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Building an Effective List

Structuring a list is the most important part of the creation process because it ultimately determines what you'll be able to extract from the list and how effectively you can manage the list after it's created. Too much time is wasted in business today restructuring lists that were improperly set up.

Before you start to lay out a list, ask yourself the question, "What data will I need to compile after the list is created?" If you know what information you'll need to extract, laying out the list will become quite simple. In the list in Figure 17.1, for example, each category has its own heading—Date, Product, Process, and so on—and this data can be extracted as a whole or by individual categories.


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