Time always seems to be in short supply, especially if you are a business owner.
There is just so much work to do and things to remember. You have deadlines to meet, tasks to complete, priorities to attend to, fires to put out, calls and appointments to make, commitments to keep and so on. The amount of things that need to get done never seems to stop.
Now … on top of all this, add the extra workload of promoting and growing your business online and maintaining your website updated with new content and things suddently begin to feel unmanageable and overwhelming.
Whether you run a business, website, blog, or manage a team, it’s important to be able to organize and manage your daily tasks.
A simple proven tool that can help you save time, reduce stress, and allow you to gain some control is to use “to do” lists.
- How To Create To-Do Lists In WordPress
- How To Install The Plugin
- How To Configure 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
- Plugin Usage
To-Do Lists – Benefits
A “to do” list helps you measure your progress when working towards your goals. Your to do list can be very detailed and very specific, or act as a concise reminder of what needs to be done today, tomorrow, next week, next month, etc..
Here are just a few of the benefits of using to do lists:
Think More Clearly
Creating a to do list means you don’t have to memorize stuff or clutter your brain with details. Once tasks are written down on a to-do list, your brain is free to process other information and you can focus on other things that are important.
Prioritize Your Time
Prioritizing tasks on your list helps you save time. You can develop a clearer perspective on what is truly important vs what’s not, and what steps need to be done first.
Document Your Work
A to-do list lets you retain documented logs of what work has been done. This can be used as evidence of work to clients or employers, or just as a method of helping you measure 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 lets excuses creep in and influence your productivity.
Collaborate Better With Others
Creating to do lists and other project management tools is essential for working with other people on some of your larger or more complex projects.
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 towards completing the items listed improves your business productivity and efficiency.
What about adding to-do lists to your WordPress website?
How To Create 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 customizable, multi-featured to-do list plugin for WordPress called Cleverness To-Do List.
Cleverness To-Do List Plugin URL
This plugin lets you easily add customizable to do lists to WordPress.
Note: the features described below are discussed in more detail in the tutorial section.
You can configure Cleverness To-Do List 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 item completions.
The shared to-do list option includes different settings. You can assign to-do items to a specific user (this includes a setting to email a new to-do item to users) and optionally to have assigned items only seen by that user. You can also assign different permission levels using capabilities. There are also settings to display deadline and progress fields. Category support is included as well in the front-end administration.
A new menu item is added to the admin backend to manage your list and the to-do list is also displayed on a dashboard widget.
A sidebar widget is available as well as short code to display the to-do list items on your blog. There are two shortcodes 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 a copy of the Post Planner plugin for WordPress.
How To Install The Plugin
Log into your WordPress admin and in the menu click on 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 entry in the Search Results section and click Install Now …
Click Activate Plugin …
Note: You can also activate the plugin from the Plugins area …
After you have activated the plugin, click on Settings …
Note: The plugin’s settings screen can also be accessed by selecting To-Do List > Settings from the admin menu …
This takes you to the plugin ‘Settings’ area …
Let’s configure the plugin …
How To Configure The Plugin
The “To-Do List” plugin ‘Settings’ area is divided into 4 tabs:
- To-Do List Settings – This tab lets you specify the main plugin settings.
- Advanced Settings – This section is where you can customize your to-do lists, assign to-do items to other users and perform plugin database maintenance tasks.
- User Permissions – The options in this tab let you set up user permissions and capabilities for Master and Group List types.
- Import/Export – In this area you can export and import your to-do plugin and list data settings.
Let’s go through each of these sections.
To-Do List Settings
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 …
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.
Categories marked ‘private’ are not visible when using the sidebar widgets or shortcodes (only when ‘Sort Order’ is set to ‘Category’)
List View lets you choose how lists are viewed. There are three list views available:
- Individual – Select 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 – This option allows you to have one master list for all users, where users have their own individual completion of items. If you select the ‘Master’ list view, make sure to set the User Permissions appropriately in the ‘User Permissions’ tab (see further below).
‘Sort Order’ lets you specify how to order list items.
If you select ID, Alphabetical, or Category options, items will be sorted first by priority.
Show Added By
Enabling this option lets you display which users have 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 displays completion dates for to-do tasks.
Enabling this option (‘Yes’) lets you specify deadlines for to-do tasks …
If enabled, you can 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 WordPress Admin bar …
Use WYSIWYG Editor
If 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 (‘Yes’), automatic paragraphs are used to display content in your to-do lists.
Integrate with Post Planner
If you are running a multi-author site 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 …
Visit this site to learn more about this plugin: WordPress Post Planner
When you have configured your plugin options in this section, click the ‘Save Changes’ button to update your settings …
After configuring the general settings, click on the ‘Advanced Settings’ tab to proceed …
This brings up the ‘Advanced Settings’ screen …
This screen lets you customize your To Do lists, assign to-do items to other users and perform plugin database maintenance tasks.
Let’s step through how to configure the plugin’s ‘Advanced Settings’ section …
To-Do List Advanced Settings > Customize The To-Do List
In this section you can customize your To-Do List …
You can configure the following options 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, see the relevant section of the WordPress Codex below:
This section lets you customize your labels for prioritizing highest, normal and low items …
Items given the highest (important) priority display in red in your lists and lowest priority items display in a lighter shade of grey …
Show To-Do Item ID
Enabling this option (‘Yes’) will show item IDs on your 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 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 …
The following options can be configured in this area:
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
If enabled (‘Yes’), you can display to-do items only to users who have been assigned those items. Leaving this option disabled (‘No’) displays items to all users.
