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How To Add To-Do Lists In WordPress

Creating To-Do Lists In WordPress

There are never enough hours in the day to get everything done, especially if you are a busy person trying to run a business or manage a team.

There is just so much work to do and things to remember. You have clients to meet, urgent tasks to complete, meetings to attend, fires to put out, deliveries to make, commitments to keep and so on. The “doing” never seems to end.

Now … on top of all this, add the extra dimension of trying to promote and grow your business online and keeping your website or blog updated with fresh content and things can start to become unmanageable and out of control.

Whether you run a business, website, blog, or manage a team, it’s important to be able to organize and manage your daily activities.

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

The Benefits Of Using A To-Do List

A “to-do” list helps you keep track of your progress as you work towards your goals. Your to-do list can be detailed and very specific, or serve as a concise reminder of the things that need to be done today, tomorrow, next week, next month, etc.

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

Free The Brain

Creating a to-do list means you don’t have to memorize things or clutter your head with details. Once things are recorded on a to-do list, your mind is free to process other information and you can focus on more important things.

Prioritize Your Time

Prioritizing tasks on your list helps you save time and manage your workload more effectively. You can gain a better perspective on what is truly important vs what isn’t, and what steps should be completed first.

Keep Work Logs

To-do lists let you maintain documented logs of the work you have done. This can be used to provide evidence of work done to employers or clients, or just as a means of helping you measure your own productivity and efficiency.

Less Stress

Stress can result from feeling overwhelmed by the fact that there are so many things to do and very little time to do it all in. Using a to do list allows you to prioritize urgent items that need to be completed immediately, and reschedule tasks that can be worked on at a later time. This can reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed and help to alleviate some of the stress you (and your team) may be feeling.

Collaborating With Others

Creating to-do lists and other project management tools is essential for collaborating 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. Create a list, prioritize your list items and work things systematically and efficiency and productivity in your business will improve.

Let’s turn now to using a to do list on your website. More specifically, adding a to do list to WordPress.

In this detailed tutorial you are going to learn how to add a to do list to WordPress 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

Download The Plugin



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

Plugin Features

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

You can configure Cleverness To Do List to assign private to-do lists for each user, 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 has a variety of settings available. You can delegate to do items to a specific user (this includes a setting to email new to-do items to 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 display deadline and progress fields. Category support is also included in the front-end administration.

A new menu item is added to the 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 2 short codes for front-end list administration. Management of categories is accessed via the back-end.

If you plan to run a multi-author blog you can use this to-do lists 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

Log into your WordPress dashboard area, scroll down the main menu click on Plugins > Add New …

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

Locate the item in the Search Results section and click Install Now

Click “Activate Plugin” …

Note: You can also activate the plugin in the Plugins area …

After the plugin has been activated, click on Settings

Note: You can also get to the plugin’s ‘Settings’ section by choosing To-Do List > Settings from your dashboard menu …

This takes you to the plugin ‘Settings’ page …

Let’s configure the plugin …

How To Set Up The Plugin

The Settings screen is divided into four tabs:

Let’s now go through each of these tabs.

To-Do List Settings

To-Do List Categories

Select ‘Enabled’ to organize lists into categories, otherwise leave this option set to ‘Disabled’.

Note: If 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 lists (see ‘Plugin Usage’ section further below for more details) …

You can create ‘public’ and ‘private’ categories for your to-do lists.

Private categories are not visible when using sidebar widgets or shortcodes (only when ‘Sort Order’ is set to ‘Category’)

List View

List View lets you choose how your to-do lists will be viewed. There are 3 kinds of list views:

Sort Order

‘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 first sorted by priority.

Show Added By

If enabled, you can display which of your members has 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 (‘Yes’) displays completion dates for your to-do items.

Show Deadline

Enabling this option lets you specify deadlines for to-do items …

Show Progress

Enabling this option lets you specify task progress indicators for your to-do items …

Show Admin Bar Menu

If this option is enabled, the ‘To-Do List’ menu displays in your WP Dashboard Admin bar

Use WYSIWYG Editor

This menu option 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 list items.

