How To Add To-Do Lists In WordPress

Learn how to easily create a to-do list in WordPress.

Creating A To Do List In WordPress

WordPress Tutorials - How To Create A To Do List In WordPressIf you are running a fast-paced business or managing a team, time always seems to be in short supply.

There is just so much work to do and things to remember. You have so many deadlines to meet, urgent tasks to complete, priorities to attend to, fires to extinguish, calls and appointments to make, schedules to keep and so on. The stress of trying to get things done on time never seems to end.

Now … add the extra workload of promoting and growing your business online and keeping your website or blog updated with new content and everything can suddenly begin feeling unmanageable and out of control.

Whether you are running a business, website, blog, or managing a project, you need to be able to organize and manage your daily activities.

One ”tried and true” method that can help you save time, alleviate stressful workloads, and allow you to gain some control is to use a “to do” list.

To-Do Lists – Benefits

A “to-do” list helps you measure your progress as you work towards completing projects. Your to do list can be quite detailed and very specific, or serve as a concise reminder of what needs to be done today, tomorrow, next week, next month, etc.

Here are just a few of the many benefits of using to do lists:

Create Order

Having to do lists help you create order, stay organized and achieve goals faster.

Better Strategic Planning

After creating and organizing a to-do list, you can view the bigger picture and create a strategic plan to get everything done efficiently.

Reschedule And Reorganize Quickly

Having a to-do list lets you better deal with events. If you suddenly find that an appointment gets cancelled at short notice or extra time becomes available when a task gets completed sooner than expected, you can continue working with minimal disruption.

Reduce Stress

Stress can come from feeling overwhelmed by the fact that there are so many things that needs doing and so little time to do it in. Creating to do lists allow you to work on urgent tasks that have to get done within the time you have available, and push out non-urgent tasks that can be worked on later. This can help reduce stress.

Sense Of Accomplishment

Ticking items off a to-do list gives you a feeling of accomplishment and allows you to relax more, as you can objectively see (or show) that work is indeed being completed and that progress is being made.

As you can see, there are many benefits to using a to-do list, both in business and in your personal life. Creating to-do lists, prioritizing tasks and working to complete the items listed improves your business efficiency and productivity.

What about using a to-do list on your website?

In this step-by-step tutorial you are going to learn how to easily add to-do lists to WordPress to improve business efficiency and productivity using a customizable, multi-featured to-do list WordPress plugin called Cleverness To-Do List.

Cleverness To Do List

to do list plugin

Cleverness To-Do List Plugin Download URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/cleverness-to-do-list/

Description

This plugin lets you easily add a customizable to do list to WordPress.

Plugin Features

Note: the plugin features listed below are discussed in more detail in the tutorial section.

You can set up the plugin to assign private to do lists for individual users, to have all users share a to do list, or to have a master list with individual completion of items.

The shared to-do list has a variety of settings available. You can assign to-do items to a specific user (this includes a setting to email a new to do item to the user) and optionally to have those items only seen by that user. You can also assign different permission levels to different users. There are also settings to show deadline and progress fields. Category support is included as well as front-end administration.

A new menu item is added to the admin backend to help you manage your list and the to do list can also be displayed on a dashboard widget.

A sidebar widget is available as well as short code to display the to-do list items on your site. There are two short codes for front-end list administration. Management of categories is restricted to the back-end admin section.

If you plan to run a multi-author blog you can use this plugin to create custom to-do lists for your post planners if you also install the Post Planner plugin for WordPress.

How To Install The Plugin

Log into your WordPress admin area and choose Plugins > Add New …

WordPress Plugin

In the Install Plugins screen, type in “cleverness” into the search field and hit Enter

Cleverness - WordPress to-do lists plugin - Install To Do List

Locate the Cleverness To-Do List item in the Search Results area and click Install Now

Cleverness to-do lists - to-do lists Cleverness - Install Cleverness To-Do List Plugin

Activate the plugin after installing it …

Cleverness plugin - to-do lists Cleverness - Activate To-Do List

Note: You can also activate the plugin in the Plugins screen …

to-do list Cleverness - WP to-do lists plugin - Activate Cleverness To-Do List

After you have activated the plugin, click on Settings

Cleverness - WordPress plugin to-do list - Cleverness To-Do List Settings

Note: You can also get to the ‘Settings’ screen by selecting To-Do List > Settings from the dashboard menu …

