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

How To Add To-Do Lists In WordPress

How To Create To-Do Lists In WordPress

Time is always in short supply, especially if you are running a fast-paced business or managing a team.

There is just so much to do and remember. You have clients to meet, urgent tasks to complete, meetings to attend, fires to extinguish, appointments to make, commitments to keep and so on. The “doing” never ends.

Now … on top of all this, add the extra dimension of trying to promote and grow your business online and maintaining your website or blog updated with regular content and things can start becoming unmanageable and overwhelming.

Whether you are running a business, website, blog, or managing a project, it’s important to be able to organize and prioritize your daily tasks, monitor your progress and daily accomplishments, and, if necessary, assign responsibilities to others efficiently.

One simple proven tool that can help you save time, reduce stressful workloads, and allow you to gain some control is to use “to do” lists.

The Benefits Of Using To-Do Lists

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

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

Keep Things Organized

A to-do list helps you create order, stay organized and reach goals faster.

Manage Your Time Better

Prioritizing tasks on your list helps you save time and manage your workload more effectively. You can develop a clearer perspective on what’s more urgent vs what isn’t, and what tasks have to be completed first.

Quickly Reorganize

To-do lists help you better deal with events. If you suddenly find that a meeting has been cancelled or extra time has been made available when something gets completed sooner than expected, you can quickly reschedule or reorganize and continue working with little to minimal disruption.


With no accountability there’s no commitment to getting things completed, and no motivation to take meaningful action. Lack of accountability can also allow excuses to creep in and impact your productivity.

Collaborate Better With Others

Creating to do lists and other project management tools is essential for getting other people involved 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 in a systematic way and your business productivity and efficiency will improve.

What about using a to-do list on your website?

In this 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 WordPress plugin called Cleverness To-Do List.

Cleverness To Do List

Download The Plugin


Plugin Description

This plugin lets you easily add customizable to do lists to a WordPress website or blog.

Plugin Features

Note: the plugin features listed below are 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 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 assign to-do items to a specific user (this includes emailing a new to do item to the assigned user) and optionally to have assigned items only viewable by that user. You can also assign different permission levels using capabilities. There are also settings available to enable the display of 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 list and your to-do lists can also display 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 shortcodes for front-end list administration. Category management is restricted to the back-end admin section.

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

Installing The Plugin

Log into your site’s dashboard section, and in the main menu click on Plugins > Add New …

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

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

Activate the plugin after installing it …

Note: You can also activate this plugin in the Plugins screen …

Once the plugin has been activated, click on Settings

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

This takes you to the ‘Settings’ section …

The section below shows you how to go through the plugin configuration process …

Cleverness To-Do List Plugin Setup

The “To-Do List” plugin ‘Settings’ screen is divided into 4 sections:

Let’s configure each of these tabs.

To-Do List Settings

To-Do List Categories

Choose ‘Enabled’ to organize your list into categories, otherwise leave this option set to ‘Disabled’.

Note: When you enable this option, a ‘Categories’ item is added to the To-Do List menu …

This lets you 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 lists.

Categories marked ‘private’ will not be visible when using sidebar widgets or shortcodes (only when ‘Sort Order’ is set to ‘Category’)

List View

List View lets you specify how lists will be viewed. You can choose from three kinds of list views:

Sort Order

‘Sort Order’ lets you specify how list items will be sorted.

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

Show Added By

If enabled, you can display which of your users has added an item to your 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 to-do tasks.

Show Deadline

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

Show Progress

Enabling this option (‘Yes’) 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

If this option is enabled, you can add and edit items on your to-do list using the WordPress WYSIWYG Editor

Use Auto Paragraphs

If this option is enabled, automatic paragraphs are used to display content in to-do lists.

Integrate with Post Planner

If you plan to run a collaborative 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 using this handy plugin: WordPress Post Planner – WordPress Editorial Solution Plugin

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

Advanced Settings

After configuring the settings in the To-Do List Settings tab, click on the ‘Advanced Settings’ tab to continue …

This brings you to the ‘Advanced Settings’ screen …

This section lets you customize your To Do lists, assign to-do items to users and carry out database maintenance tasks.

Let’s go 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 on your todo list (e.g. month/day/year, day/month/year, etc.)

