The appropriate number of bullet points is the number it takes to communicate your information in a succinct and clear manner. Creating superfluous bullet points or jamming disparate thoughts together into a single point to fill out an even/odd requirement is never a good idea.
When creating a list of bullet points, keep a few things in mind that matter more than the number of bullets:
- Great bullet points are brief and intriguing.
- Put your important points first.
- Format matters. Keep it the same for each point!
- With bullets, fewer is better.
- Keep your line length relatively the same.
- Use your bullet points as tiny headlines.
Not a bad list, eh? Consider what a similar, non-user-friendly bulleted list could look like:
- Keep the format same for each bullet point.
- If you don't keep your line length relatively close to each other, it begins to become difficult to understand where one bulleted point starts and another begins. The longer, the harder it is to parse out the different points. Additionally, bullet points begin to lose their impact the longer they go on, so why not keep them short and simple?
- If you use your bullets to tell a whole story, you might want to consier why you're using bullets in the first place. This is a hard lesson to learn: that often, using some sort of header formatting might be more useful, especially if you have a really long story to tell. Not only will the definiton between each item be more clear, but you'll gain back some of the deadspace to the left of your list.
- I can't believe some people put in useless bullet points.
- Neither can I.