Table of Contents
- How To Create A To-Do List In WordPress
- To-Do Lists – Benefits
- Plugin Installation
- Plugin Setup
- To-Do List Settings
- Advanced Settings
- To-Do List Advanced Settings > Assign To-Do Items Settings
- Assign To-Do Items to Users
- Show a User Only the To-Do Items Assigned to Them
- User Roles to Show
- Email Assigned To-Do Items to User
- Add Category to Subject
- Show Who Assigned the To-Do Item in Email
- From Field for Emails Sent to User
- From Email
- Subject Field for Emails Sent to User
- Text in Emails Sent to User
- To-Do List Advanced Settings > Database Cleanup
- User Permissions
- Plugin Usage
How To Create A To-Do List In WordPress
Time is always in short supply, especially when you run a growing business.
There is just so much to do and remember. You have deadlines to meet, tasks to complete, meetings to attend, fires to extinguish, calls and appointments to make, commitments to keep and so on. The stress of trying to get things done on time never stops.
Now … add the extra workload of trying to promote and grow your business online and keeping your website or blog updated with fresh content and everything can quickly start becoming unmanageable and out of control.
Whether you are running a business, website, blog, or managing a team, it’s important to be able to organize and manage your day.
One proven tool that can help you save time, create a sense of order and manageability, and allow you to gain some control is to use a “to do” list.
To-Do Lists – Benefits
A “to do” list can help you track your progress as you work to get projects completed. Your to do list can be minutely detailed and specific, or just serve as a reminder of what needs to be done today, tomorrow, next week, next month, etc.
Here are some of the many benefits of using to do lists:
Writing a to-do list means that you won’t have to memorize stuff or store information inside your brain. Once things are recorded on a to do list, your mind is free to process information and you can focus on more important things.
Creating and organizing to-do lists helps you see the bigger picture and formulate a strategy to get tasks done on time and on budget.
Quickly Reschedule And Reorganize
Using to-do lists let you better handle changes in circumstances. If a meeting suddenly gets cancelled or extra time has been made available when some task gets completed sooner than expected, you can quickly reorganize and keep moving forward with minimal disruption.
Without accountability there is no commitment to completion, and no motivation to take meaningful action. Lack of accountability allows excuses to creep in and take over your work day.
Better Delegation Of Work
To-do lists help 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, then prioritizing tasks and working in a focused manner increases your business efficiency and productivity.
What about using to do lists on your website?
In this tutorial you are going to learn how to add a to-do list to your WordPress site to help your team get things done faster and more efficiently using a great little WordPress plugin called Cleverness To-Do List.
Download The Cleverness To-Do List Plugin
This plugin provides users with a to do list feature.
Note: the plugin features listed below will be discussed in more detail in the tutorial section.
You can configure the plugin 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 a number of different settings. You can delegate to-do items to specific users (this includes emailing a new to do item to assigned users) and optionally to have assigned items be seen by that user. You can also assign different permission levels to different users based on user roles. There are also settings available to enable the display of 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 lists and your to do lists are also displayed on a dashboard widget.
A sidebar widget is also available as short code to display the to do list items on your blog. There are 2 shortcodes for front-end list administration. Management of categories is accessible via the back-end.
If you plan to set up a multi-author blog you can use this plugin to create custom to-do lists for your post planners if you also install the developer’s premium plugin, Post Planner.
Log into your site’s admin section scroll down the menu select Plugins > Add New …
In the Install Plugins section, type in “cleverness” into the search field and hit the Enter button …
Locate the Cleverness To-Do List plugin in the Search Results tab and click Install Now …
Click “Activate Plugin” …
Note: You can also activate the plugin in the Plugins section …
After the plugin has been activated, click on Settings …
Note: The ‘Settings’ section can also be accessed by selecting To-Do List > Settings from your admin menu …
This takes you to the plugin ‘Settings’ area …
The section below shows you how to configure the plugin …
The Settings area is divided into four sections:
- To-Do List Settings – This section lets you specify the plugin’s main settings.
- Advanced Settings – In this section you can customize To Do lists, assign to-do items to other users and perform database maintenance tasks.
- User Permissions – Here you can set up user permissions and capabilities for Group and Master List types.
- Import/Export – This area lets you export and import your to-do list data and plugin settings.
Let’s now review each of these sections.
To-Do List Settings
To-Do List Categories
Select ‘Enabled’ to organize lists into categories, otherwise leave this option set to ‘Disabled’.
Note: When you enable this option, a ‘Categories’ item will be added to the To-Do List plugin menu …
This allows you to add categories to your to-do lists (see ‘Plugin Usage’ section further below for more details) …
You can create ‘public’ and ‘private’ categories for your lists.
