How To Add To-Do Lists In WordPress

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

Creating To-Do Lists In WordPress

WordPress Tutorials - Creating A To-Do List In WordPressThere never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done, especially if you are a business owner.

There are just so many things to do and remember. You have so many deadlines to meet, project tasks to complete, meetings to attend, fires to put out, calls and appointments to make, schedules to keep and so on. The amount of things that need to get done never seems to end.

Now … add the extra workload of promoting and growing your business online and maintaining your website or blog updated with fresh content and things can quickly start becoming unmanageable and overwhelming.

Whether you run a business, website, blog, or manage a team, you need to be able to organize and manage your daily tasks.

One simple proven method that can help you save time, create a sense of order and manageability, and allow you to gain some control is to use “to-do” lists.

The Benefits Of Using A To-Do List

A “to-do” list can help you measure your progress when trying to achieve specific goals. Your to-do list can be detailed or specific, or serve as a reminder of tasks that need to be done over a given period of time.

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

Organization

A to do list helps you create order, stay organized and achieve goals sooner.

Better Time Management

Prioritizing tasks on your list helps you manage your time better. You can develop a clearer perspective on what’s truly important vs what isn’t, and what steps need to be completed first.

Keep Documented Work Logs

A to-do list lets you keep documented logs of what work has been done. You can use this to provide evidence of work to employers or clients, or simply as a means of helping you track your own productivity and efficiency.

Ensures Accountability

Without accountability there is no commitment to completion, and no motivation to act with a sense of purpose. Lack of accountability allows excuses to creep in and influence your productivity.

Better Delegation

A to do list helps you delegate tasks to others better. This is also important if you plan to work within a team (see further below).

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

What about using to do lists on your website?

In this detailed tutorial we are going to show you how to easily create a to do list in WordPress to improve business efficiency and productivity using a great little WordPress plugin called Cleverness To-Do List.

Cleverness To Do List

Cleverness plugin WP to-do lists

Download URL

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

Description

This WordPress plugin lets you easily add to-do lists to a WordPress website or blog.

Plugin Features

Note: the features described below will be discussed in more detail in the tutorial section.

You can set up Cleverness To-Do List to assign private to-do lists for individual users, to have all users share your to do list, or to have a master list with individual completion of items.

The shared to-do list offers different settings. You can assign to-do items to a specific user (this includes a setting to email new to do items to the assigned user) and optionally to have assigned items be viewable by that user. You can also assign different permission levels to different users based on user roles. There are also settings available to show deadline and progress fields. Category support is also included in the front-end administration.

A new menu item is added to the admin backend to manage your list and your to-do list can also appear on the dashboard widget.

A sidebar widget is also available as short code to display the to-do list items on your site. There are two short codes for front-end list administration. Category management is restricted to the back-end.

If you plan to run a multi-author site you can use the plugin to create custom to-do lists for your post editors if you also use a copy of the developer’s premium plugin, Post Planner.

How To Install The Plugin

Log into your site’s dashboard scroll down the menu click on Plugins > Add New …

Plugins Menu

In the Install Plugins section, type in “cleverness” into the search field and hit Enter on your keyboard …

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

Locate the entry in the Search Results section and click Install Now

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

Activate the plugin …

Cleverness WP plugin to do lists - WordPress to-do lists plugin - Activate Cleverness To-Do List Plugin

Note: You can also activate this plugin from the Plugins section …

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

After you have activated the plugin, click on Settings

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

Note: You can also get to the settings screen by choosing To-Do List > Settings from your dashboard menu …

to do list plugin Cleverness - To-Do List > Settings Menu

This brings you to the ‘Settings’ area …

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

Let’s configure the plugin …

Cleverness To-Do List Plugin Configuration

The Settings area is divided into four sections:

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

Let’s take you through each of these tabs.

To-Do List Settings

WordPress plugin to-do lists - To-Do List Settings Tab

Categories

Select ‘Enabled’ to organize your list 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 menu …

Cleverness to do lists - To-Do List Categories Menu

This allows you to add categories to your lists (see ‘Plugin Usage’ section further below for more details) …

Cleverness WordPress to do lists plugin - To-Do List Add Category

You can set up ‘public’ and ‘private’ categories for your lists.

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

List View

List View lets you specify how to-do lists are viewed. There are three to-do list views available:

  • Individual – Choose this option if you want each user to be able to create and manage their own private to-do list.
  • Group – Choosing this option lets all users share one to-do list.
  • Master – Choose this option to create one master list for all users, where users have their own individual items to complete. 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

WordPress to-do list plugin - To-Do List Settings Sort Order

‘Sort Order’ lets you specify how to-do list items will be sorted.

