How To Add To-Do Lists In WordPress

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

How To Create A To Do List In WordPress

WordPress Tutorials - How To Create A To-Do List In WordPressIf you run a hectic business, time always seems to be in short supply.

There is just too much to do and remember. You have deadlines to meet, urgent tasks to complete, meetings to attend, fires to put out, deliveries to make, schedules to keep and so on. The stress of trying to get things done on time never ends.

Now … add the extra workload of trying to promote and grow your business online and maintaining your website or blog updated with regular content and everything suddenly begins feeling 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 daily activities, monitor your progress, and, if necessary, assign tasks to other people effectively.

A simple proven tool that can help you save time, alleviate stress, and allow you to gain some control is to use “to-do” lists.

Benefits Of Using To Do Lists

A “to do” list can help you track your progress as you work towards completing tasks. Your to-do list can be detailed and very specific, or serve as a reminder of what needs to be done over a given period of time.

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

A To Do List Helps You Keep Things Organized

To-do lists help you create order, stay organized and achieve goals faster.

Time Prioritization

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

Keep Documented Work Logs

A to-do list allows you to maintain documented logs of what work has been done. You can use this to provide evidence of work to clients or employers, or just as a method of helping you assess your own productivity and efficiency.

Reduce Stress

Stress can result from feeling overwhelmed by so much to do and so little time to do it in. Using a to do list lets you prioritize urgent things that have to get done within a reasonable timeframe, and reschedule tasks that can be worked on at a later time. This can help reduce stress.

Sense Of Accomplishment

Ticking items off your to-do list gives you a sense of accomplishment and allows you to stress less, as you can objectively see (or show) that the workload is getting done and that milestones are being reached.

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

What about using to do lists on your website?

In this step-by-step tutorial you are going to learn how to easily add to do lists to a WP website or blog to improve business efficiency and productivity using a customizable, multi-featured to-do list WordPress plugin called Cleverness To-Do List.

Cleverness To Do List

Cleverness

Cleverness To-Do List Plugin URL

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

Plugin Description

This WordPress plugin lets you easily add to do lists to a WordPress site.

Features

Note: the plugin 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 item completions.

The shared to-do list option has a variety of settings available. You can assign to-do items to specific users (this includes emailing new to do items to the user) and optionally to have those items only seen by that user. You can also assign different permission levels using capabilities. There are also settings available 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 help you manage your lists and the to-do lists are also listed on a 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 administration of the list. Category management is accessible via 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 install a copy of the Post Planner plugin for WordPress.

Cleverness To-Do List Plugin Installation

From your WordPress dashboard area, go to the main menu and choose Plugins > Add New

WP Plugins

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

Cleverness plugin WP - Cleverness plugin - Install To Do List Plugin

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

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

Click Activate Plugin

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

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

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

After the plugin has been activated, click on Settings

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

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

Cleverness plugin - To-Do List > Settings

This brings you to the ‘Settings’ area …

Cleverness plugin WordPress - To Do List Settings Tab

Let’s go through the plugin setup process …

Setting Up The Plugin

The Settings screen is divided into four sections:

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

Let’s take you through each of these sections.

To-Do List Settings

Cleverness plugin to-do list - To Do List Settings

To-Do List Categories

Choose ‘Enabled’ to organize lists 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 …

WordPress to do lists plugin - To-Do List Categories

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

Cleverness - To-Do List Categories > Add New Category

You can create ‘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 allows you to choose how to-do lists are viewed. You can choose 3 list views:

  • Individual – Choosing this option lets users create and manage their own private to-do list.
  • Group – Choosing this option lets all users share one to-do list.
  • Master – Use this option to have a master list for all users, where users have their own individual items to complete. If using the ‘Master’ list view, make sure to set the User Permissions appropriately in the ‘User Permissions’ tab (see further below).
Sort Order

Cleverness plugin WordPress - To Do List Sort Order

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

If you choose 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 the to-do list.

Note: This setting only works when ‘List View’ is set to ‘Group’.

