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Step-by-Step Guide Template

Save time, increase efficiency, and reduce potential errors by giving colleagues and customers detailed instructions on how to perform any task or project. Create interactive step-by-step instructions in minutes with this simple-to-use template. 

Why use this template?

  • Easy to set up.
    You won’t need any help from designers or developers to create step-by-step instructions and make them available to colleagues.
  • The perfect starting point.
    It’s everything you need out of the box to start building step-by-step documentation.
  • Flexible.
    Because of its step-by-step nature, Stonly’s template will work with any organization’s workflows and processes.
  • Interactive format.
    Create more engaging instruction documents that are proven to guide readers more effectively to a solution.
  • Available wherever your colleagues or customers need it.
    Publish step-by-step user manuals for customers on the site, or make them shareable via email or live chat with direct links. You can also set them up as part of the company’s intranet to share work instructions with your staff.

How to properly document a process with a step-by-step instruction guide

Writing clear and practical step-by-step instructions takes more than listing all steps required to complete a process. Granted, at its core, such a document is simply a detailed outline of a process needed to complete a specific activity.

But there’s a little more to it than that.

That’s why we’ve gathered some of the best advice on how to write an effective and easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions guide.

What is a step-by-step guide?

As the name might suggest, a step-by-step guide outlines the process and steps required to complete a particular activity.

Such a document aims to provide a clear and easy-to-understand guide to anyone tasked with completing a task or project.

You can create step-by-step instructions to describe practically any type of process. Whether it’s setting up project documentation, writing customer service call scripts, operating a new TV, training new employees, or buying something online, a step-by-step guide will help a reader accomplish their objectives.

Having detailed step-by-step instructions delivers a wide range of benefits:

  • The instructions ensure consistency in whatever your reader is trying to do.
  • They reduce costs associated with performing tasks and activities (and can improve customer satisfaction when used for customer service).
  • Step-by-step instructions ensure that safety requirements are met (when applicable).
  • Detailed instructions also reduce the time it takes to complete tasks and improve productivity.
  • With clear step-by-step instructions, a company can significantly reduce accidents and costly errors.
  • Finally, such guides help train new hires faster and align their output to a company’s standards.

How to document any process with detailed step-by-step guides

Here’s a simple process that will help you capture all steps required to complete a task and communicate it in an easy-to-understand manner.

Step 1. Name the process or task that you’re describing and its purpose

This step does not need to include much copy. Even a simple label for the process you’re describing, with a quick explanation of the end goal, will suffice to communicate:

  • What the task is
  • How to refer to it
  • Why the process is necessary

Step 2. Define the scope of work

Next, define what activities are included in the process or task delivery and which ones are not. Many processes will have elements overlapping with other activities. Completing this step will ensure that you do not include unnecessary steps in your documentation.

Step 3. Explain the inputs and outputs

Every process or task has two elements:

  1. Input - a trigger event that starts the process
  2. Output - the end result, be it tangible or not

Before identifying each step in the process, explain those elements in detail. Define what action or situation kicks off the process and what the end result looks like.

This is essential information that will help you identify all activities and tasks within a process and create the actual step-by-step guide.

For example, when creating a step-by-step guide on dealing with customer complaints, the input would be the actual complaint arriving via one of the company’s communication channels. The output would be a positively resolved issue and a happy customer.

Step 4. Write down each step of the process you want to document

With the prep work now completed, brainstorm all the steps involved in delivering the process from start to finish. Start with an input, and define everything a person must do to reach the desired outcome.

(Note: another great method for capturing all steps in a project is to focus on the output and work backward to the trigger event.)

Don’t worry about the order of steps at this stage. It is more vital that you focus on capturing every task in the process.

Step 5. Order the steps

With all tasks in front of you, begin organizing them in order, from the trigger element to the desired outcome. By doing so, you will establish a process flow and create a step-by-step guide.

Step 6. Describe how to complete each step

Add additional guidance for someone going through the process. Ideally, include visuals to make various aspects of those tasks easier to grasp.

Step 7. Use our template to make your step-by-step guide

The last step is to create the actual guide and use a format that’s accessible and engaging. That’s where Stonly’s template comes in.

With Stonly’s step-by-step instructions template, you get a perfect starting point for creating your documentation. The template includes everything you need to begin. Then you can expand and build on it as much as you like. Stonly’s template is easy to use and customize, so you don’t need to be a designer or developer to create it.

At the same time, you get access to powerful tools to publish your instructions anywhere your audience might be looking for them. Put them on your website or your company’s intranet, and make them easily shareable via email or live chat.

