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

If you are a busy person trying to run a business or manage a team, time is always in short supply.

There is just too much to do and remember. You have deadlines to meet, project tasks to complete, priorities to attend to, fires to extinguish, deliveries to make, schedules to keep and so on. The stress of trying to get things done on time never seems to end.

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

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

One proven tool that can help you save time, create a sense of order and manageability, and allow you to regain control is to use a “to do” list.

Benefits Of Using To-Do Lists

A “to do” list helps you track your progress when trying to complete projects. Your to-do list can be very detailed and specific, or serve as a reminder of what needs to be done today, tomorrow, next week, next month, etc.

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

Create Order

Having a to-do list helps you create order, keep things organized and reach goals sooner.


By creating and organizing a to do list, you can view the larger picture and create a strategy to get everything completed on budget and on time.

Keep Documented Work Logs

A to-do list lets you keep documented logs of what you have done. This can be used to provide evidence of work to employers or clients, or simply as a method of helping you monitor your own productivity and efficiency.

Relieve Stress

Stress can come from feeling overwhelmed by so much to do and so very little time to do it all in. Using to do lists let you work on important items that need to be completed within the time you have available, and reschedule non-urgent tasks that can be addressed at a later time. This can help you stress less.

Feeling Of Accomplishment

Crossing items off to do lists gives you a sense of accomplishment and allows you to relax more, as you can objectively see (or show) that the workload is being completed and that things are moving forward.

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

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

In this step-by-step tutorial you are going to learn how to add to do lists to your WordPress 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

Download URL


Plugin Description

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


Note: the plugin features described below will be discussed in more detail in the tutorial section.

You can set up Cleverness To-Do List with private to-do lists for each user, to have all users share the same to do list, or to have a master list with individual item completions.

The shared to-do list offers a number of settings. You can assign to do items to specific users (this includes emailing a new to do item to the 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 available to enable the display of deadline and progress fields. Category support is also included as front-end administration.

A new menu item is added to the backend to help you manage your lists and your to-do lists can also be displayed on a dashboard widget.

A sidebar widget is also available as shortcode to display the to-do list items on your site. There are 2 short codes for front-end administration of the list. Category management is accessible through 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 planners if you also use a copy of the developer’s premium plugin, Post Planner.

Cleverness To-Do List Plugin Installation

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

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

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

Click “Activate Plugin” …

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

After you have activated the plugin, click on Settings

Note: You can also get to the settings screen by selecting To-Do List > Settings from the admin menu …

This brings you to the ‘Settings’ section …

The section below shows you how to set up the plugin …

Cleverness To-Do List Plugin Configuration

The Settings screen is divided into 4 tabs:

Let’s review each of these sections.

To-Do List Settings


Select ‘Enabled’ to organize lists 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 plugin menu …

This allows you to add categories that can help 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 will not be visible when using widgets or short codes (only when ‘Sort Order’ is set to ‘Category’)

List View

List View allows you to choose how to-do lists are viewed. There are three types of list views available:

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 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 applies when ‘List View’ is set to ‘Group’.

Show Date Completed

If this option is enabled, completion dates will display for to-do items.

Show Deadline

If enabled, you will be able to specify deadlines for 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

Enabling this option (‘Yes’) lets you 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 helps to make the process of managing a multi-author WordPress site easier …

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

When you have finished configuring your plugin options, click the ‘Save Changes’ button …

Advanced Settings

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

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

This screen lets you customize your To Do lists, assign to-do tasks to 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

Here you can customize your To-Do List …

The following options can be configured in this section:

Date Format

Here you can specify how to display dates on your to-do 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, normal and low priority items …

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

Show To-Do Item ID

If enabled (‘Yes’), the items’ IDs will show on your list …

Show Date To-Do Was Added

If 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 options in this area and assign items to other users …

The following settings can be configured in this area:

Assign To-Do Items to Users

If this option is enabled (‘Yes’), you can assign to-do items 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

Enable this option (‘Yes’) to display tasks only to users who have been assigned those items. Leave this option disabled to display items to all users.

User Roles to Show

Checking the boxes in this section Editor displays the type of users that can be assigned items. Leave the checkbox unticked for any roles that you do not 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.

Note: If this option is disabled, you can skip other 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 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.

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

Show Who Assigned the To-Do Item in Email

Enabling this option (‘Yes’) lets you display the user who assigned the to-do item in the email. This option is useful if, for example, you have various 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 notices. You can enter your company name, your domain, your name, or anything you like into this field …

From Email

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

Subject Field for Emails Sent to User

Enter a subject field for the email that will be sent automatically to users when new items have been added in 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

In this section you can carry out database maintenance operations associated with plugin data directly from your plugin settings area without the need to log into your server …

This is useful if, for example, you see that todo items you have previously deleted are still appearing on your site.

