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How To Add To-Do Lists In WordPress

How To Create A To-Do List In WordPress

Time is always in short supply, especially when you run a growing business or manage other people.

There is just so much to do and remember. You have deadlines to meet, projects to complete, meetings to attend, fires to put out, deliveries to make, schedules to keep and so on. The “doing” never stops.

Now … add the extra workload of promoting and growing your business online and maintaining your website or blog updated with new content and things suddently begin feeling unmanageable and chaotic.

Whether you are running a business, website, blog, or managing a project, you need to be able to organize and prioritize your activities, monitor your progress, and, if necessary, delegate tasks and responsibilities to other people efficiently.

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

To-Do Lists – Benefits

A “to-do” list can help to keep you on track and monitor your progress as you work towards certain objectives. Your to-do list can be detailed or specific, or just 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 benefits of using to do lists:

Create Order

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

Save Time

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

Keep Work Logs

To-do lists let you keep documented logs of what you have done. You can use this to provide evidence of work done to clients or employers, or just as a means of helping you assess your own productivity and efficiency.

Eliminate Stress

Stress can result from feeling overwhelmed by the thought that there is so much that needs to get done and very little time to do it all in. Creating to-do lists let you work on urgent tasks that have to get done within the time you have available, and push out non-urgent tasks that can be worked on at a later time. This can help reduce stress.

Feeling Of Accomplishment

Ticking items off a 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 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. Creating to do lists, then prioritizing tasks and working in a systematic way increases your business efficiency and productivity.

What about using to-do lists on your website?

In this tutorial we are going to show you how to easily add a to do list to WordPress to help your team get things done  faster and more efficiently using a customizable, multi-featured to-do list WordPress plugin called Cleverness To-Do List.

Cleverness To Do List

Download URL


Plugin Description

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

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 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 offers different settings. You can delegate to do items to a specific user (this includes a setting to email a new to-do item to assigned users) and optionally to have assigned items be seen 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 backend to manage your lists and your to do lists can also be displayed on a dashboard widget.

A sidebar widget is also available as short code to display the to do list items on your blog. There are two short codes for front-end administration of your list. Category management is accessed via the back-end admin section.

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 own the Post Planner plugin for WordPress.

Cleverness To-Do List Plugin Installation

Inside your site’s dashboard, scroll down the menu and select Plugins > Add New

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

Locate the Cleverness To-Do List entry in the Search Results area and click Install Now

Activate the plugin after installing it …

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

Once the plugin has been activated, click on Settings

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

This takes you to the plugin ‘Settings’ screen …

Let’s go through the plugin configuration process …

How To Configure The Plugin

The Settings area is divided into 4 sections:

Let’s now review each of these sections.

To-Do List Settings


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

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

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

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

Categories marked ‘private’ are not visible using the 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 list views available:

Sort Order

‘Sort Order’ lets you specify how to sort list items.

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

Show Added By

Enabling this option (‘Yes’) lets you display which users have added an item to your to-do list.

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

Show Date Completed

If this option is enabled, 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

If enabled (‘Yes’), you will be able to specify task progress indicators for your to-do items …

Show Admin Bar Menu

Enabling this option lets you display the ‘To-Do List’ menu in your WordPress Dashboard Admin bar

Use WYSIWYG Editor

If enabled (‘Yes’), you can 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 your to-do lists using paragraphs.

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, developed by the same author that provides you with a complete WordPress editorial solution …

Go here to learn more about using this plugin: WordPress Post Planner – WordPress Plugin

After configuring your plugin options, remember to 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 …

In this tab you can customize your To Do lists, assign to-do items to users and perform database maintenance tasks.