Cleverness to-do lists - To-Do List > Settings Menu

This brings you to the plugin ‘Settings’ page …

Cleverness to do lists plugin - To Do List Settings Tab

The section below shows you how to go through the plugin configuration process …

How To Configure The Cleverness To-Do List Plugin

The “To-Do List” plugin ‘Settings’ screen is divided into four tabs:

  • To-Do List Settings – This tab is where you can specify the main plugin settings.
  • Advanced Settings – The options in this tab let you customize your To Do lists, assign to-do items to other users and perform plugin database maintenance tasks.
  • User Permissions – In this area you can set up user permissions and capabilities for Master and Group List types.
  • Import/Export – This section lets you export and import to-do plugin and list data settings.

Let’s take you through each of these tabs.

To-Do List Settings

Cleverness plugin WP to do list - To-Do List Settings Tab

Categories

Select ‘Enabled’ to organize lists into categories, otherwise leave this option set to ‘Disabled’.

Note: When you enable this option, a ‘Categories’ item is added to the To-Do List plugin menu …

plugin to do lists Cleverness - To Do List Menu

This lets you add categories that you can then use to organize your lists (see ‘Plugin Usage’ section further below for more details) …

Cleverness plugin WordPress to do list - To Do List Categories > Add New Category

You can create ‘public’ and ‘private’ categories for your to-do lists.

Categories marked ‘private’ are not visible when using the sidebar widgets or shortcodes (only when ‘Sort Order’ is set to ‘Category’)

List View

List View allows you to choose how your lists will be viewed. You can choose from 3 list views:

  • Individual – Choosing this option allows each user to create and manage their own private to-do list.
  • Group – Choosing this option allows all users to share the same to-do list.
  • Master – This option allows you to create a master list for all users, where users have their own individual completion of items. If using the ‘Master’ list view, make sure that you set the User Permissions appropriately in the ‘User Permissions’ tab (this is covered further below).
Sort Order

Cleverness to-do list - To-Do List Sort Order

‘Sort Order’ lets you specify how to sort list items.

If you select Alphabetical, ID or Category, ID, Category or Alphabetical options, items will be sorted first by priority.

Show Added By

Enabling this option lets you display which of your members has added an item to the to-do list.

Note: This setting only applies when ‘List View’ is set to ‘Group’.

Show Date Completed

Enabling this option (‘Yes’) displays completion dates for your to-do tasks.

Show Deadline

Enabling this option lets you specify deadlines for your to-do items …

to do lists plugin - To-Do List Deadline

Show Progress

Enabling this option lets you specify task progress indicators for your to-do items …

to-do list Cleverness - To-Do List Progress

Show Admin Bar Menu

Enabling this option (‘Yes’) displays the ‘To-Do List’ menu in your WordPress Admin bar

WordPress to do list plugin - To Do List Show Admin Bar Menu

Use WYSIWYG Editor

If this option is enabled (‘Yes’), you can add and edit items on your to-do list using the WordPress WYSIWYG Editor

plugin to do lists Cleverness - To-Do List WYSIYG Editor

Use Auto Paragraphs

If enabled, automatic paragraphs are used to display content in your to-do lists.

Integrate with Post Planner

If you are running a collaborative site or blog, you can integrate the Cleverness To Do List plugin with a plugin called WordPress Post Planner, developed by the same plugin author that provides you with a complete WordPress editorial solution …

WordPress Post Planner - WordPress Editorial Solution Plugin

Go here to learn more this plugin: WordPress Post Planner – Plugin For WordPress

After you have configured your plugin options, click the ‘Save Changes’ button …

WP save changes button

Advanced Settings

Once you have configured the general settings, click on the ‘Advanced Settings’ tab to continue …

Cleverness WP plugin to-do lists - To Do List Advanced Settings

This brings up the plugin’s ‘Advanced Settings’ section …

to do list Cleverness - Advanced Settings Tab

This tab lets you customize your To-Do lists, assign to-do items to users and carry out plugin database maintenance.

