WordPress For Non-Techies: Free WordPress Tutorials – WPCompendium.org

How To Add To-Do Lists In WordPress

Creating A To-Do List In WordPress

When you are running a fast-paced business or managing other people, time always seems to be in short supply.

There is just too much to do and remember. You have clients to meet, projects to complete, priorities to attend to, fires to put out, appointments to make, commitments to keep and so on. The stress of trying to get things done on time never ends.

Now … add the extra workload of promoting and growing your business online and keeping your website updated with new content and things can start becoming unmanageable and out of control.

Whether you run a business, website, blog, or manage a project, you need to be able to organize and prioritize your daily activities, keep track of your progress and daily accomplishments, and, if necessary, delegate tasks and responsibilities to members of your team or staff efficiently.

One ”tried and true” method 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.

Benefits Of Using To-Do Lists

A “to-do” list can help you measure your progress as you work towards certain objectives. Your to-do list can be minutely detailed or 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:

Clearer Thinking

Creating a to do list means that you don’t have to keep remembering stuff or store information inside your mind. Once tasks are recorded on a to do list, your mind is free to process information and you can focus on other areas that may be more important.

Save Time

Prioritizing tasks on your list helps you manage your time better. You can develop a better perspective on what’s truly urgent vs what’s not, and what tasks have to be done first.

Log Your Work

To-do lists let you keep documented logs of what has been done. This can be used as evidence of work done to clients or employers, or simply as a way of helping you measure your own productivity and efficiency.

Stress Less

Stress can come from feeling overwhelmed by the thought that there are so many things to do and very little time to do it all in. Using a to-do list lets you work on important things that have to get done within a reasonable timeframe, and reschedule tasks that can be addressed later. This can help reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed and take away some of the stress you (and your team) may be feeling.

Feeling Of Accomplishment

Ticking items off a to-do list gives you a sense of accomplishment and allows you to relax more, as you can objectively see (or show) that the work is getting done and that progress is being made.

As you can see, there are many benefits to using a to do list, both in business and in your personal life. Create a list, prioritize your list items and work things systematically and your business productivity and efficiency will increase.

What about adding a to-do list to your WordPress website?

In this detailed tutorial you are going to learn how to easily add to do lists to WordPress to help get things done online  faster and more efficiently using a great little WordPress plugin called Cleverness To-Do List.

Cleverness To-Do List

Download The Cleverness To-Do List Plugin



This WordPress 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 set up the plugin to have private to-do lists for each user, to have all users share your 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 delegate to do items to specific users (this includes a setting to email a new to do item to the assigned user) and optionally to have those items only viewable by that user. You can also assign different permission levels to different users based on user roles. 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 admin backend to manage your lists and the to-do list can also be displayed 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 administration of the list. Category management is accessible through the back-end.

If you plan to run a multi-author site you can use this plugin to create custom to do lists for your post planners if you also download a copy of the developer’s premium plugin, Post Planner.

How To Install The Plugin

Log into your WP admin section scroll down the menu select Plugins > Add New …

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

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

Activate the plugin after installing it …

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

When the plugin has been activated, click on Settings

Note: The plugin’s ‘Settings’ screen can also be accessed by selecting To-Do List > Settings from your admin menu …

This takes you to the ‘Settings’ screen …

The section below shows you how to configure the plugin …

Cleverness To-Do List Plugin Setup

The Settings screen is divided into four tabs:

Let’s take you 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 gets added to the To-Do List plugin menu …

This allows you to add categories that you can then use to organize your lists (see ‘Plugin Usage’ section further below for more details) …

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

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

List View

List View allows you to choose how your lists will be viewed. There are 3 types of to do list views available:

Sort Order

‘Sort Order’ lets you specify how your to-do list items will be sorted.

If you choose Alphabetical, Category or ID options, items will be first sorted by priority.

Show Added By

If enabled (‘Yes’), you can display which members on your site 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 (‘Yes’), completion dates will display for your to-do items.

Show Deadline

Enabling this option (‘Yes’) lets you specify deadlines for your to-do tasks …

Show Progress

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

Show Admin Bar Menu

Enabling this option displays the ‘To-Do List’ menu in your WP Dashboard 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

Enable this option (‘Yes’) to display content in to-do list items using paragraphs.

