If you plan to run a growing business or manage a team, time always seems to be in short supply.
There is just so much to do and remember. You have clients to meet, project tasks to complete, priorities to attend to, fires to extinguish, deliveries to make, commitments to keep and so on. The stress of trying to get things done on time never stops.
Now … on top of all this, add the extra dimension of promoting and growing your business online and keeping your website or blog updated with regular content and everything suddenly begins to feel unmanageable and overwhelming.
Whether you are running a business, website, blog, or managing a team, it’s important to be able to organize and prioritize your daily activities, monitor your progress and daily accomplishments, and, if necessary, assign tasks and responsibilities to others effectively.
A simple 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 “to do” lists.
- Creating To Do Lists In WordPress
- Cleverness To-Do List Plugin Installation
- Setting Up The Plugin
- 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
- How To Use Cleverness To-Do List
Benefits Of Using To Do Lists
A “to-do” list helps you monitor your progress as you complete projects. Your to-do list can be very detailed and very specific, or just serve as a reminder of what needs to be done today, tomorrow, this week, this month, etc..
Here are just a few of the benefits of using to do lists:
To-do lists help you create order, stay organized and reach your goals faster.
Manage Your Time Better
Prioritizing tasks on your list helps you manage your time more effectively. You can gain a clearer perspective on what’s truly urgent vs what’s not, and what steps should be completed first.
Log Your Work
A to-do list allows you to keep documented logs of what has been done. You can use this to provide evidence of work done to employers or clients, or simply as a way of helping you assess your own productivity and efficiency.
With no accountability there is no commitment to getting things completed, and no motivation to take meaningful action. Lack of accountability can also allow excuses to creep in and take over your productivity.
A to do list helps you better delegate work to others. This is also important if you plan to collaborate with others (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 a to do list, then prioritizing tasks and working in a systematic way increases your business efficiency and productivity.
What about adding to do lists to your website?
Creating To Do Lists In WordPress
In this detailed tutorial we are going to show you how to create a to-do list in WordPress to improve business efficiency and productivity 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.
Cleverness To-Do List Plugin Features
Note: the features described below will be discussed in more detail in the tutorial section.
You can configure the plugin to have 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 option provides different settings. You can assign to do items to a specific user (this includes a setting to email new to-do items to assigned users) and optionally to have those items only viewable by that user. You can also assign different permission levels using capabilities. There are also settings to show deadline and progress fields. Category support is also included as front-end administration.
A new menu item is added to the backend to help you manage your lists and the to do list can also display on the dashboard widget.
A sidebar widget is available as well as short code to display the to do list items on your site. There are 2 shortcodes for front-end list administration. Category management is accessed through the back-end.
If you plan to set up a multi-author site you can use the plugin to create custom to do lists for your post editors if you also own the developer’s premium plugin, Post Planner.
Cleverness To-Do List Plugin Installation
Inside your site’s admin, choose Plugins > Add New …
In the Install Plugins screen, type in “cleverness” into the search field and hit the Enter button …
Locate the item in the Search Results area and click Install Now …
Click Activate Plugin …
Note: You can also activate this plugin from the Plugins screen …
When the plugin has been activated, click on Settings …
Note: The settings screen can also be accessed by selecting To-Do List > Settings from your admin menu …
This brings you to the ‘Settings’ section …
The section below shows you how to go through the plugin configuration process …
Setting Up The Plugin
The Settings area is divided into four tabs:
- To-Do List Settings – This area is where you specify the main plugin settings.
- Advanced Settings – The options in this section let you customize your To Do lists, assign to-do items to other users and perform plugin database maintenance tasks.
- User Permissions – Here you can configure user permissions and capabilities for Group and Master List types.
- Import/Export – Here you can export and import your to-do list data and plugin settings.
Let’s go through each of these sections.
To-Do List Settings
Select ‘Enabled’ to organize lists into categories, otherwise leave this option set to ‘Disabled’.
Note: If you enable this option, a ‘Categories’ item gets added to the To-Do List menu …
This allows you to add categories to your lists (see ‘Plugin Usage’ section further below for more details) …
You can create ‘public’ and ‘private’ categories for your lists.