Private categories are not visible when using widgets or shortcodes (only when ‘Sort Order’ is set to ‘Category’)
List View lets you choose how your to-do lists will be viewed. There are 3 to-do list views you can choose:
- Individual – Choose this option if you want each user to be able to create and manage their own private to-do list.
- Group – Use 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 using the ‘Master’ list view, make sure that you configure the User Permissions appropriately in the ‘User Permissions’ tab (this is covered further below).
‘Sort Order’ lets you specify how to sort your to-do list items.
If you choose Category, Alphabetical or ID, Category, ID or Alphabetical options, items will be sorted first by priority.
Show Added By
If enabled, you can display which users on your site have added an item to your to-do list.
Note: This setting only applies when ‘List View’ is set to ‘Group’.
Show Date Completed
If this option is enabled (‘Yes’), completion dates will display for to-do items.
Enabling this option lets you specify deadlines for to-do tasks …
Enabling this option lets you specify task progress indicators for your to-do items …
Show Admin Bar Menu
If enabled (‘Yes’), the ‘To-Do List’ menu will display in your WP Admin bar …
Use WYSIWYG Editor
Enabling this option (‘Yes’) lets you add and edit items on your to-do list using the WordPress WYSIWYG Editor …
Use Auto Paragraphs
If enabled (‘Yes’), automatic paragraphs are used to display content in your to-do lists.
Integrate with Post Planner
If you plan to run 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 author that helps to make managing a multi-author WordPress site easier …
Visit this site to learn more this handy plugin: WordPress Post Planner
When you have finished configuring your plugin options, click the ‘Save Changes’ button …
Once you have configured the settings in the To-Do List Settings tab, click on the ‘Advanced Settings’ tab …
This brings you to the plugin’s ‘Advanced Settings’ area …
In this screen you can customize your To Do lists, assign to-do items to users and carry out plugin database maintenance.
Let’s step 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 …
The following options can be configured in this section:
In this area you can specify how to display dates on your todo list (e.g. month/day/year, day/month/year, etc.)
Note: To learn more about how to format dates in WordPress, see the relevant section of the WordPress Codex below:
In this area you can customize your labels for prioritizing highest, middle and lowest items …
Items prioritized as “important” display in red and lowest priority items display in a lighter shade of grey …
Show To-Do Item ID
Enabling this option (‘Yes’) shows the item’s ID on the list …
Show Date To-Do Was Added
If this option is enabled, the date the to-do list was added will display on your To-Do Items table …
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 area and assign items to other users …
The following settings can be configured in this area:
Assign To-Do Items to Users
Enable this option (‘Yes’) to assign tasks to other 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
If enabled, you can display to-do items only to users who have been assigned those items. Leaving this option disabled displays items to all users.
User Roles to Show
Check the boxes in this area Contributor to display the type of users that can be assigned to-do 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 you enable this option, WordPress automatically sends an email to users with their assigned to-do items …
If you don’t want to send out emails to users, then leave this option disabled (‘No’).
Note: If this option is disabled, you can skip the other settings 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 …
Leave this option disabled (‘No’) if you don’t want to show categories in the email subject.
If you don’t want to display to-do categories in the email subject, then leave this option disabled (‘No’).
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 is a useful option if your website has multiple project managers assigning to-do items to users …
From Field for Emails Sent to User
This field allows you to customize the “From” field when sending out emails. Enter your company name, your domain, your name, or anything you like into this field …
Type in the email address that you would like displayed as the “sent from” address …
Subject Field for Emails Sent to User
Type in a subject field for the email that will be sent automatically to users whenever new items have been assigned to your to-do list …
Text in Emails Sent to User
Type in 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.
To-Do List Advanced Settings > Database Cleanup
This area of the ‘Advanced Settings’ tab lets you carry out database maintenance operations associated with plugin data inside your plugin settings area itself without the need to log into your server …
This function is useful if, for example, you see that old todo items are still appearing on your site.
You can perform the following tasks in this section:
- Delete Tables – Delete custom database tables that are no longer being used.
- Delete All To-Do Items – Erase all to-do items.
Any actions that you perform on the database from this screen cannot be reversed. If you are sure that you want to proceed with any of the database operations available in this section, then remember to backup your WordPress database first.
If you don’t want to perform site backups, then get help from a WordPress professional, or use a WordPress backup plugin. You can read about a WordPress backup plugin that we recommend using to perform complete site backups here:
In this area you can configure user permissions and capabilities for Group or Master List types …
If you have chosen the Individual List type, the only configurable option that is applicable in this section is the View To-Do List permission …
If you are configuring user permissions and capabilities for Group or Master List types, select the highest level capabilities that you want users to have access to for each option …
The 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-administrator users should only be permitted to view and complete items, otherwise they will have the ability to edit the Master list.