Note: To learn more about formatting dates in WordPress, visit the date section of the WordPress Codex below:

WordPress Codex – Formatting Date And Time

Priority Labels

In this area you can customize the labels for highest, middle (normal) and lowest priority items …

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

Show To-Do Item ID

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

Show Date To-Do Was Added

If this option is enabled, the date your to-do list was added shows 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 area and assign items to other users …

You can configure the following settings in this section:

Assign To-Do Items to Users

Enable this option 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 this option is enabled, you can display tasks only to users who have been assigned those items. Leaving this option disabled (‘No’) will display to-do items to all users.

User Roles to Show

Checking the boxes in this section Subscriber) displays the type of users that can be assigned todo 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 automatically sends 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 items 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 to-do categories in the subject of your emails.

If you don’t want to-do categories to display 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 website has a number of 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 emails. Enter the name of your company, your domain, your name, or anything you like in this field …

From Email

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

Subject Field for Emails Sent to User

Type into this field a subject field for the email that will be sent out automatically to users whenever a new item has been added to your to-do list …

Text in Emails Sent to User

Add 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 section you can carry out database maintenance operations associated with plugin data inside the plugin settings area itself …

This function is useful if, for example, you notice that old todo items are still showing on your site.

You can perform the following tasks in this section:

Any actions that you perform on your database from this screen cannot be reversed. If you are sure that you want to carry out database maintenance in this section, then remember to backup your WP database first.

If you don’t want to back up your data yourself, then use a professional, or use a backup plugin. You can read 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 are using the Individual List type, the only setting applicable in this section is the View To-Do List option …

If you plan to configure 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 set as follows:

Note: When working with the Master list type non-admin users should only be allowed to view and complete items, otherwise they will be able to edit the Master list itself.

Let’s now review the settings for this tab:

View To-Do List

This setting 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 enables the chosen 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 setting enables the selected capability to edit existing 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 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

Here you can permit the chosen capability to delete individual items.

Delete All To-Do Items Capability

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

Add Categories Capability

This setting permits 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 decide to transfer data from one website to another, or store the 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 import and export 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 window allowing you to download and save your data in plain text format to an internal or external drive …

In addition to 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 a WordPress export file (in XML format), either by checking ‘All content’ (includes everything – pages, posts, etc…), or just select ‘To-Do’ from the ‘Choose what to export’ section and click the ‘Download Export File’ button to download your file to your storage medium…

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 …

Select the file in your hard drive or external drive and click ‘Open’ …

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

Your file will be imported.

Now that you have configured all of the plugin settings, you can begin create and edit to-do lists.

Plugin Usage

To create a new to do list, go to your WordPress dashboard 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 a number of ways to add new to-do items to your list.

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 from the ‘To-Do List’ dashboard section 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, as the link is only going to send you to the “Add New To-Do Item” section at the bottom of the screen) …

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

Depending on the way you have configured your plugin’s settings, you may or may not see certain options displayed when new items to your to-do list.

Configure 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 new item to your list …

Note: If you have chosen a list type that allows you to 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 After adding a new item, the item will display as an entry in the ‘To-Do Items’ table …

Repeat this process to add new 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 associated with each item under the ‘Action’ column …

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

Once you have created your to do list, users can view the list when logged into their WP user dashboard …

When a user assigned with completing an item ticks the item check box …

… the item is deleted from the “To-Do” list …

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

Additional Information

The Cleverness plugin offers added functionality that lets you display to-do lists on your WordPress site using widgets, and add lists to content inside a post or page using shortcodes.


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 menu location where you want the list to appear …

Configure the settings on the widget and click on the ‘Save’ button to update your settings …

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

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

Plugin Shortcodes

Cleverness To-Do List also lets you add lists to your site with short codes.

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

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

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

This documentation section explains various ways to configure and use shortcodes for displaying lists on your posts and pages.

Once you know what information you would like to add to your site, create a new page or post and either type or paste the shortcode into the content editor …

After publishing your page or post, you will see the list showing where you added the short code …

Visit the plugin website to learn more about this plugin:

Congratulations! Now you can create and add a to-do list in WordPress.


"I love the way your email series "Infinite Web Content Creation Training Series" is documented and presented. It is very absorbing and captivating. The links and tutorials are interesting and educational. This has motivated me to rewrite my content following the concepts I am learning from the email series." - Mani Raju, www.fortuneinewaste.com