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 Plugin Tutorials - How To Create To Do Lists In WordPressTime is always in short supply, especially if you are running a fast-paced business or managing a team.

There are just so many things to do and remember. You have clients to meet, tasks to complete, meetings to attend, fires to extinguish, deliveries to make, schedules to keep and so on. The amount of things that need ”doing” never seems to stop.

Now … on top of all this, add the extra workload of promoting and growing your business online and keeping your website or blog updated with new content and everything can start to become unmanageable and chaotic.

Whether you are running a business, website, blog, or managing a team, you need to be able to organize and prioritize your activities, track your progress, and, if necessary, assign responsibilities to others efficiently.

One simple “tried and true” method that can help you save time, create a sense of order and manageability, and allow you to regain control is to use “to do” lists.

To Do Lists – Benefits

A “to-do” list can help you monitor your progress when trying to complete tasks. Your to do list can be very detailed and very specific, or just serve as a concise reminder of tasks that need doing today, tomorrow, next week, next month, etc.

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

Clear Thinking

Writing to-do lists means you don’t have to keep remembering things or clutter your mind with details. Once things are written down on a to-do list, your head is free to process other information and you can focus on other things that may be more important.

Better Manage Your Time

Prioritizing tasks on your list helps you manage your time better. You can gain a better perspective on what’s more important vs what is not, and what steps need to be completed first.

Document Your Work

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

Stress Relief

Stress can come from feeling overwhelmed by the thought that there is so much that needs to get done and very little time to do it all in. Creating a to do list allows you to work on urgent tasks that need to be completed 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 your to-do list not only makes you feel more productive, motivated and in-control, it also allows you to stress less, as you can objectively see (or show) that the work is being completed and that things are moving forward.

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 in a systematic way increases your business productivity and efficiency.

What about adding to-do lists to your WordPress website or blog?

In this detailed tutorial we are going to show you how to easily create to do lists in WordPress to help get things done online  faster and more efficiently using a great little WordPress plugin called Cleverness To-Do List.

Cleverness To-Do List

WP plugin to-do lists

Plugin Download URL

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

Description

This plugin provides users with a to-do list feature.

Features

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

You can configure the plugin with 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 option has a variety of settings available. You can assign to do items to specific users (this includes a setting to email new to do items to assigned users) and optionally to have those items only seen 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 included as well as front-end administration.

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

A sidebar widget is also available as shortcode to display the to do list items on your site. There are two shortcodes for front-end administration of the list. Category management is accessed via the back-end.

If you plan to set up a multi-author blog you can use the to do lists plugin to create custom to do lists for your post editors if you also download a copy of the Post Planner plugin.

Cleverness To-Do List Plugin Installation

Inside your WordPress admin section, go to the main menu and choose Plugins > Add New

Plugins Menu

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

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

Locate the Cleverness To-Do List plugin in the Search Results tab and click Install Now

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

Activate the plugin after installing it …

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

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

Cleverness plugin - plugin to-do list - Activate Cleverness To Do List Plugin

Once you have activated the plugin, click on Settings

WP to-do list plugin - Cleverness to-do lists plugin - Cleverness To-Do List Plugin Settings

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

Cleverness to do lists plugin - To-Do List

This brings you to the ‘Settings’ section …

Cleverness to do list - To Do List Settings Tab

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

Plugin Setup

The plugin’s ‘Settings’ area is divided into 4 tabs:

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

Let’s configure each of these sections.

To-Do List Settings

Cleverness - To-Do List Settings Tab

To-Do List 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 gets added to the To-Do List plugin menu …

WP to-do list plugin - To Do List Categories Menu

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

plugin to-do lists Cleverness - To Do List Categories Section

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

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

List View

List View allows you to specify how lists are viewed. There are 3 list views you can choose:

  • Individual – Select this option if you want each user to be able to create and manage their own private to-do list.
  • Group – Select this option if you want all users to share one to-do list.
  • Master – This option allows you to create one master list for all users, where users have their own individual items to complete. If you choose 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 plugin to-do list WP - To-Do List Sort Order

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

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

Show Added By

If enabled, you can display which of your users has added an item to your to-do list.

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

Show Date Completed

If this option is enabled, completion dates will display for to-do tasks.