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

Show Added By

Enabling this option (‘Yes’) lets you display which of your members has added an item to your 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

If this option is enabled, you will be able to specify deadlines for to-do tasks …

Cleverness to-do list plugin - To Do List Deadline

Show Progress

If this option is enabled (‘Yes’), you will be able to specify task progress indicators for your to-do items …

Cleverness - To-Do List Progress Bar

Show Admin Bar Menu

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

Cleverness - Show Admin Bar Menu

Use WYSIWYG Editor

If enabled, you will be able to add and edit items on your to-do list using the WordPress WYSIWYG Editor

plugin to-do list - To-Do List WYSIYG Editor

Use Auto Paragraphs

Enable this option to display content in your to-do list items using paragraphs.

Integrate with Post Planner

If you plan to run a multi-author site or blog, you can integrate the Cleverness To-Do List plugin with a plugin called WordPress Post Planner, from the same developer that provides you with a complete WordPress editorial solution …

WordPress Post Planner - WordPress Editorial Solution Plugin

To learn more about using this plugin, go here: WordPress Post Planner

Once you are done configuring your options, remember to click the ‘Save Changes’ button …

WP save changes button

Advanced Settings

After configuring the settings in the To-Do List Settings tab, click on the ‘Advanced Settings’ tab to proceed …

to do lists Cleverness - To Do List Advanced Settings

This brings up the ‘Advanced Settings’ area …

WP to do lists plugin - Advanced Settings Tab

This screen lets you customize your To Do lists, assign to-do tasks to users and perform database maintenance tasks.

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 lets you customize your To Do List …

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

The following settings can be configured in this section:

Date Format

This section lets you specify how to display dates in your todo list (e.g. month/day/year, day/month/year, etc.)

Note: To learn more about how to format dates in WordPress, visit the relevant section of the WordPress Codex below:

WordPress Codex – Formatting Date And Time

Priority Labels

In this section you can customize your labels for important, middle and lowest priority items …

Cleverness plugin - Priority Labeling

Items given the highest priority are shown in red and low priority items display in a lighter shade of grey …

WordPress to do lists plugin - colour-coding priority

Show To-Do Item ID

Enabling this option (‘Yes’) displays item IDs on your list …

to do lists plugin Cleverness - Item ID

Show Date To-Do Was Added

Enabling this option displays the date your table of items was added …

Cleverness plugin WP to do list - Date Added column

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

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

to do list plugin - To-Do List Advanced Settings > Assign To-Do Items Settings

You can configure the following settings in this section:

Assign To-Do Items to Users

Enabling this option lets you assign to-do items to other users …

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

Note: This set this option to ‘Yes’ for the settings below it to work.

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

Enable this option (‘Yes’) to display tasks only to users who have been specifically assigned those items. Leave this option disabled (‘No’) to display to-do items to all users.

User Roles to Show

Checking the boxes in this section Author displays the type of users that can be assigned todo items. If you don’t want to assign to-do items to a particular role, then leave its check box unticked.

Email Assigned To-Do Items to User

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

Cleverness plugin to do list - Assigned To Do Items Email

Leave this option disabled if you don’t want emails sent out to users.

Note: If this option is disabled, skip the remaining 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 in the subject of emails sent to users …

Cleverness - Add Category to Subject

Leave this option disabled (‘No’) if you don’t want to display to-do categories in the email subject.

Leave this option disabled (‘No’) if you don’t want to display to-do categories in the email subject.

Show Who Assigned the To-Do Item in Email

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

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

From Field for Emails Sent to User

Use this field to customize the “From” field when sending out email notifications. Type your company name, your domain, your name, or anything you like into this field …

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

From Email

Type in the email address that you would like to display as the “sent from” address …

WP plugin to do lists - To Do Item Email From Field

Subject Field for Emails Sent to User

Type in a subject field for the email that will be automatically distributed to users whenever a new item has been assigned in your to-do list …

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

Text in Emails Sent to User

Add 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.

Cleverness plugin WordPress to do lists - Text in Emails Sent to User

To-Do List Advanced Settings > Database Cleanup

This area of the ‘Advanced Settings’ tab lets you carry out database maintenance tasks associated with plugin data inside the plugin settings area without having to log into your web server …

Cleverness - To Do List Advanced Settings > Database maintenance

This is useful if, for example, you see that old items are still showing up on your site.

The tasks below can be performed in this section:

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

Note

Any database operations carried out from this screen cannot be reversed. If you are sure that you want to perform database operations in this section, then we recommend backing up your WordPress database first.

If you don’t want to back up your site manually, then consider getting professional support, or use WordPress backup plugins. Learn about a WordPress backup plugin that can automate your site backups here:

User Permissions

This section lets you configure user permissions and capabilities for Group and Master List types …

Cleverness plugin WordPress - User Permissions

Useful Information

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

to do lists plugin - User Permissions Tab - View To Do-List

If you plan to set up user permissions and capabilities for Group or Master List types, select the highest level capabilities that you would like users to have access to for each option …

Cleverness to do list plugin - User Permissions Tab - View To-Do-List drop-down menu

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

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

Note: When working with the Master list type non-admin users should only be allowed to view and complete items, otherwise they will have the ability to edit the Master list itself.