Let’s now review the settings for the User Permissions section:
View To-Do List
This setting permits the selected 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 uncompleted.
Add To-Do Item Capability
This setting permits the selected capability to add new items.
Edit To-Do Item Capability
Here you can allow the selected capability to modify existing items.
Assign To-Do Item Capability
Here you can enable the chosen capability to delegate to-do items to individual users.
View All Assigned Tasks Capability
This setting enables 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
Here you can enable 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 enable the selected capability to add new categories.
The ability to import and export to-do list data can be useful. For example, you may decide to transfer data from an existing to-do list to another website, or store your data for backup or reporting purposes.
To access this function, click on the ‘Import/Export’ tab in your plugin settings area …
Here you can export and import your to-do list data and plugin settings …
Exporting To-Do List Data
You can export and download your list data settings by clicking on the ‘Download Export File’ …
This will open up a window allowing you to view or download your data as plain text to a storage medium (e.g. your hard drive) …
In addition to exporting data from the ‘Import/Export’ section, you can also export data by going to your dashboard menu and selecting Tools > Export …
You can include to-do list data in an export file (in XML format), either by selecting ‘All content’ (includes everything – pages, posts, etc…), or just select ‘To-Do’ from the ‘Choose what to export’ section and click on the ‘Download Export File’ button to download your file to your hard drive…
Importing To-Do List Data
To import a list data file, click on the ‘Browse’ button next to the ‘Choose File to Import’ field …
Select the previously saved to-do list data file and click ‘Open’ …
Once the data file has been uploaded in your settings area, click the ‘Import Settings’ button …
Your file will be imported.
After configuring all of the plugin settings, you are ready to begin create and edit to-do lists.
To create a new to do list, go to your WordPress dashboard menu and click on To-Do List > To-Do List …
This brings you to the ‘To-Do List’ screen …
Add New To Do Items To Your List
There are several ways to add a new item to your to-do list.
For example, you can add new to-do items from your WP admin bar …
You can also add new to-do items to your list inside the ‘To-Do List’ dashboard section by clicking on the ‘Add To-Do item’ link …
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, as the link is only going to take you to the “Add New To-Do Item” section at the bottom of the screen) …
All the above methods will bring you to the ‘Add New To-Do Item’ section.
Depending on the way you have configured your plugin’s settings, some options may not display when when you add new to-do items.
Set up 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 item to your list …
Note: If you are using a list type that lets you assign items to users, select a user from the drop-down list and assign them the item …
You can also assign items to multiple users (click on ‘x’ to remove a user) …
Once the new item has been added, it will be listed as an entry in the ‘To-Do List’ table …
Repeat the above process to add new items to your list …
Edit And Delete To Do Items From Your List
To edit or delete an item, click on the ‘Edit’ or ‘Delete’ buttons next to each item under the ‘Action’ column …
Depending on your configuration plugin settings (discussed in the previous section), users assigned to tasks may also receive an email notification in their inboxes …
Once you have created your to-do list, users can view the list from their WP dashboard …
When users responsible for an item complete the task and click on the item check box …
… the item is then deleted from the “To-Do” list …
And displays in the ‘Completed Items’ table located in the main screen of the ‘To-Do List’ plugin …
Additional Plugin Information
The Cleverness To-Do List plugin offers additional functions that let you display a to-do list on your website using widgets, and display lists on content inside a page or post using short codes.
Using The 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 would like the to-do list to display …
Configure the settings on the widget and click ’Save’ …
Your to-do list will display on your site where you have inserted the widget (e.g. the sidebar menu, footer, etc.)
To learn more about using widgets in WordPress, see the tutorial below:
Using Plugin Shortcodes
You can also create lists on your site with shortcodes.
To access the plugin’s shortcode documentation, click on To-Do List > To-Do List from your dashboard menu …
Click on the ‘Help’ tab on the top right hand corner of your screen …
Click on the ‘Shortcodes’ menu entry to access the Shortcode Documentation section …
The documentation section explains different ways to configure and use short codes to display lists on your pages and posts.
Once you know what information you would like to add to your site, create or edit a new or existing page or post and either type or paste the short code inside the content section …
After publishing your post or page, you will see the list displayed exactly where you have inserted the short code …
To learn more about this plugin, visit the plugin website:
Congratulations! Now you know how to create and add to-do lists in WordPress.
"I was absolutely amazed at the scope and breadth of these tutorials! The most in-depth training I have ever received on any subject!" - Myke O'Neill, DailyGreenPost.com
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