Show Date Completed

Enabling this option displays completion dates for your to-do tasks.

Show Deadline

If this option is enabled (‘Yes’), you can specify deadlines for your to-do tasks …

plugin to-do lists - To-Do List Deadline

Show Progress

If this option is enabled, you can specify task progress indicators for your to-do items …

Cleverness plugin WordPress to do list - To Do List Progress Bar

Show Admin Bar Menu

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

plugin to-do list Cleverness - Show Admin Bar Menu

Use WYSIWYG Editor

Enabling this option (‘Yes’) lets you add and edit items on your to-do list using the WordPress WYSIWYG Editor

plugin to-do lists - WYSIWYG editor

Use Auto Paragraphs

If enabled (‘Yes’), automatic paragraphs are used to display content in your to-do list items.

Integrate with Post Planner

If you are running a multi-author website 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 Plugin

To learn more about using this handy plugin, go here: WordPress Post Planner – Multi-Author Publishing Plugin For WordPress

After you are done configuring your plugin options in this section, click the ‘Save Changes’ button …

WordPress save changes button

Advanced Settings

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

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

This brings you to the plugin’s ‘Advanced Settings’ screen …

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

In this tab you can customize your To Do lists, assign to-do tasks to users and carry out 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

Here you can customize your To-Do List …

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

You can configure the following settings in this section:

Date Format

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

Note: To learn more about formatting dates in WordPress, refer to the relevant section of the WordPress Codex below:

WordPress Codex – Formatting Date And Time

Priority Labels

This section lets you customize the labels for highest, middle and lowest priority items …

Cleverness plugin to do lists - Priority drop-down menu

Items prioritized as “important” are color-coded in red and low priority items display in a lighter shade of grey …

Cleverness plugin WordPress - sort by priority

Show To-Do Item ID

If this option is enabled (‘Yes’), item IDs show on the list …

Cleverness plugin WordPress - Show To-Do Item ID

Show Date To-Do Was Added

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

plugin to-do list - sort by date added

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

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

Cleverness plugin WP - To-Do List Advanced Settings > Assign To-Do Items Settings

The following options can be configured in this area:

Assign To-Do Items to Users

If enabled (‘Yes’), you can assign tasks to other users …

plugin to do lists Cleverness - 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 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

Check the boxes in this section Subscriber) to display 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 you enable this option, WordPress will automatically send users an email with their assigned to-do items …

Cleverness to-do list plugin - 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 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 …

to do lists plugin - Add Category to Subject

Leave this option disabled (‘No’) if you don’t want categories to show the subject of your emails.

If you don’t want to display categories in the subject of your emails, then leave this option disabled.

Show Who Assigned the To-Do Item in Email

Enabling this option lets you display the user who assigned the to-do item in the email. This is a useful option if you have a number of project managers assigning to-do items to users …

Cleverness plugin to-do lists - 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 to users. Enter your company name, your domain, your name, or anything you like in this field …

to-do lists Cleverness - From Field for Emails Sent to User

From Email

Add the email address that you want showing as the “sent from” address …

Cleverness plugin to do lists WP - From Email

Subject Field for Emails Sent to User

Add a subject field for the email that will be automatically sent out to users when a new item has been assigned in your to-do list …

Cleverness plugin - To-Do Item Email Subject Field

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

To-Do List Advanced Settings > Database Cleanup

This area of the ‘Advanced Settings’ tab lets you perform database maintenance tasks associated with plugin data inside your plugin settings area …

Cleverness plugin - To-Do List Advanced Settings > Database Cleanup

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

The tasks below can be performed in this section:

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

Important Info

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

If you don’t want to do manual backups, then consider getting support from a WordPress professional, or use a WordPress backup plugin. Learn about a WordPress backup plugin that can fully automate your site backups here:

User Permissions

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

Cleverness - User Permissions

Info

If you are using the Individual List type, the only configurable item applicable for this section is the View To-Do List option …

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

If you are setting 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 …

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

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 using the Master list type non-administrator users should only be authorized to view and complete items, otherwise they will be able to edit the Master list.