Browse templates

Step-by-Step Guide Template

Save time, increase efficiency, and reduce potential errors by giving colleagues and customers detailed instructions on how to perform any task or project. Create interactive step-by-step instructions in minutes with this simple-to-use template. 

Why use this template?

  • Easy to set up.
    You won’t need any help from designers or developers to create step-by-step instructions and make them available to colleagues.
  • The perfect starting point.
    It’s everything you need out of the box to start building step-by-step documentation.
  • Flexible.
    Because of its step-by-step nature, Stonly’s template will work with any organization’s workflows and processes.
  • Interactive format.
    Create more engaging instruction documents that are proven to guide readers more effectively to a solution.
  • Available wherever your colleagues or customers need it.
    Publish step-by-step user manuals for customers on the site, or make them shareable via email or live chat with direct links. You can also set them up as part of the company’s intranet to share work instructions with your staff.

How to properly document a process with a step-by-step instruction guide

Writing clear and practical step-by-step instructions takes more than listing all steps required to complete a process. Granted, at its core, such a document is simply a detailed outline of a process needed to complete a specific activity.

But there’s a little more to it than that.

That’s why we’ve gathered some of the best advice on how to write an effective and easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions guide.

What is a step-by-step guide?

As the name might suggest, a step-by-step guide outlines the process and steps required to complete a particular activity.

Such a document aims to provide a clear and easy-to-understand guide to anyone tasked with completing a task or project.

You can create step-by-step instructions to describe practically any type of process. Whether it’s setting up project documentation, writing customer service call scripts, operating a new TV, training new employees, or buying something online, a step-by-step guide will help a reader accomplish their objectives.

Having detailed step-by-step instructions delivers a wide range of benefits:

  • The instructions ensure consistency in whatever your reader is trying to do.
  • They reduce costs associated with performing tasks and activities (and can improve customer satisfaction when used for customer service).
  • Step-by-step instructions ensure that safety requirements are met (when applicable).
  • Detailed instructions also reduce the time it takes to complete tasks and improve productivity.
  • With clear step-by-step instructions, a company can significantly reduce accidents and costly errors.
  • Finally, such guides help train new hires faster and align their output to a company’s standards.

How to document any process with detailed step-by-step guides

Here’s a simple process that will help you capture all steps required to complete a task and communicate it in an easy-to-understand manner.

Step 1. Name the process or task that you’re describing and its purpose

This step does not need to include much copy. Even a simple label for the process you’re describing, with a quick explanation of the end goal, will suffice to communicate:

  • What the task is
  • How to refer to it
  • Why the process is necessary

Step 2. Define the scope of work

Next, define what activities are included in the process or task delivery and which ones are not. Many processes will have elements overlapping with other activities. Completing this step will ensure that you do not include unnecessary steps in your documentation.

Step 3. Explain the inputs and outputs

Every process or task has two elements:

  1. Input - a trigger event that starts the process
  2. Output - the end result, be it tangible or not

Before identifying each step in the process, explain those elements in detail. Define what action or situation kicks off the process and what the end result looks like.

This is essential information that will help you identify all activities and tasks within a process and create the actual step-by-step guide.

For example, when creating a step-by-step guide on dealing with customer complaints, the input would be the actual complaint arriving via one of the company’s communication channels. The output would be a positively resolved issue and a happy customer.

Step 4. Write down each step of the process you want to document

With the prep work now completed, brainstorm all the steps involved in delivering the process from start to finish. Start with an input, and define everything a person must do to reach the desired outcome.

(Note: another great method for capturing all steps in a project is to focus on the output and work backward to the trigger event.)

Don’t worry about the order of steps at this stage. It is more vital that you focus on capturing every task in the process.

Step 5. Order the steps

With all tasks in front of you, begin organizing them in order, from the trigger element to the desired outcome. By doing so, you will establish a process flow and create a step-by-step guide.

Step 6. Describe how to complete each step

Add additional guidance for someone going through the process. Ideally, include visuals to make various aspects of those tasks easier to grasp.

Step 7. Use our template to make your step-by-step guide

The last step is to create the actual guide and use a format that’s accessible and engaging. That’s where Stonly’s template comes in.

With Stonly’s step-by-step instructions template, you get a perfect starting point for creating your documentation. The template includes everything you need to begin. Then you can expand and build on it as much as you like. Stonly’s template is easy to use and customize, so you don’t need to be a designer or developer to create it.

At the same time, you get access to powerful tools to publish your instructions anywhere your audience might be looking for them. Put them on your website or your company’s intranet, and make them easily shareable via email or live chat.