Let’s go through how to configure the plugin’s ‘Advanced Settings’ section …

To-Do List Advanced Settings > Customize The To-Do List

This section of the ‘Advanced Settings’ tab allows you to customize your To-Do List …

Cleverness to do lists plugin - Advanced Settings Tab - Customize To-Do List Settings

You can configure the following settings in this section:

Date Format

In this section you can specify how to display dates in your to-do lists (e.g. month/day/year, day/month/year, etc.)

Note: To learn more about formatting dates in WordPress, see the relevant section of the WordPress Codex below:

WordPress Codex – Formatting Date And Time

Priority Labels

This section lets you customize your labels for prioritizing highest (important), middle and lowest (low) items …

to-do lists Cleverness - Priority Labels

Items given the highest (important) priority are colour-coded in red in the lists and lowest (low) priority items display in a lighter shade of grey …

Cleverness plugin WordPress - colour-coded priorities

Show To-Do Item ID

Enabling this option (‘Yes’) displays the item’s ID on the to-do list …

plugin to do list - Show To Do Item ID

Show Date To-Do Was Added

If enabled (‘Yes’), the date your to-do list was added shows on the table of items …

to do lists Cleverness - sort by date

To-Do List Advanced Settings > Assign To-Do Items Settings

If you have chosen either ‘Group’ or ‘Master’ View for your to-do list, you can configure the options in this section and assign to-do items to other users …

Cleverness plugin - To-Do List Advanced Settings > Assign To Do Items Settings

You can configure the following options in this area:

Assign To-Do Items to Users

Enable this option (‘Yes’) to assign tasks to other users …

Cleverness plugin to-do lists - Assign To Do Items to Users

Note: This setting must be set to ‘Yes’ for the settings below it to work.

Show a User Only the To-Do Items Assigned to Them

If this option is enabled (‘Yes’), you can display to-do items only to users who have been specifically assigned those items. Leaving this option disabled displays items to all users.

User Roles to Show

Checking the boxes in this area Author displays the type of users that can be assigned todo items. Leave the checkbox unticked for any roles that you do not want to assign to-do items.

Email Assigned To-Do Items to User

If this option is enabled, WordPress will automatically send an email to users with their assigned to-do items …

WP plugin to do list - Assigned To Do Items Email

If you don’t want emails sent out to users, then leave this option disabled.

Note: If you disable this option, skip other items in this section.

Add Category to Subject

If categories are enabled in your plugin settings and you have selected ‘Yes’ for this option, the to-do category will display on the subject of your emails …

plugin to do lists Cleverness - Add Category to Email Subject

Leave this option disabled (‘No’) if you don’t want to show to-do categories in the subject of your emails.

Leave this option disabled if you don’t want to-do categories to appear the subject of your emails.

Show Who Assigned the To-Do Item in Email

Enable this option to display the user who assigned the to-do item in the email. This option is useful if, for example, you have several project managers assigning to-do items to users …

Cleverness WP plugin to do list - To Do Item Email From Field

From Field for Emails Sent to User

This field allows you to customize the “From” field when sending out email notices to users. You can enter the name of your company, your domain, your name, or anything you like into this field …

to-do list plugin - To Do Item Email From Field

From Email

Type in the email address that you want showing as the “sent from” email address …

Cleverness plugin - Show Who Assigned the To Do Item in Email

Subject Field for Emails Sent to User

Type in a subject field for the email that will be sent out automatically to users when new items have been assigned to your to-do list …

Cleverness - Show Who Assigned the To Do Item in Email

Text in Emails Sent to User

In this field, type the body of the email message that will be sent out automatically to users when a new item has been assigned to your to-do list.

WP plugin to-do list - Show Who Assigned the To-Do Item in Email

To-Do List Advanced Settings > Database Cleanup

In this section you can carry out database maintenance tasks associated with plugin data directly from the plugin settings area itself …

to do list Cleverness - To Do List Advanced Settings > Database maintenance

This is useful if, for example, you notice that old to-do items are still showing on your site.

The tasks below can be performed in this section:

  • Delete Tables – Delete custom database tables that are no longer being used.
  • Delete All To-Do Items – Remove all to-do items.