WordPress plugin to do list - User Permissions Settings

Let’s go through the settings in the User Permissions section:

View To-Do List

This option enables 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 selected 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

This option enables the chosen capability to edit existing to-do items.

Assign To-Do Item Capability

This setting enables the selected capability to delegate items to individual users.

View All Assigned Tasks Capability

Here you can permit 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

Here you can allow the chosen capability to delete individual to-do items.

Delete All To-Do Items Capability

This enables the chosen capability to purge all the completed 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 useful. For example, you may decide to copy over data from one site to another, or export the data for backup or archiving purposes.

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

Cleverness plugin - Import/Export

Here you can easily export and import your list and plugin settings …

WP to-do list plugin - Import/Export Tab

Exporting To-Do List Data

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

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

This will open up a new window allowing you to view or save your data in a plain text file (e.g. Notepad) to an internal or external storage medium …

Cleverness plugin WordPress - Import/Export Settings - Export Settings File

In addition to exporting data from the ‘Import/Export’ section, you can also export data by going to your WordPress dashboard menu and selecting Tools > Export

Tools > Export WP

You can include to-do list data in a WordPress 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 download your file to your hard drive…

WordPress Menu Export - Export To Do Data File

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 …

Cleverness plugin - Import/Export Settings - Import/Export Settings Section - Import File

Locate the previously saved to-do list data file in your hard drive or external drive and click ‘Open’ …

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

Once the data file has been uploaded in your settings area, click on the ‘Import Settings’ button …

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

Your file data will be imported.

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

How To Use The Cleverness To-Do List Plugin

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

Cleverness - To-Do List > To-Do List

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

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

Adding 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 to your list from your WP dashboard bar …

Cleverness - Add A New Item To Your To-Do List

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

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

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 contains many items, as the link is only going to send you to the “Add New To-Do Item” section down the page) …

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

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

Depending on the way you have set up your plugin, some options may not display when adding new to-do items.

Set up 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 to-do item …

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

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

WP 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 delete a user) …

Cleverness plugin - Assign To-Do Items to Users

Once After adding a new item, the item will display as an entry in the ‘To-Do List’ table …

Cleverness plugin WordPress - Add New To-Do Items

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

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

Edit And Delete Items From Your List

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

Edit And Delete Items From Your List

Depending on your configuration plugin settings (see previous section), users assigned to tasks may also receive email notifications …

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

Once you have created your to do list, users can view it inside their user dashboard …

plugin to do list Cleverness - View To-Do List User Dashboard

When a user assigned with completing an item clicks on the item checkbox …

Cleverness plugin to do lists - Complete To Do List Items User Dashboard

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

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

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

WordPress plugin to do lists - Completed To Do List Item

Additional Plugin Information

The Cleverness plugin provides added functionality that lets you display a to-do list on your site using widgets, and add a list to 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 your list to appear …

WordPress plugin to-do list - Widgets

Configure the settings in the widget and click ’Save’ …

Cleverness to do lists plugin WP - Plugin Widget

The to-do list will display where the ‘to-do-list’ widget has been placed (e.g. the sidebar menu, footer, etc.)

Cleverness plugin WordPress to do list - Using The Cleverness Plugin Widget

To learn more about how to use widgets in WordPress, see the tutorial below:

Shortcodes

The Cleverness To-Do List plugin also lets you add lists and checklists on your site by placing short codes into your content.

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

to-do list Cleverness - To-Do List > To-Do List

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

Cleverness plugin to do lists - Using Plugin Short Codes

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

Short Codes

This section explains various ways to configure and use shortcodes to display lists and checklists on your pages and posts.

Once you know what information you would like to display on your site, create or edit a new or existing page or post and either type or paste the shortcode into the content section …

Using The Cleverness To-Do List Plugin Shortcodes

Publish your post or page and you should see the list showing exactly where you have inserted the short code …

Using The Cleverness To Do List Plugin Shortcodes

Visit the plugin website here for more details about this plugin:

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

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"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)

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