28+ Free Action item Templates (Excel / MS Word)

action item log template

An action item template is the best way to come up with a matrix for action items. For different purposes, you can use this template to keep track of your action items. You should use an action item lists in order to make sure that all your action items flow smoothly.

What is an action item list?

An action item is the task that’s a follow-up to a meeting. Commonly, it is an action that arises out of a conversation. But, it isn’t considered core to achieve of the meeting’s objectives. Project managers use an action item tracker to formally schedule the tasks. They use it to ensure that they assign and note all of the necessary activity.

An action items list template enables you to include a list of action items that need corrective actions. In the action register, you can list the items in order to make sure that they’re executed according to how significant they are. This document also includes all of the information and essential documents relevant to action items.

Common types of action items templates:

Let us discuss below some common types of action items templates;

Corrective action

This document indicates you all of the information of the issues of the action items. You should also have to mention the following;

  • Name of your company
  • The audit date
  • The log number of the document
  • The issues related to the action items
  • The corresponding corrective actions
  • The deadline for the correction
  • A field for the date of completion

Decisive Action

In this type of action items template, you have to give a description of the decisions you must take in relation to the corrective actions. Here, include the following information;

  • The meeting date
  • All attendees’ names of the said meeting
  • The name of the person in charge of making the decision
  • The action items priority levels
  • The people to inform about the status and progress of corrective action

Project Management Action

This type of template provides the following information;

  • In your project, a description of the action items
  • Each action items’ priority levels
  • When you need to report these
  • The person responsible for implementing the action items
  • To make sure the smooth flow of the project, the status of the corrective actions

Priority Action

You have to create a list of the action items according to priority in this type of template. Then, include the;

  • The problem that needs to be resolved
  • The person in charge, the area
  • The status of the issue
  • Description of the problem that requires resolution
  • The person in charge
  • The area
  • The status of the issue
  • Their completion dates

How to write a better action items?

Consider the following tips to write a better action items template;

Remember that the “capture phase” varies from the “process phase”

It doesn’t matter what type of template you are using, the entire process has two phases i.e. capture phase and the process phase. In the capture phase, you just have to write down all of the action items you can think of.

In the process phase, you begin analyzing these action items. Also, this phase is a lot more important than the first one because in this phase you have to think about their priority level, who should take care of them, and more.

During writing the action items, list them as if someone else will read them

Usually, when you make an action item list, you just write the action items as short codes in order to remind you of everything. This can work if the template is only for your reference. On the other hand, when other people need to use the list as a reference too then it won’t be too effective. So, you should word action items as if other people will read them.

From the start, make use of verb-noun constructs

For each of the action items, verb-noun constructs tell you what you need to do. Thus, they are very useful. Such type of statements automatically starts action. The main benefit of using verb-noun constructs is that it states that whether there’s a requirement to breakdown a certain action item into smaller or doable parts.

For important dates, include fields in your template

Action items are very essential and you can’t make them part of your action item tracker. You should include fields for essential dates in your template to take care of or resolve each of the action items for the project to move forward. From the starting, add the deadline of each action item and then a field for the completion date of the action items.

Assign someone to take charge of each action item

If you’re working with a big team with a lot of members then this part can be a bit tricky. But, it is an important step as well which you must do. You have to provide accountability by assigning a person, a department or a committee to perform each of the action items.

Clarify relay items

The main goal of action items is to start the action of the people in charge of them. In the entire chain of the project, these spurs the actions of each person. You can consider it as a relay race. The first person takes his turn. After the first person finishes his task, the next person can begin.

Give context to the action items as notes or comments

In your list, you should make sure to give context to each of the action items. It is important to provide background details or description that demonstrates the significance of the items.

Why should you require an action items template?

You should require an action item template to answer who, what, and when of the task. You can also use the template for tracking further details such as the importance of the task, potential issues and how to resolve those issues in case they arise.

Also, you can bring the action template along with you in the meeting for defining the end goal and the steps required to accomplish it. In case, you have a large number of tasks then by having this template you can prioritize them. You can determine the required resources easily after writing down the basics.

Who can use an action items template?

Anyone can use the action item template i.e. from the minute-taker to the project manager. However, its usage may vary since the tasks on it are executed. It is the responsibility of the owner of every individual task how to use the action item template and update their progress. In addition, the project manager or someone working under them can also hold the action item template.

What are the benefits of action items?

Action items make you able to represent all the smaller steps when you are working on projects that have more than a couple of steps. In such a way, at a time, teams can take the project one step rather than viewing as one large task. Let us discuss below more benefits of action benefits;

Assist you in keeping meetings on track

A list of action items provide team members a specific purpose. This way, it can keep everyone on track. It’s become easier to discuss completed work when you come into a meeting with action item. You can also determine the requirements that still have to be done. It also provides the team a way to discuss any problems or concerns that they are having with their work.

Teammates become more productive

Teams may complete parts of the project out of order without a clearly laid-out list of items. It could waste resources as well as interfere with the project’s results. You can easily understand what to work first by having an action list with ongoing tasks that are ranked by deadline or priority. With the help of this list, team members can know what they’re doing and when they have to do a particular task.

Assign responsibility

On a project list, every action item will have a particular person who has responsibility for getting it done on time. You can avoid situations where two people complete the same task by clearly specifying a task owner for each item.

Some tips for your action items template:

By having an action items template, you can manage all of the action items easily. Here are some tips for you that you should consider while making your template;

  • You should add all pieces of information while making amendments notes or updates to your template.
  • You should make sure that every specific person or entity have assigned the action items to complete them.
  • Make use of the word ASAP in case you can’t think regarding the deadline for an action item but you know that it’s a priority.
  • You should use a format and software that you’re very comfortable with to make the template.


In conclusion, an action item template is an important document when you have a lot of tasks to oversee throughout a specific project. A well-written and organized action register template contains all the necessary information. You should list all of the items that require corrective actions in your template.

Faqs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What qualities are required for making an action item effective?

You should include the following qualities to make an action item effective;

1- A realistic time period
2- A single person should be able to complete small and specific tasks
3- Detailed information like the type of professional completing the task, etc.
4- Potential challenges
5- Measurable actions

How to maximize your action item list?

You should consider the following tips to maximize your action item list;

1- In your list, make each task actionable
2- Just write item names and descriptions on your list in order to enhance readability and comprehension.
3- Make your action item list accessible
4- In order to revisit your action item list, you should arrange multiple meetings with your team.

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