item Definition & Meaning

An action item is a document that includes specific and discrete tasks that an individual or a team needs to complete.

It serves as documentation to communicate essential details such as the people responsible for the tasks, the beginning and end date, and a short description to clarify the tasks.

What Is an Action Item?

Action items are an essential tool that improves the effectiveness of developing and implementing plans to provide solutions to issues. It serves as a record for items discussed during task delegation. It clarifies the necessary information to smoothen the flow during events, processes, and projects.

10 Types of Action Items

Engineering Action Items

Engineering action items are tasks listed after analyzing and discussing with the people involved and essential stakeholders of the engineering project. It plays a crucial role in resource allocation to ensure efficiency and achieve goals. This document helps with progress tracking and sets priorities for seamless operations.


Board Action Items

When opportunities or issues arise, the board takes action to ensure the improvement of overall results from processes. Board action item documents the steps and milestones that particular members in the association board need to perform and complete to accomplish objectives and goals. It improves practices for adhering to deadlines and keeping resources focused on essential aspects.


Agenda Action Items

During meetings, multiple minds work together to come up with decisions and develop plans, and the process of creating agenda action items helps improve the absorption and retention of the things agreed upon and discussed. The agenda action item includes a log of action items discussed during a meeting. It serves as a summary of the scope and other essential details to help people remember and not lose track of the tasks they need to do. 


Weekly Action Items

One week is a lengthy period where you can get things done to increase improvement and solve problems. With weekly action items, individuals will know their roles and responsibilities for the week to contribute to producing expected results. It decides the order and the direction for activities within seven days to achieve weekly goals.


Project Plan Action Items

Tak management and monitoring its status are elements to project success. You should ensure that the people involved have the information to proceed and accomplish assigned tasks. To help with this, you should create and customize project plan action items.


Goal Action Items

There are initiatives you need to complete and steps you need to follow to achieve your goals. Creating goal action items lists these milestones and organizes information on their essential aspects. Additionally, it sets metrics for tracking progress and measuring success.


Follow Up Action Items

When delegating and monitoring tasks, you need to monitor and track the status and progress of tasks consistently. With this follow-up practice, you can improve the accountability and flexibility of your processes. Follow-up action items help map issues and report areas that need improvement to maximize results.


Rolling Action Items

A rolling action item (RAIL) is the type of action time document that allows you to rank and sort your tasks. It could depend on the status, priority, and other possible factors. Rolling action items or RAIL aids with project or progress tracking processes.


Six Sigma Action Items

Six sigma action item is the type that focuses on tasks for improving the overall quality of your processes. It includes action items for measuring performance and identifying existing and potential challenges you and your team to address. Six sigma action items establish task ownership and improve resource planning. 


Onenote Action Items

With Microsoft Onenote being an effective platform for taking notes, you can use it to customize your format and structure of action items to increase its effectiveness. You can use this document to edit and add tasks and make changes to essential details. Onenote action item increases the visibility and accessibility of your document for members.


Action Item Uses, Purpose, and Importance

Action items are documents widely used for people in varying careers and those belonging to different fields. When the checklist of things to do becomes extensive, the possibility of getting overwhelmed and overlooking something increases. Learn more about action items to move forward and accomplish something with data-driven steps.

Clarifies Requirements

In creating action items, you should analyze and reflect on factors to complete your tasks. You can also determine the requirements for making smarter decisions in delegating tasks and allocating resources. It improves preparation and gives better insights when making adjustments to fulfill requirements.

Establish Priorities

With your action items document, the people involved can determine tasks that are high priority. You can direct your focus and time to yield better results on prioritized tasks. That said, your action items will improve your efficiency and productivity.

Makes Processes Actionable and Measurable

You can break down tasks into bite-sized chunks with an action items document. Considering that, you can have a clear direction for your activities, which improves motivation for getting things done. Clarifying the starting and end date for every task listed in your action items allows you to measure your progress better. 

Improves Collaboration

Clarifying the particular people responsible for specific tasks minimizes the possibility of confusion and conflict during work. Also, it helps with communicating and clarifying issues throughout projects or activities. Having an action item document improves collaboration and team work.

Develops Better Work Culture

Organizing tasks and documenting status and results provides data and keeps people updated. It establishes a data-driven culture that makes processes seamless. Action items are necessary because it minimizes risks and possibilities for resource leakage and delays.

Prepares Task Owners

Assigning people and letting them know the scope and nature of their tasks allows them to prepare themselves to be most effective and productive in completing their tasks. With this document, task owners would know what skills and how much effort they would need to put in to maximize outcomes. Also, it signals who they need to communicate with or work with to ensure seamless project completion.