The following tasks can be performed:

Actions that you perform on the database from this screen cannot be reversed. If you are comfortable to perform database operations in this section, then we recommend backing up your database first.

If you don’t want to back up your data manually, then get professional WordPress support, or use a WordPress backup plugin. You can read about a WordPress backup plugin that can fully automate your backup process here:

User Permissions

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

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

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 …

By default, general capabilities of each user role are configured as follows:

Note: When working with the Master list type make sure that you only allow non-administrator users to view and complete items, otherwise they will be able to edit the Master list itself.

Let’s go through the settings in this section:

View To-Do List

This setting allows the chosen 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 permits the chosen capability to mark to-do items as completed or uncompleted.

Add To-Do Item Capability

Here you can permit the chosen capability to add new to-do items.

Edit To-Do Item Capability

This enables the selected capability to modify existing to-do items.

Assign To-Do Item Capability

This setting permits 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

This option enables the chosen capability to delete individual items.

Delete All To-Do Items Capability

This option permits the chosen capability to purge all the completed to-do items.

Add Categories Capability

This setting allows the selected 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 copy over data from an existing list to another website, or store your data for backup or reporting purposes.

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

Here you can export and import your to-do list data and plugin settings …

Exporting To-Do List Data

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

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

As well as exporting to-do list data from the ‘Import/Export’ section, you can also export data by going to your dashboard 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 just select ‘To-Do’ from the ‘Choose what to export’ section and click the ‘Download Export File’ button to save your file to your storage medium…

Importing To-Do List Data

Importing a previously saved to-do list data file is easy. Just click on the ‘Browse’ button next to the ‘Choose File to Import’ field …

Select the file and click ‘Open’ …

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

The data from the existing to-do file will be imported.

After configuring all plugin settings, you can begin creating and editing your lists.

How To Use The Cleverness To-Do List Plugin

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

This brings up the ‘To-Do List’ page …

How To Add New To Do Items To Your List

There are several 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 admin toolbar …

You can also add new items to your to-do 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 already contains many items, as the link will simply send you to the “Add New To-Do Item” section at the bottom of the screen) …

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 adding new items to your to-do list.

Select the options you have enabled for your to-do items, add appropriate 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 are using a list type that lets you assign tasks to users, select a user from the drop-down list and assign them the item …

You can also make multiple users responsible for the same item (click on ‘x’ to delete users) …

Once you have added the 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 …

Edit And Delete 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 your plugin settings (discussed earlier), users assigned to tasks may also receive an email notification in their inboxes …

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

When users responsible for the item complete the task and tick the item check box …

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

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

Additional Plugin Information

The Cleverness To-Do List plugin offers 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.

Plugin Widget

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 menu location where you would like the to-do list to display …

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

Your list will display where the widget has been placed (i.e. the sidebar menu, footer, etc.)

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

Using The Cleverness Plugin Shortcodes

The Cleverness plugin also lets you display lists on your site by inserting shortcodes into your content.

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

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

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

This section explains different ways to configure and use shortcodes to display lists and checklists 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 section …

Publish your page or post and you should see the list displayed exactly where you have added the shortcode …

Visit the plugin website here to download this plugin:

Congratulations! Now you can add to-do lists in WordPress.


"I am beyond impressed with what you have put together. I can tell that you put a ton of hard work into building what you have. You have the absolute best content on WordPress I have ever seen!" - Robert T. Jillie


Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

Keyword Research Tools

This video course shows you how to do keyword research using tools like the Google Keyword Planner.

More info: Keyword Research Tools

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

Why Your Business Needs WordPress

Learn about the unique features, benefits, and advantages of using WordPress to start or grow your business online.

More info: Why Your Business Needs WordPress

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

Build A WordPress Site ... Fast!

Need a new website or blog in a hurry?

This video course shows you how to quickly install and configure a WordPress website or blog on your own domain name and be up and running in no time!

More info: Build A WordPress Site ... Fast!

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

WordPress Traffic & User Engagement

Learn how to drive more targeted traffic to your website and discover ways to improve user engagement with your business online.

More info: WordPress Traffic & User Engagement

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

WordPress 101: How To Use WordPress

Learn how to unlock the power of the WordPress content management system (CMS) using the many powerful features inside your WordPress administration area.

More info: WordPress 101: How To Use WordPress

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

Google Tools

This video course will help you learn the basics of using Google Tools like Google Analytics and Gmail.

More info: Google Tools