Categories set to ‘private’ will not be visible using sidebar widgets or short codes (only when ‘Sort Order’ is set to ‘Category’)
List View allows you to specify how to-do lists will be viewed. There are three to do list views available:
- Individual – Select this option if you want each user 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 – Use this option to create a master list for all users, where users have their own individual completion of items. If you select 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 your to-do list items will be sorted.
If you select Category, Alphabetical or ID, Category, ID or Alphabetical options, items will be sorted first by priority.
Show Added By
Enabling this option (‘Yes’) lets you display which users have added an item to the to-do list.
Note: This setting only applies when ‘List View’ is set to ‘Group’.
Show Date Completed
If this option is enabled, completion dates will display for your 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
Enabling this option (‘Yes’) displays the ‘To-Do List’ menu in your WP Admin bar …
Use WYSIWYG Editor
If this option is enabled (‘Yes’), you will be able to add and edit items on your to-do list using the WordPress WYSIWYG Editor …
Use Auto Paragraphs
If enabled, automatic paragraphs are used to display content in your to-do lists.
Integrate with Post Planner
If you plan to run a multi-author 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 provides you with a complete WordPress editorial solution …
For more information about using this WordPress plugin, visit this site: WordPress Post Planner – WordPress Multi-Author Publishing Plugin
When you have finished configuring your options, remember to click the ‘Save Changes’ button to update your settings …
Once you have configured the general settings, click on the ‘Advanced Settings’ tab to continue …
This brings up the ‘Advanced Settings’ screen …
In this screen you can 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’ screen lets you customize your To Do List …
The following settings can be configured in this section:
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:
This section lets you customize your labels for prioritizing important, normal and low items …
Highest priority items are colour-coded in red in the lists and low priority items display in a lighter shade of grey …
Show To-Do Item ID
Enabling this option (‘Yes’) shows item IDs on the list …
Show Date To-Do Was Added
Enabling this option displays the date the items table was added …
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 settings in this area and assign items to other users …
The following options can be configured in this section:
Assign To-Do Items to Users
Enable this option (‘Yes’) to assign tasks to other 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
Enable this option (‘Yes’) to display tasks only to users who have been assigned those items. Leaving this option disabled will display to-do items to all users.
User Roles to Show
Check the boxes in this area Author to display the type of users that can be assigned todo items. If you do not want to assign to-do items to a particular role, then leave its checkbox unticked.
Email Assigned To-Do Items to User
If this option is enabled (‘Yes’), 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 you disable this option, 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 subject of your emails.
Leave this option disabled (‘No’) if you don’t want to-do categories displayed in the subject of your emails.
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, you have 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 email notifications. Enter the name of your company, your domain, your name, or anything you like into this field …
Add 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 out automatically to users whenever new items have been added in your to-do list …
Text in Emails Sent to User
Add 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.
To-Do List Advanced Settings > Database Cleanup
This section allows you to perform database maintenance operations related to plugin data directly from the plugin settings area …
This function is useful if, for example, you see that todo items you have previously deleted are still showing up on your site.
The tasks below can be performed:
- Delete Tables – Remove any custom database tables that are no longer being used.
- Delete All To-Do Items – Remove all to-do items.
Any database operations you perform from this screen cannot be undone. If you are sure that you want to carry out database maintenance in this section, then we recommend backing up your database first.
If you don’t want to back up your site manually, then consider getting professional assistance, or use a WordPress backup plugin. Learn about a great WordPress backup plugin that can automate your backup process here: Back Up, Duplicate And Protect Your WordPress Web Sites With Backup Creator Plugin For WordPress
This section lets you configure user permissions and capabilities for Group or Master List types …
If you are using the Individual List type, the only permission applicable for this section is the View To-Do List permission …
If you plan to configure user permissions and capabilities for Group and Master List types, select the highest level capabilities that you would like users to have access to for each option …
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 using the Master list type non-admin 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 in the User Permissions section:
View To-Do List
Here you can permit 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 enable the selected capability to mark to-do items as completed or uncompleted.
Add To-Do Item Capability
This permits the selected capability to add new items.
Edit To-Do Item Capability
Here you can enable the chosen capability to modify existing to-do items.
Assign To-Do Item Capability
This permits the chosen capability to assign items to individual users.