Disclaimer

Any database operations carried out from this screen cannot be undone. If you are sure that you want to perform database maintenance in this section, then remember to backup your WP database first.

If you don’t want to back up your site yourself, then get professional WordPress support, or use backup plugins. You can read about a WordPress backup plugin that we recommend using to perform automated WordPress file and data backups here:

User Permissions

In this section you can configure user permissions and capabilities for Group or Master List types …

to-do list plugin - User Permissions Settings

Info

If you have selected the Individual List type, the only configurable item that applies in this section is the View To-Do List permission …

Cleverness plugin WP to do list - User Permissions Settings - View To-Do-List dropdown menu

If you are configuring user permissions and capabilities for Group or Master List types, select the highest level capabilities that you want users to be able to perform for each option …

Cleverness WP plugin to do lists - User Permissions Settings - View To-Do-List drop-down menu

By default, general capabilities of each user role are as follows:

  • Subscribers: Read
  • Contributors: Edit Posts
  • Authors: Publish Posts
  • Editors: Edit Others Posts
  • Administrators: Manage Options

Note: When using the Master list type non-administrator users should only be permitted to view and complete items, otherwise they will be able to edit the Master list itself.

Cleverness - User Permissions Settings Tab

Let’s review the settings for the User Permissions section:

View To-Do List

Here you can allow the chosen capability to view items in the dashboard widget and on the To-Do List page under the ‘Tools’ section.

Complete To-Do Item Capability

This allows the chosen capability to mark to-do items as completed or not completed.

Add To-Do Item Capability

Here you can allow the selected capability to add new to-do items.

Edit To-Do Item Capability

Here you can enable the chosen capability to edit existing items.

Assign To-Do Item Capability

Here you can enable the chosen capability to assign to-do items to individual users.

View All Assigned Tasks Capability

This option allows the chosen capability to view all tasks even if “Show Each User Only Their Assigned Tasks” is set to ‘Yes’.

Delete To-Do Item Capability

Here you can allow the chosen capability to delete individual to-do items.

Delete All To-Do Items Capability

Here you can permit the chosen capability to purge all the completed items.

Add Categories Capability

Here you can enable the selected capability to add new categories.

Import/Export

Being able to import and export to-do list data can be useful. For example, you may need to copy over data from an existing to-do list to another website, or store the list data for backup or archiving purposes.

To access this function, click on the ‘Import/Export’ tab in your plugin settings section …

WordPress to-do lists plugin - Import/Export

Here you can export and import your to-do list data and plugin settings …

to-do lists Cleverness - Import/Export Settings

Exporting To-Do List Data

To export and download your to-do list data settings click on the ‘Download Export File’ …

to do lists plugin Cleverness - Import/Export Settings Tab - Import/Export Settings - Download Export File

This will open up a new window allowing you to view or download your data in a plain text file (e.g. Notepad) to an internal or external drive …

to-do list Cleverness - Import/Export Settings - Export Settings File

In addition to exporting to-do list data from the ‘Import/Export’ tab, you can also export data by going to your dashboard menu and selecting Tools > Export

WP Tools > Export Menu

You can include to-do list data in a WordPress export file (in XML format), either by checking ‘All content’ (includes everything – posts, pages, etc…), or just select ‘To-Do’ from the ‘Choose what to export’ section and click the ‘Download Export File’ button to save your file to an internal or external hard drive…

Tools > Export WP Menu - To-Do Data

Importing To-Do List Data

Importing a list data file is easy. Just click on the ‘Browse’ button next to the ‘Choose File to Import’ field …

Cleverness plugin - Import/Export - Import/Export Settings - Import To Do Data File

Locate the file in your hard drive or external drive and click ‘Open’ …

Cleverness to-do list - Import/Export - Import/Export Settings - Import File

After the data file has been uploaded in your settings area, click on ‘Import Settings’ …

Cleverness - Import/Export - Import/Export Settings Section - Import To-Do File

The data from the existing to-do file will be imported.

Now that you have configured all plugin settings, you are ready to begin creating and editing your lists.

Plugin Usage

To create a new to-do list, go to your WordPress dashboard menu and select To-Do List > To-Do List

to do list plugin Cleverness - To-Do List Menu

This brings you to the ‘To-Do List’ page …

WP to do list plugin - To-Do List screen

How To Add A New Item To Your List

There are a number of ways to add new to-do items to your list.

