Insert checkbox menu option

Google Sheets – Create an Interactive Task List

This tutorial will show you how to create an interactive to-do list in Google Sheets including automatic strikethroughs when you mark tasks complete with a checkmark.

Insert Checkboxes

Insert checkbox menu option
Insert-> Checkbox

As shown in the image above, the core functionality of this list will be driven by checkboxes. You can enter them into your spreadsheet by going to the Insert menu and choosing Checkbox. Insert one and then copy and paste it down until you have as many as you want. Add your tasks in the column to the right of the checkboxes.

Conditional Formatting

Now, if you’re like me, when you’re done with the task, you’d love to be able to check it off and get a little strikethrough, right? You can feel like you’re accomplishing something. The strike through will come from using the conditional formatting feature.

Conditional formatting
Conditional formatting menu option

After selecting Conditional formatting, a Conditional formatting rules box will appear on the right. Look closely at the picture below. For the range, we have specified C5:C which will select everything in column C from row 5 and below, assuming that is where you have placed your list of tasks. Once you move out of this input field, you should see that everything in column C starting a row 5 and down to the end of where you have things typed is highlighted.

If you want to learn more about the complex subject of conditional formatting, I have created a course about it over at Datacamp. This is an affiliate link and if you use it to make a purchase I will receive a portion of the proceeds. Thank you for supporting my channel!

Conditional formatting rules
Conditional formatting rules

Watch the Video

Custom formula

Right now, it’s just applying formatting as Cell is not empty because that’s the default choice. Change that by going to the drop down menu below Format cells if… and choosing Custom formula is. Now this box is waiting for a custom formula. Left-click into it to put the cursor in it. Whenever you’re typing a formula, even if it’s in here, you start it with an equals sign. Type the formula =B5=TRUE. Make sure you don’t use the period at the end. When a checkbox is checked, it changes the value of the cell from FALSE to TRUE. This formula will check for the TRUE state.

If the value is true, we will apply Custom Formatting style. Choose a style to make strike it through and make the background gray so it looks like it’s going away.

If you want to add something else at the bottom, you won’t have to redo this rule because that formatting contains the entire column after C5.

Completed Task List

Finished task list

Pretty easy to put together. Really satisfying to use. Have some fun with it, and let us know how it turns out.

 Live examples in Sheets

Go tothis spreadsheet for examples of adding and subtracting days, months, or years that you can study and use anywhere you would like.

0 thoughts on “Google Sheets – Create an Interactive Task List

  • Hello,

    I’d like to create a function that when a task is completed it is removed from the task list and goes to another sheet for archiving. How can I do this with the current Google Sheets ‘To Do’ list.

    Thank you

    • Prolific Oaktree says:

      That sounds like a job that is better suited to a custom script written in apps script as I cannot think of a way to make that work. Certainly I am not the last word on this idea though!

  • Brandon Richards says:

    Instead of creating check boxes all the way down the sheet, is there a way to have Google automatically add a new checkbox to a cell whenever you add a new row? For example, if I added a new task to my to do list, could Google automatically add the checkbox to the appropriate cell so I could check off when it is done? I just think that looks cleaner instead of having a column full of blank check boxes with no other data, or having to manually add a checkbox every time I add a task to my to do list.

  • Hey man, you have great content on this site. I have a Google spreadsheets question that I’m not sure how to explain in a few words… for some reason in my spreadsheet, when I export or look at the print preview, my first set of cells is completely disconnected from the rest and on a whole separate page..I have no idea why. How can I fix this?

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