View All Assigned Tasks Capability
This permits 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
This setting permits the selected capability to delete individual to-do items.
Delete All To-Do Items Capability
This setting allows the selected capability to purge all the completed items.
Add Categories Capability
Here you can allow the chosen capability to add new categories.
The ability to import and export to-do list data can be very useful. For example, you may want to transfer data from one website to another, or store your data for backup or reporting purposes.
To access this function, click on the ‘Import/Export’ tab in your plugin settings area …
Now you can easily import or export your list data and plugin settings …
Exporting To-Do List Data
You can export and download your to-do list data settings by clicking on the ‘Download Export File’ …
This opens up a window allowing you to view or save your data in a plain text file (e.g. Notepad) to a storage device …
In addition to exporting to-do list data from the ‘Import/Export’ tab, you can also export data by going to your main menu and selecting Tools > Export …
You can include to-do list data in an export file (in XML format), either by checking ‘All content’ (includes everything – pages, posts, etc…), or selecting ‘To-Do’ from the ‘Choose what to export’ section and clicking on the ‘Download Export File’ button to download your file to your hard drive…
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 …
Locate the previously saved to-do list data file in your hard drive or external drive and click ‘Open’ …
After your data file has been uploaded to your settings area, click on ‘Import Settings’ …
Your file will be imported.
After configuring all of the plugin settings, you can begin create and edit your lists.
How To Use Cleverness To-Do List
To create a new to do list, go to your WordPress admin menu and click on To-Do List > To-Do List …
This brings you to the ‘To-Do List’ page …
How To Add A New Item To Your To Do List
There are several ways to add new to-do items.
For example, you can add new to-do items from your WP admin toolbar …
You can also add new to-do items using the ‘To-Do List’ dashboard section by clicking on the ‘Add To-Do item’ link …
You can also 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 will simply send you to the “Add New To-Do Item” section at the bottom of the page) …
The methods shown above will bring 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 when you add new to-do items.
Select the options you have enabled for your to-do items, enter appropriate values and information into the relevant fields and click on the ‘Submit To-Do Item’ button to add the new item to your list …
Note: If you are using a list type that lets you assign responsibilities over items to users, select a user from the drop-down list and assign them the item …
You can also assign multiple users to the same item (click on ‘x’ to delete users) …
After After adding a new item, the item will be listed as an entry in the ‘To-Do Items’ table …
Repeat the above process to continue adding 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 associated with items under the ‘Action’ column …
Depending on your plugin configuration settings (discussed earlier), users assigned to tasks may also receive an email notification in their inboxes …
After creating your to-do list, users can view it from their own WP dashboard …
When users assigned with the item complete the task and click on the item check box …
… the item is deleted from the “To-Do” list …
And appears in the ‘Completed Items’ table located in the ’To-Do List’ screen …
The Cleverness To-Do List plugin offers additional functions that let you display to-do lists on your site using widgets, and add lists to any page or post using short codes.
Using The Cleverness Plugin Widget
To add a to-do list to your site using widgets, go to the ‘Widgets’ section (Appearance > Widgets) and drag the ‘To-Do List’ widget to the location in your sidebar (or footer) menu where you want your list to show …
Configure the settings in the widget and click on the ‘Save’ button …
The to-do list will appear where the widget was inserted (i.e. the sidebar menu, footer, etc.)
To learn more about using widgets in WordPress, see the tutorial below: How To Use Widgets In WordPress
Using The Cleverness To-Do List Plugin Short Codes
You can also create to-do lists and checklists to your site by placing short codes into your content.
To access the documentation on using short codes, click on To-Do List > To-Do List from the admin menu …
Click the ‘Help’ tab on the top right hand corner of your screen …
Click on the ‘Shortcodes’ menu to access the Shortcode Documentation …
This section explains various ways to configure and use shortcodes for displaying lists on your pages and posts.
Once you know what information you want to display on your site, open up a new page or post and either type or paste the shortcode inside the content editor …
After publishing your post or page, you should see the list showing in the location where you entered the short code …
Visit the plugin website to learn more about this plugin: Cleverness To-Do List WordPress Plugin
Congratulations! Now you can add to-do lists in WordPress.
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