Enhances Problem Solving Capabilities

Action items serve as a blueprint on how you should approach solving problems and pain points in your processes. Creating action items provides guidelines on responding and making changes to resolve issues and minimize weaknesses. Also, it secures more opportunities while reducing inefficiencies and losses.

What’s in an Action Item? Parts?

Task Description

In this part, you will provide a concise description of your task. Staying specific is advisable to avoid confusion regarding the scope and direction of the task.

Start and End Date

Detailing the date when the people responsible should start the task and setting a deadline makes your action items easier to track and measure.

Person Assigned

The ownership of tasks listed is a crucial part of your document. This component is where you assign tasks to a person or the team to avoid people from getting confused and having conflicts.


Tracking the status of your tasks keeps people updated. It provides information regarding how teams or individuals should proceed to achieve overall goals.


You can use and customize varying design elements to emphasize essential details and make the structure and layout of your action item document more engaging and appealing to your audience.


How to Design an Action Item

1. Choose your Action Item Size.

2. Identify the purpose of your action item.

3. Select an Action Item Template.

4. Customize your layout.

5. Include and clarify the necessary elements.

6. Double check for accuracy and share or download your action item document.


Action Item vs. Sheets

An action item is a document usually created after meetings or discussions for documenting decisions on task delegation and resource allocation.

Sheets include details regarding decisions made and essential elements to implement them.

What’s The Difference Between an Action Item, Timesheet, and Spreadsheet?

Action items are documents that function to provide information and update people involved in the project and those assigned to accomplish tasks regarding the status of tasks.

Timesheet functions to record and track attendance and the time spent on delivering services and finishing tasks.

A spreadsheet refers to a computer program or application that provides people with a table or a grid to provide information and store data.

Action Item Sizes

You have varying choices on action item sizes to fit your reason for creating your document. There are numerous page sizes you can find and use but there are two go-to sizes that top the list, which are the Letter size (8.5 inches × 11 inches) and the A4 size (8.3 inches × 11.7 inches).


Action Item Ideas & Examples

There are varying situations that call for the need of creating an action item document. With action items playing a role in the planning and implementation process, you need to master how to customize yours by looking into action item ideas and examples.

  • Action Item Ideas and Examples
  • Summary Of Action Item Ideas and Examples
  • Action Item Register Ideas and Examples
  • Daily Action Item List Ideas and Examples
  • Action Item Meeting Minutes Ideas and Examples
  • Action Item Timeline Ideas and Examples
  • Action Item Checklist Ideas  and Examples
  • Action Item Log Ideas and Examples
  • Post Meeting Action Item Ideas and Examples
  • Action Item Tracker Ideas and Examples
  • Blank Action Item Ideas and Examples


What makes an action item good?

You can consider an action item good if it has the necessary elements and the tasks are specific and measurable.

What does an action item list?

An action item lists discrete tasks a person or a team needs to undergo to accomplish goals or resolve problems.

What is the impact of an action item in business?

An action item organizes and sets the direction for your initiatives to achieve goals for a specific period and to improve overall outcomes.

What should be included in action items?

A clear description of your tasks, a specific date for their start and end, assigned individuals or groups, and their current status are essential components of an action item document.

How do you follow up on action items?

To follow up on your action items, you should identify metrics to measure the current progress of the people assigned to the task and update its status.

What is an action item in project management?

An action item is a project management tool that divides the task and activity for project success into smaller chunks to make them more actionable and lessen the complexities of processes for the people involved.

Who completes the action item form in a meeting?

People in the meeting can assign a team member to create and complete the action item.

What are the reasons to maintain the action item?

Action items give people insight and visibility into the process to make decision-making and collaboration more effective.

What is an action item for a goal?

Action items are steps or initiatives you need to undertake to move forward to or complete your goals.

What do you do with action items?

Action items are documents you need to create and continuously update to list tasks and provide essential details for starting and completing them.

How do you design an action item?

You can create and customize the design of your action item by using tabular form sheets and incorporating visual elements such as illustrations, figures, symbols, clip art, chart, icons, and images to make it more comprehensive and engaging.

What is an action plan?

An action plan can be a checklist or sometimes in paragraph form that outlines the steps and procedures you need to take to achieve a goal or desired results.

What are action items tools?

Action item tools refer to digital applications such as Excel, PowerPoint, MS Word, Apple Pages, and Google Docs you can use to shift processes for creating or sharing your action items through email or other online platforms using digital and mobile devices.