Show Deadline

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

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

Show Progress

Enabling this option (‘Yes’) lets you specify task progress indicators for your to-do items …

Cleverness plugin WP to do list - To-Do List Progress

Show Admin Bar Menu

If enabled (‘Yes’), the ‘To-Do List’ menu displays in your WP Admin bar

Cleverness plugin - Show Admin Bar Menu

Use WYSIWYG Editor

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

Cleverness plugin WordPress to do lists - WYSIWYG editor

Use Auto Paragraphs

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

Integrate with Post Planner

If you are running a collaborative website 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 helps to make the process of managing a multi-author WordPress site easier …

WordPress Post Planner - WordPress Multi-Author Publishing Plugin

Go here to learn more about using this handy plugin: WordPress Post Planner – WordPress Multi-Author Publishing Plugin

Once you have finished configuring your plugin options, click the ‘Save Changes’ button …

WP button save changes

Advanced Settings

After you have configured the settings in the To-Do List Settings tab, click on the ‘Advanced Settings’ tab to continue …

WP to-do list plugin - Advanced Settings Tab

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

plugin to-do lists - To Do List Advanced Settings

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

Let’s take you 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’ screen lets you customize your To-Do List …

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

The following settings can be configured in this section:

Date Format

In this section you can specify how to display dates on your to-do lists (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

This section lets you customize the labels for important, middle (normal) and low priority items …

Cleverness to do lists plugin - Priority Labeling

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

Cleverness WordPress plugin to do list - sort by priority

Show To-Do Item ID

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

Cleverness plugin to do list - Show To Do Item ID

Show Date To-Do Was Added

If this option is enabled, the date your to-do list was added will show on the To-Do Items table …

Cleverness - sort by date added

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

If you have selected ‘Group’ or ‘Master’ View for your to-do list, you can configure the settings 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 settings in this area:

Assign To-Do Items to Users

Enabling this option (‘Yes’) lets you assign to-do items to other users …

Cleverness plugin - 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

Enabling this option lets you display to-do items only to users who have been assigned those items. Leaving this option disabled (‘No’) will display items to all users.

User Roles to Show

Checking the boxes in this area (Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor, Subscriber) displays the type of users that can be assigned to-do items. Leave the check box unticked for any roles that you don’t want to assign to-do items.

Email Assigned To-Do Items to User

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

Cleverness plugin WP to-do list - Assigned To-Do Items Email

Leave this option disabled (‘No’) if you don’t want emails sent out to users.

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

Add Category to Subject

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

Cleverness plugin - Add Category to Subject

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

If you don’t want to-do categories added to the subject of your emails, then leave this option disabled (‘No’).

Show Who Assigned the To-Do Item in Email

Enable this option (‘Yes’) to display the user who assigned the to-do item in the email. This option is useful if, for example, your site has several project managers assigning to-do items to users …

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

From Field for Emails Sent to User

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

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

From Email

Enter the email address that you want displayed as the “sent from” email address …

Cleverness to-do lists - From Email

Subject Field for Emails Sent to User

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

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

Text in Emails Sent to User

Type into this field 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 WP - Show Who Assigned the To Do Item in Email

To-Do List Advanced Settings > Database Cleanup

This area lets you carry out database maintenance tasks associated with plugin data inside your plugin settings area itself without having to access your server …

plugin to-do list - To Do List Advanced Settings > Database Cleanup

This function is useful if, for example, you notice that previously deleted items are still listed on your site.

You can perform the following tasks:

  • Delete Tables – Remove any custom database tables that you are no longer using.
  • Delete All To-Do Items – Remove all of your to-do items.

Info

Any database operations performed from this screen cannot be undone. If you are sure that you want to proceed with any of the database operations available in this section, then we recommend backing up your WP database first.

If you don’t want to back up your files yourself, then get professional assistance services, or use backup plugins. You can read about a WordPress backup plugin that can fully automate your site backups here:

User Permissions

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

Cleverness plugin WordPress to do lists - User Permissions Tab

Useful Information

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

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

If you plan to configure user permissions and capabilities for Group or Master List types, select the highest level capabilities that you would like users to be able to perform for each option …

Cleverness - User Permissions - View To-Do-List

By default, general capabilities for each user role are 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 make sure that you only authorize non-administrators to view and complete items, otherwise they will be able to edit the Master list.

to-do list plugin Cleverness - User Permissions Settings

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

View To-Do List

Here you can enable 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

Here you can allow the chosen capability to mark items as completed or uncompleted.

