The power of checklists

By Samantha ·  April 16, 2015

I’ve been speaking a lot recently about the power of checklists.

Yesterday, I did a Twitter chat about checklists for ACES, the American Copy Editors Society.

I and my fellow tweeters talked about how checklists help us cope with an overwhelming world by getting “all those things we’ve got to remember” out of our heads and onto paper. How they guide us through complicated tasks. And how they help us remember detailed steps when we’re tired, stressed, or distracted.

Enjoy reading the Storify of this chat and consider adding checklists into your editing routine. You won’t be sorry.

Samantha Enslen runs Dragonfly Editorial.


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Learn editing from ACES, here in Ohio!

By Samantha ·  April 15, 2015

ACES logoLive in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, or parts nearby?

Step up your editing game at the ACES Editing Boot Camp in Columbus, Ohio.

It’s coming up next week, it’s near you, and registration is still open. What more could you ask for? The fact that I’m teaching? Well…I am!

Here are some more details:

When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, April 24

Where: Hyatt Downtown, Columbus, Ohio

How much: $95 for ACES members, $150 for nonmembers. (If you know someone who isn’t a member but should be, this is a great time to urge them to sign up!) Lunch will be on your own, with several options nearby.

Presenters: Mark Allen, Columbus-based freelance copy editor; Samantha Enslen, Dayton-based owner of Dragonfly Editorial; and Merrill Perlman, former head of copy desks for the New York Times. All presenters serve on the executive board of ACES.

If you are a full-time editor or edit as part of your job, this daylong Editing Boot Camp will help you polish your skills, covering the following topics:

  • Why editing is important (and how to convince your bosses)
  • Grammar and punctuation basics
  • Commonly confused and misused words
  • Elements of proofreading
  • Clarity: smoothing out dense or garbled prose, streamlining copy
  • Accuracy: checking facts and sources, ensuring charts/graphics are correct, identifying and filling in missing information
  • Headlines: writing clear, informative display type in print and online (including SEO)
  • Style: why you need a style guide

Have questions? Contact Mark Allen via email at or by phone at 614-961-9666. Or just register today!

Samantha Enslen runs Dragonfly Editorial.

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