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, from the same plugin developer that provides you with a complete WordPress editorial solution …

Visit this site to learn more about using this handy plugin: WordPress Post Planner – Plugin For WordPress

Once you are done configuring your options, click the ‘Save Changes’ button to update your settings …

Advanced Settings

After configuring the general settings, click on the ‘Advanced Settings’ tab to proceed …

This brings up the plugin’s ‘Advanced Settings’ area …

This tab lets you customize your To-Do lists, assign to-do tasks to users and perform 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

In this section you can customize your To Do List …

You can configure the following settings in this section:

Date Format

In this area you can 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, refer to the date section of the WordPress Codex below:

WordPress Codex – Formatting Date And Time

Priority Labels

Here you can customize the labels for highest (important), middle (normal) and lowest (low) priority items …

Highest (important) priority items are color-coded in red and lowest (low) priority items display in a lighter shade of grey …

Show To-Do Item ID

Enabling this option shows item IDs on the to-do list …

Show Date To-Do Was Added

Enabling this option (‘Yes’) displays the date your To-Do Items table was added …

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

If you have chosen ‘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 options can be configured in this area:

Assign To-Do Items to Users

Enable this option (‘Yes’) to assign to-do items 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 this option is enabled, you can display tasks only to users who have been assigned those items. Leaving this option disabled displays to-do items to all users.

User Roles to Show

Check the boxes in this section (Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor, Subscriber) 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 don’t tick its checkbox.

Email Assigned To-Do Items to User

When this option is enabled (‘Yes’), 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.

Note: If this option is disabled, you can skip the remaining 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 on the subject of your emails …

Leave this option disabled (‘No’) if you don’t want categories to appear the email subject.

If you don’t want to-do categories to show the email subject, then leave this option disabled (‘No’).

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 you have several 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. Type the name of your company, your domain, your name, or anything you like in this field …

From Email

Enter the email address that you want to display as the “sent from” email 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 a new item has been added in your to-do list …

Text in Emails Sent to User

Enter 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

In this area of the ‘Advanced Settings’ tab you can carry out database maintenance operations related to plugin data inside the plugin settings area …

This is useful if, for example, you see that to-do items you have deleted are still showing on your site.

The tasks below can be performed:

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 WP database first.

If you don’t want to back up your data manually, then consider getting professional help, or use a WordPress backup plugin. You can read about a WordPress backup plugin that we recommend using to automate WordPress file and data backups here:

User Permissions

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

If you have selected the Individual List type, the only permission that applies in this section is the View To-Do List option …

If you plan to set 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 …

The default general capabilities for each user role are configured as follows:

Note: When using the Master list type make sure that you only authorize non-administrators to view and complete items, otherwise they will be able to edit the Master list.

Below is a description of the settings for the User Permissions section:

View To-Do List

Here you can allow 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 permit 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

This setting allows the chosen capability to modify existing items.

Assign To-Do Item Capability

This permits the chosen capability to assign to-do items to individual users.

View All Assigned Tasks Capability

This option 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 enable the chosen capability to delete individual items.

Delete All To-Do Items Capability

This setting allows the selected capability to purge all the completed to-do items.

Add Categories Capability

Here you can permit the chosen capability to add new categories.


Being able to import and export to-do list data can be very useful. For example, you may need to transfer data from one website to another, or store the list data for backup or reporting purposes.

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

Use this section to easily import or export your data and plugin settings …

Exporting To-Do List Data

You can export and download your data settings by clicking on the ‘Download Export File’ …

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

As well as exporting to-do list data from the ‘Import/Export’ tab, you can also export data by going to your WordPress main menu and choosing Tools > Export

You can include to-do list data in an export file (in XML format), either by selecting ‘All content’ (includes everything – posts, pages, 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 file in your hard drive or external drive and click ‘Open’ …

Once uploading the data file, click on ‘Import Settings’ …

Your file will be imported.

Once you have configured all of the plugin settings, you can start creating and editing to-do lists.

Plugin Usage

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

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

Add New Items To Your To Do List

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

For example, you can add a new item to your to-do list from your WP dashboard bar …

You can also add new items to your to-do list inside the Dashboard 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, as the link will simply send you to the “Add New To-Do Item” section at the bottom of the page) …

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

Depending on how you have configured the plugin’s 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 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 allows you to assign 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 remove users) …

Once you have added the new item, it will be listed as an entry in the ‘To-Do List’ table …

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

Editing And Removing 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 plugin settings (discussed earlier), users assigned to tasks may also receive email notifications …

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

When users assigned with the item complete the task and click on the item check box …

… the item no longer appears in the “To-Do” list …

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

Additional Information

The Cleverness plugin provides added functionality that lets you display to-do lists on your site using widgets, and display lists on content inside a page or post using short codes.


To add to-do lists 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 to-do list to display …

Configure the widget settings and click ’Save’ …

Your list will appear on your site where you have added the widget (i.e. the sidebar menu, footer, etc.)

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

Short Codes

Cleverness To-Do List also lets you create to-do lists and checklists on your site using shortcodes.

To access the documentation on using shortcodes, select 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 different ways to configure and use short codes for displaying lists and checklists on your pages and posts.

Once you know what type of information you want to add to your site, create or edit a new or existing post or page and either type or paste the short code into the content area …

Publish your post or page and you will see the list showing in the location where you entered the short code …

For more information about this plugin, visit the plugin website:

Congratulations! Now you can add to-do lists to your WordPress site or blog.


"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