Add To-Do Item Capability

Here you can enable the chosen capability to add new to-do items.

Edit To-Do Item Capability

This setting allows the chosen capability to edit existing to-do items.

Assign To-Do Item Capability

Here you can permit the chosen capability to assign items to individual users.

View All Assigned Tasks Capability

This allows 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 enables the selected capability to delete individual items.

Delete All To-Do Items Capability

This setting allows the chosen capability to purge all the completed items.

Add Categories Capability

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

Import/Export

The ability to import and export to-do list data can be useful. For example, you may want to copy over data from an existing list to another website, or export your data for backup or reporting purposes.

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

to do lists Cleverness - Import/Export

Now you can easily import or export your data and plugin settings …

plugin to-do lists - Import/Export Settings

Exporting To-Do List Data

You can export and download your list data settings by clicking on the ‘Download Export File’ …

Cleverness - Import/Export - 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 …

plugin to do lists - 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 WordPress dashboard menu and selecting Tools > Export

WordPress Menu Export

You can include to-do list data in an 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 Menu - Export To-Do

Importing To-Do List Data

To import a list data file, click on the ‘Browse’ button next to the ‘Choose File to Import’ field …

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

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

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

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

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

Your file data will be imported.

Once you have configured all plugin settings, you are ready to start creating and editing to do lists.

Plugin Usage

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

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

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

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

Add New To Do Items

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 admin toolbar …

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

You can also add new items to your to-do list from the ‘To-Do List’ dashboard section by clicking on the ‘Add To-Do item’ link …

plugin to-do lists - Adding New Items To Your 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 already contains many items, since the link is only going to take you to the “Add New To-Do Item” section down the page) …

Cleverness - Add New To-Do Items

The methods shown above will take you to the ‘Add New To-Do Item’ section.

Depending on how you have set up your plugin, you may or may not see certain options displayed when adding new to-do items.

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

Cleverness to-do list - Adding New To-Do Items

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

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

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

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

After a new item has been added, the item will display as an entry in the ‘To-Do Items’ table …

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

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

Cleverness plugin WordPress - Adding New To Do Items To Your 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 To Do Items

Depending on how you have configured the plugin (discussed in the previous section), users assigned to tasks may also receive an email notification in their inboxes …

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

Once you have created your to-do list, users can view the list from their own WP user dashboard …

Cleverness to do lists - View To-Do List User Dashboard

When users responsible for an item complete the task and click on the item check box …

Cleverness plugin WP - Completed To-Do List Item

… the item no longer appears in the “To-Do” list …

to do list plugin - Complete To Do Item User Dashboard

And gets added to the ‘Completed Items’ section located in the ’To-Do List’ plugin area …

to-do list Cleverness - Completed To Do Item

Additional Information

The Cleverness plugin offers additional functions that let you display a to-do list on your WordPress website using widgets, and display a list on content inside a post or page using short codes.

Using The Cleverness 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 would like the list to appear …

Cleverness to do list plugin - Using The Plugin Widget

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

Cleverness - Using The Cleverness To-Do List Plugin Widget

The list will now display on your site where you have inserted the ‘to-do-list’ widget (i.e. the sidebar menu, footer, etc.)

Cleverness plugin WordPress to do list - Using The Plugin Widget

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

Using The Cleverness To-Do List Plugin Shortcodes

You can also create lists and checklists to your site using shortcodes.

To access the plugin’s shortcode documentation, select To-Do List > To-Do List from your dashboard menu …

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

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

Cleverness to-do list - Short Codes

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

Using The Cleverness Plugin Shortcodes

The documentation section explains different ways to configure and use shortcodes to display lists on your pages and posts.

Once you know what information you would like to display on your site, open up a new post or page and either type or paste the short code inside the content section …

Using The Cleverness To-Do List Plugin Short Codes

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

Plugin Shortcodes

Go here for more details about this plugin:

Congratulations! Now you can create and add to-do lists in WordPress.

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"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group

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