Cleverness plugin to do list WordPress - User Permissions Settings

Let’s go through the settings for the User Permissions tab:

View To-Do List

This permits the chosen capability to view to-do items in the dashboard widget and on the To-Do List page under the ‘Tools’ section.

Complete To-Do Item Capability

Here you can enable the chosen capability to mark to-do items as completed or not completed.

Add To-Do Item Capability

This setting permits the selected capability to add new items.

Edit To-Do Item Capability

This option allows the selected capability to edit existing to-do items.

Assign To-Do Item Capability

This setting permits the selected capability to assign items to individual users.

View All Assigned Tasks Capability

Here you can permit the selected capability to view all tasks even if “Show Each User Only Their Assigned Tasks” is set to ‘Yes’.

Delete To-Do Item Capability

This option permits the chosen capability to delete individual items.

Delete All To-Do Items Capability

Here you can enable the selected capability to purge all the completed to-do items.

Add Categories Capability

Here you can allow the chosen capability to add new categories.

Import/Export

Being able to import and export to-do list data can be very useful. For example, you may want to transfer data from one site to another, or store your 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 list plugin - Import/Export

Use this section to export and import your data and plugin settings …

Cleverness plugin to do list - Import/Export Settings

Exporting To-Do List Data

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

to-do lists plugin - Import/Export - Import/Export Settings Section - Download Export File

This opens up a window allowing you to download and save the data as plain text to a storage device (e.g. your hard drive) …

Cleverness - Import/Export Tab - Export Settings

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

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 – pages, posts, 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 your storage medium…

WP Tools > Export Menu - To Do

Importing To-Do List Data

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

to do lists Cleverness - Import/Export Settings - Import/Export Settings - Import To-Do File

Locate the previously saved to-do list data file and click ‘Open’ …

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

After uploading your data file, click the ‘Import Settings’ button …

WordPress to-do list plugin - Import/Export Settings - Import/Export Settings Section - Import To-Do File

Your file data will be imported.

Once you have configured all plugin settings, you can begin create and edit your to-do lists.

Plugin Usage

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

WP plugin to do lists - To-Do List > To-Do List

This brings up the ‘To-Do List’ screen …

to do lists plugin Cleverness - To-Do List page

Adding New Items To Your To Do 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 to your list from your WP dashboard bar …

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

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

plugin to-do lists Cleverness - 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, since the link will simply take you to the “Add New To-Do Item” section further down the page) …

WordPress to do list plugin - How To Add New To-Do Items To Your List

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can also assign items to multiple users (click on ‘x’ to delete users) …

Cleverness - Assign To Do Items to Users

After you have added an item, it will display as an entry in the ‘To-Do Items’ table …

Cleverness to-do list plugin WP - Add New To-Do Items

Repeat this process to add new items to your list …

plugin to-do list - How To Add A New Item To Your To-Do List

Edit And Remove To Do Items From Your List

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

Edit And Delete Items

Depending on how you have configured your settings (discussed earlier), users assigned to completing tasks may also receive an email notification in their inboxes …

Cleverness WP to-do lists plugin - Email Assigned To-Do Items to User

After creating your to do list, users can view it when logged into their dashboard …

to-do lists plugin - View To-Do List

When users assigned with completing an item click on the item check box …

Cleverness plugin - Complete To Do Item User Dashboard

… the item disappears from the “To-Do” list …

Cleverness plugin to-do list - Completed To-Do List Items User Dashboard

And gets listed the ‘Completed Items’ table located in the ’To-Do List’ screen …

Cleverness to do lists plugin - Completed To Do List Item

Additional Plugin Information

The Cleverness To-Do List plugin offers added functionality that lets you display a to-do list on your site using widgets, and insert a list into content inside a post or page using short codes.

Plugin Widget

To add to-do lists 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 …

WordPress to do lists plugin - Widgets

Configure the widget settings and click the ‘Save’ button …

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

Your to-do list will appear where you have inserted the ‘to-do-list’ widget (i.e. the sidebar menu, footer, etc.)

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

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

Using The Cleverness Plugin Shortcodes

The Cleverness plugin also lets you create lists to your site with short codes.

To access the documentation on using shortcodes, click on To-Do List > To-Do List from your dashboard menu …

Cleverness plugin WordPress - To-Do List > To-Do List

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

to do list Cleverness - Using The Cleverness To-Do List Plugin Short Codes

Click on the ‘Shortcodes’ tab to access the Shortcode Documentation section …

Using Plugin Shortcodes

This section explains different ways to configure and use short codes for displaying lists and checklists on your content.

Once you know what type of information you would like to add to your site, create a new page or post and either type or paste the short code into the content section …

Using The Cleverness Plugin Short Codes

Publish your page or post and you will see the list showing exactly where you have added the shortcode …

Using The Cleverness To Do List Plugin Shortcodes

To learn more about this plugin, visit the plugin website:

Congratulations! Now you know how to create and add a to-do list in WordPress.

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"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum

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Originally published as How To Add To-Do Lists In WordPress.