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, from the same developer to help make the task of managing a multi-author WordPress site easier …

Visit this site to learn more about using this plugin: WordPress Post Planner

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

Advanced Settings

After you have configured 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 tasks to other users and perform 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 area you can customize your To-Do List …

You can configure the following settings in this section:

Date Format

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

Note: To learn more about how to format dates in WordPress, see the date section of the WordPress Codex below:

WordPress Codex – Formatting Date And Time

Priority Labels

This section lets you customize your labels for highest, middle and lowest (low) priority items …

Items prioritized as “important” display in red and lowest priority items display in a lighter shade of grey …

Show To-Do Item ID

If enabled (‘Yes’), item IDs show on your to-do list …

Show Date To-Do Was Added

If enabled, the date your to-do list was added will display on the 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 section and assign to-do items to other users …

You can configure the following options in this section:

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. Leave this option disabled (‘No’) to 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 to-do 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 an email to users with their assigned to-do items …

Leave this option disabled if you don’t want emails sent out to users.

Note: If this option is disabled, you can skip other 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-do categories added to the subject of your emails.

Leave this option disabled if you don’t want categories to display the email subject.

Show Who Assigned the To-Do Item in Email

If enabled (‘Yes’), you can 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

Use this field to customize the “From” field when sending out email notifications to users. Type the name of your company, your domain, your name, or anything you like into this field …

From Email

Type in the email address that you would like showing as the “sent from” email address …

Subject Field for Emails Sent to User

In this field, type a subject field for the email that will be sent automatically to users whenever a new item has been assigned to 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 area of the ‘Advanced Settings’ tab lets you perform database maintenance tasks associated with plugin data inside the plugin settings area …

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

You can perform the tasks below:

Actions that you perform on the database 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 perform site backups, then get support from a WordPress professional, or use a backup plugin. You can learn more about a great WordPress backup plugin that can fully automate your site backups here:

User Permissions

Here you can configure user permissions and capabilities for Group and Master List types …

If you choose the Individual List type, the only setting that is applicable in this section is the View To-Do List option …

If you plan to set up user permissions and capabilities for Group and Master List types, select the highest level capabilities that you want users to have access to for each option …

By default, general capabilities for each user role are set as follows:

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.

Let’s go through the settings for this tab:

View To-Do List

Here you can permit 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

This option enables the selected capability to mark to-do items as completed or not completed.

Add To-Do Item Capability

This option enables the selected capability to add new 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 option permits the chosen capability to delegate 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 permit the selected capability to delete individual items.

Delete All To-Do Items Capability

This option permits the selected capability to purge all the completed items.

Add Categories Capability

Here you can allow the selected capability to add new categories.


The ability to import and export to-do list data can be very useful. For example, you may need to copy over data from one website to another, or store your list 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 or import your list data and plugin settings …

Exporting To-Do List Data

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

This opens up a new window allowing you to view or download your data in a plain text file (e.g. Notepad) to a storage medium …

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

You can include to-do list data in a WordPress 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 save 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’ …

After your data file has been uploaded to your settings area, click the ‘Import Settings’ button …

Your file data will be imported.

Now that you have configured all plugin settings, you can start creating and editing to-do lists.

How To Use Cleverness To-Do List

To create a new to do list, log into your WordPress admin, then go to the menu and select To-Do List > To-Do List

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

Adding New To Do Items

There are several ways to add new to-do items.

For example, you can add new to-do items to your list from your 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 contains many items, since the link is only going to send you to the “Add New To-Do Item” section further down the page) …

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

Depending on the way 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, enter appropriate values and 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 responsibilities over items to specific 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 a new item has been added, it will be listed as an entry in the ‘To-Do Items’ table …

Repeat this process to keep adding new items to your to-do list …

Edit And Delete Items From Your List

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

Depending on how you have configured your settings (discussed earlier), users assigned to tasks may also receive email notifications …

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

When users assigned with completing an item click on the item checkbox …

… the item disappears 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 plugin offers additional functions that let you display a to-do list on your website using widgets, and display a list on any page or post using short codes.

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 menu where you would like your list to appear …

Configure the settings in the widget and click on the ‘Save’ button …

The list will appear on your site where the ‘to-do-list’ widget was placed (e.g. the sidebar menu, footer, etc.)

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

Using The Cleverness Plugin Shortcodes

You can also create lists and checklists on your site using short codes.

To access the documentation on using short codes, click on To-Do List > To-Do List from your WP 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 screen …

This documentation section explains various ways to configure and use short codes to display 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 page or post and either type or paste the shortcode inside the content editor …

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

To download this plugin, visit the plugin website:

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


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