User Roles to Show
Check the boxes in this area (Administrator to display 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
If you enable this option, WordPress will automatically send users an email 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, skip the remaining settings 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 …
Leave this option disabled (‘No’) if you don’t want to display categories in the email subject.
If you don’t want to-do categories displayed in the subject of your emails, 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 site has several project managers assigning to-do items to users …
From Field for Emails Sent to User
This field lets you customize the “From” field when sending out email notifications to users. You can enter the name of your company, your domain, your name, or anything you like in this field …
Enter the email address that you would like showing as the “sent from” address …
Subject Field for Emails Sent to User
Type into this field a subject field for the email that will be automatically sent to users when new items have been assigned to your to-do list …
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.
To-Do List Advanced Settings > Database Cleanup
This area allows you to carry out database maintenance tasks related to plugin data directly from the plugin settings area …
This function is useful if, for example, you notice that items you have previously deleted are still appearing on your site.
The tasks below can be performed:
- Delete Tables – Delete custom database tables that you no longer use.
- Delete All To-Do Items – Remove all of your to-do items.
Any database operations performed from this screen cannot be reversed. If you are sure that you want to perform database maintenance in this section, then remember to backup your database first.
If you don’t want to back up your data manually, then consider getting support from a WordPress professional, or use WordPress backup plugins. You can learn more about a WordPress backup plugin that we recommend using to automate backups here: Backup, Copy And Protect Your WP Web Site With Backup Creator WordPress Plugin
This section lets you configure user permissions and capabilities for Group or Master List types …
If you have chosen Individual List, the only configurable item applicable for 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 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 authorized to view and complete items, otherwise they will be able to edit the Master list itself.
Below is a description of the settings for this section:
View To-Do List
This option permits the selected 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 option permits the selected 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 selected capability to modify existing to-do items.
Assign To-Do Item Capability
This allows the chosen capability to assign to-do items to individual users.
View All Assigned Tasks Capability
This setting 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
Here you can allow the chosen capability to delete individual items.
Delete All To-Do Items Capability
Here you can allow the chosen capability to purge all the completed items.
Add Categories Capability
Here you can permit the selected capability to add new categories.
The ability to import and export to-do list data can be useful. For example, you may need to copy over data from one site to another, or export your list data for backup or reporting purposes.
To access this function, click on the ‘Import/Export’ tab in your plugin settings section …
Now you can easily export and import your list and plugin settings …
Exporting To-Do List Data
To export and download your list data settings click on the ‘Download Export File’ …
This will open up a new window allowing you to download and save your data as plain text to a storage medium (e.g. your hard drive) …
As well as exporting data from the ‘Import/Export’ section, 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 – posts, pages, etc…), or selecting ‘To-Do’ from the ‘Choose what to export’ section and clicking the ‘Download Export File’ button to save your file to an internal or external hard drive…
Importing To-Do List Data
To import a previously saved to-do 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 uploading the data file in your settings area, click on ‘Import Settings’ …
The data from the existing to-do file will be imported.
After configuring all of the plugin settings, you are ready to start create and edit your to-do lists.
To create a new to do list, log into your WordPress admin, then scroll down the menu and click on To-Do List > To-Do List …
This brings you to the ‘To-Do List’ screen …
Add New To Do Items
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 to your list inside your Dashboard 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 contains many items, since the link will simply take you to the “Add New To-Do Item” section down the page) …
The methods shown above will take you to the ‘Add New To-Do Item’ section.
Depending on how 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, add appropriate values and information into the relevant fields and click on the ‘Submit To-Do Item’ button to add the to-do item …
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 items to multiple users (click on ‘x’ to delete a user) …
After an item has been added, the item will be listed as an entry in the ‘To-Do Items’ table …
Repeat this process to keep adding items to your list …
Edit And Delete To Do Items
To edit or delete an item, click on the ‘Edit’ or ‘Delete’ buttons next to each item under the ‘Action’ column …
Depending on how you have configured the plugin (discussed earlier), users assigned to tasks may also receive email notifications …
Once you have created your to-do list, users can view it when logged into their dashboard …
When the user assigned with completing an item ticks the item check box …
… the item disappears from the “To-Do” list …
And gets listed the ‘Completed Items’ section located in the ’To-Do List’ page …
The Cleverness plugin offers added functionality that lets you display a to-do list on your website using widgets, and insert lists into any page or post using short codes.
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 menu location where you would like your to-do list to appear …
Configure the widget settings and click ’Save’ …
Your to-do list will display wherever the ‘to-do-list’ widget has been added (i.e. the sidebar menu, footer, etc.)
To learn more about using WordPress widgets, see the tutorial below: Using WordPress Widget
Using The Cleverness To-Do List Plugin Shortcodes
Cleverness To-Do List also lets you display to-do lists and checklists on your site using short codes.
To access the plugin’s shortcode documentation, click on To-Do List > To-Do List from your dashboard menu …
Click the ‘Help’ tab on the corner of your screen …
Click on the ‘Shortcodes’ tab to access the Shortcode Documentation …
This section explains different ways to configure and use short codes for displaying lists and checklists on your posts and pages.
Once you know what type of information you would like to display on your site, create or edit a new or existing post or page and either type or paste the shortcode inside the content section …
After publishing your post or page, you will see the list showing in the location where you entered the shortcode …
To download this plugin, go here: Cleverness To-Do List WordPress Plugin
Congratulations! Now you know how to 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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