Let’s take you through how to configure the plugin’s ‘Advanced Settings’ section …

To-Do List Advanced Settings > Customize The To-Do List

This section of the ‘Advanced Settings’ tab allows you to customize your To Do List …

The following settings can be configured in this section:

Date Format

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

Note: To learn more about how to format 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 important, middle (normal) and lowest priority items …

Highest (important) priority items display in red in the lists and lowest priority items display in a lighter shade of grey …

Show To-Do Item ID

Enabling this option (‘Yes’) will display item IDs on your to-do list …

Show Date To-Do Was Added

Enabling this option shows the date the To-Do Items table was added …

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 to-do items to other users …

You can configure the following options in this area:

Assign To-Do Items to Users

Enable this option to 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

If enabled (‘Yes’), you can display to-do items only to users who have been assigned those items. Leave this option disabled to display items to all users.

User Roles to Show

Check the boxes in this section Author to display the type of users that can be assigned todo items. If you do not want to assign to-do items to a role, then don’t tick its check box.

Email Assigned To-Do Items to User

When this option is enabled, WordPress automatically sends an email to users with their assigned to-do items …

If you don’t want emails sent out to users, then leave this option disabled.

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

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

Leave this option disabled if you don’t want to display categories in the subject of your emails.

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 site has a number of 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 notices to users. You can enter the name of your company, your domain, your name, or anything you like into this field …

From Email

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

Subject Field for Emails Sent to User

Enter a subject field for the email that will be sent out 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

In this area you can perform database maintenance operations associated with plugin data inside your plugin settings area itself …

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

The following tasks can be performed:

Any database operations performed from this screen cannot be reversed. If you are comfortable to proceed with any of the database operations available in this section, then we recommend backing up your database first.

If you don’t want to do your own site backups, then consider getting professional support, or use backup plugins. You can learn more about a WordPress backup plugin that can automate your site backups here:

User Permissions

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

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

If you are configuring user permissions and capabilities for Group or Master List types, select the highest level capabilities that you would like users to perform for each option …

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

Note: When using 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 the User Permissions tab:

View To-Do List

Here you can permit 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

Here you can allow the chosen capability to mark to-do items as completed or not completed.

Add To-Do Item Capability

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

Edit To-Do Item Capability

Here you can allow the chosen capability to edit existing to-do items.

Assign To-Do Item Capability

Here you can allow the chosen capability to assign items to individual users.

View All Assigned Tasks Capability

This option enables 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 to-do items.

Delete All To-Do Items Capability

Here you can enable the selected capability to purge all the completed items.

Add Categories Capability

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


The ability to import and export to-do list data can be useful. For example, you may want to copy over data from one website to another, or export the data for backup or reporting purposes.

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

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

Exporting To-Do List Data

You can export and download your to-do list data settings by clicking on the ‘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 a storage medium (e.g. your hard drive) …

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

You can include to-do list data in a WordPress export file (in XML format), either by selecting ‘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 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 previously saved to-do list data file in your hard drive or external drive and click ‘Open’ …

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

Your file will be imported.

After configuring all plugin settings, you are ready to begin creating and editing your lists.

Plugin Usage

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 you to the ‘To-Do List’ page …

How To Add 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 dashboard bar …

You can also add new to-do items inside your Dashboard 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, since the link will simply send you to the “Add New To-Do Item” section down the screen) …

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, you may or may not see certain options displayed when when you add new to-do items.

Configure 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 to-do item …

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) …

After an item has been added, it will display as an entry in the ‘To-Do Items’ table …

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

Edit And Delete Items

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 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 from their dashboard …

When a user assigned with an item completes the task and clicks 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 to-do lists on your site using widgets, and display lists on any page or post using short codes.

Using The Cleverness To-Do List 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 want the list to display …

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

Your list will now display on your site where the ‘to-do-list’ widget was added (e.g. the sidebar menu, footer, etc.)

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

Short Codes

You can also add to-do lists and checklists to your site by placing short codes into your content.

To access the documentation on using short codes, click on To-Do List > To-Do List from the dashboard menu …

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

Click on the ‘Shortcodes’ tab to access the Shortcode Documentation …

The documentation 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, open up a new page or post and either type or paste the short code inside the content section …

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

For more details about this plugin, visit this site:

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


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