For example, you can add new to-do items from your dashboard bar …

plugin to-do lists - How To Add New To-Do Items

You can also add new to-do items to your list in your Dashboard by clicking on the ‘Add To-Do item’ link …

WordPress plugin to do lists - Add A New Item To Your To Do List

You can click on the ‘Add New Item’ link in the ‘To-Do Items’ section (note: only use this option if your To-Do list contains many items, as the link is only going to send you to the “Add New To-Do Item” section down the screen) …

Cleverness plugin - Adding New Items To Your List

All the above methods will take you to the ‘Add New To-Do Item’ area.

Depending on how you have configured your plugin settings, you may or may not see certain options displayed when new items to your to-do list.

Select the options you have enabled for your to-do items, add appropriate values and information into the relevant fields and click on the ‘Submit To-Do Item’ button to add the new to-do item …

Cleverness plugin - Adding A New Item To Your To-Do List

Note: If you are using a list type that allows you to assign items to users, select a user from the drop-down list and assign them the item …

Cleverness plugin - Assign To Do Items to Users

You can also assign multiple users to the same item (click on ‘x’ to remove users) …

plugin to-do list - Assign To Do Items to Users

Once After adding a new item, it will display as an entry in the ‘To-Do Items’ table …

Cleverness to-do lists - How To Add New To-Do Items To Your List

Repeat the above process to continue adding new items to your to-do list …

WP to-do lists plugin - How To Add New To Do Items To Your List

Edit And Delete Items

To edit or delete an item, click on the ‘Edit’ or ‘Delete’ buttons associated with items under the ‘Action’ column …

Editing And Deleting Items

Depending on your configuration settings (discussed earlier), users assigned to tasks may also receive an email notification in their inboxes …

WordPress to do list plugin - Email Assigned To-Do Items to User

After creating your to-do list, users can view it from their own WP user dashboard …

Cleverness plugin - View To Do List

When users responsible for the item complete the task and tick the item checkbox …

to-do lists Cleverness - Completed To Do List Item User Dashboard

… the item is removed from the “To-Do” list …

WP to do list plugin - Complete To-Do List Item User Dashboard

And displays in the ‘Completed Items’ section located in the ’To-Do List’ plugin page …

WP plugin to-do lists - Completed To Do List Item User Dashboard

Additional Plugin Information

The Cleverness To-Do List plugin offers added functionality that lets you display to-do lists on your WordPress site using widgets, and insert a list into any page or post using shortcodes.

Plugin Widget

To add a to-do list to your site using widgets, go to the ‘Widgets’ page (Appearance > Widgets) and drag the ‘To-Do List’ widget to the location in your sidebar (or footer) menu where you want your to-do list to show …

Cleverness to-do list plugin - Using The Cleverness Plugin Widget

Configure the widget settings and click on the ‘Save’ button to update your settings …

Cleverness plugin WordPress to do lists - Using The Cleverness Plugin Widget

Your to-do list will display on your site where you have added the widget (e.g. the sidebar menu, footer, etc.)

Cleverness plugin to-do lists WP - Using The Cleverness To Do List Plugin Widget

To learn more about using widgets in WordPress, see the tutorial below:

Using The Cleverness To-Do List Plugin Shortcodes

You can also display to-do lists and checklists on your site by inserting shortcodes into your content.

To access the plugin’s short code documentation, select To-Do List > To-Do List from the WordPress admin menu …

to-do list plugin - To-Do List Menu

Click on the ‘Help’ tab on the corner of your screen …

WordPress plugin to do lists - Using The Cleverness To-Do List Plugin Shortcodes

Click on the ‘Shortcodes’ menu entry to access the Shortcode Documentation screen …

Shortcodes

The documentation section explains various ways to configure and use short codes to display lists on your pages and posts.

Once you know what type of information you want to add to your site, open up a new post or page and either type or paste the shortcode into the content section …

Shortcodes

After publishing your page or post, you should see the list displayed exactly where you have added the short code …

Shortcodes

To download this plugin, visit the plugin website:

Congratulations! Now you know how to add to-do lists in WordPress.

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