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The Bullet List: Random Items, But Each With a Purpose

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

An online devotional for writers

A Word From The Word

Let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. (Galatians 5:25, NLT

A Word For Writers

The Bullet List: a #devotional based on Gal 5:25 with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter #ContentWriting #WritingTips

A bullet list is a series of short phrases, each preceded by a small dot or other symbol. It’s a widely-used tool in blog posts, business reports, articles, and books – even in text messages. 

That’s because a bullet list is easy to read, especially online. A list organizes valuable information. And the bullet or symbol allows you to list short pieces of information with lots of white space around each one. When a bullet list is written well, the points give you a “quick and dirty” summary of essential information. 

Bullet list items needn’t appear in any order, according to writing experts touting APA style. A numbered list, however, presents information in sequence, chronology, order of importance, or order of priority. 

God uses lists all throughout the Bible. Some are clearly presented sequentially, like the list Jesus’s ancestors in Matthew 1.

But other lists are arranged randomly. For instance, God tells us to put on the whole armor of God. Then he lists the belt, breastplate, shoes, shield, and sword – but doesn’t give any priority over the other. Each item is significant. 

And what about the nine fruits of the spirit? They’re not bulleted in order of importance, but we are to “follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives” (Galatians 5:25, NLT). You could conclude that all fruits of the spirit have value and reflect God in us.

While God’s bullet lists don’t have white space around them, we can learn a lesson from his approach: though listed randomly, each is valuable to your point. 

A Wise Word

A bullet list presents short, valuable pieces of information in random order.

A Word To Pray

Gracious Father,

Thank you for organizing information in lists to help me have clarity. Show me how to write lists concisely, making sure each item is valuable and necessary for readers.

In Jesus’s name, Amen.

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