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

This site has a companion YouTube channel that has pretty much, well almost exactly, the same content. If you like this, you'll like that.

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.

Follow image below for the live Google Sheet with this data

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Tasks in Outlook

Microsoft To-Do – Full Tutorial With My Day and Grouped Lists

Purpose

Microsoft To-Do is a task management app that works on your phone, tablet, and computer. The app takes a simple to-do list, much like the one in Outlook, and adds a few new twists to it. It can be used with Outlook, as the tasks will mostly synchronize, or on its own as a stand alone.

Tasks in Outlook
Tasks in Outlook

Keep in mind that, if you are a heavy task user in Outlook, not everything will synchronize. Flagged e-mails will not show nor will task assignments or file attachments. At this point, To-Do is best used as a stand alone app to get a fresh start if you want to move away from using tasks in Outlook.

Availability

Microsoft To-Do is available for free and it also will pop up now as a new app that’s part of Office 365. If you’re at work and you have a paid subscription, you can use it as part of the Office 365 ecosystem. On a PC, it can be used through a web browser or downloaded from the Windows Store and installed on your PC. The tasks will sync with all other instances of To-Do that you have installed and linked to your Microsoft account.

app in Office 365
Part of Office 365

Even if you are not an Office 365 subscriber, it can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store onto your PC or installed on your phone.

To-Do in Android Play Store
Android Play Store

Basic Use

Video explanation

At the basic level, the tasks in the section called To Do’s are a simple list of your tasks. If you right click on one, you can set a reminder at a specific date or mark it complete.

Right-click options
Right-click options
Double-click menu
Double-click menu

If you double-click on a task, there is a simple field for notes but, keep in mind, you can’t attach files, at least not at the date of this writing which is February of 2018. That’s a little bit different than Outlook, but it does keep it nice and simple. Once you set a due date, you can also set the task to repeat at certain intervals.

The other thing you can’t do is assign these tasks to someone else. To-Do is just for your own use right now.

Taks Lists

In addition to it just being a plain list of tasks like Outlook, one of the big new things you that you can do is create task lists. You can customize the theme of each list and, of course, you can add emojis to each one. Left-click in the text field where the name of your list is. Different choices for emojis pop up as choices. If you don’t see what you want, you can surf the web and copy and paste an emoji from there.

Task lists
Task lists
Emoji for list
Emoji for list

You can also change the color of each of your tasks. If you get all hot when you work out, maybe you want it red. I made the purchases green, right? Because I’m spending money.

Red theme
Red theme
Green theme
Green theme

My Day

In addition to grouping things in lists, the another innovation as far as tasks go is the My Day function. At the beginning of each day, you open up My Day and it’s blank. The thought is you may have all of these tasks that are nicely categorized and they’re dated, but YOU choose what you do that day.

My Day
My Day

Click on the smart suggestion light bulb and it’s going to suggest things that you do today based on what you have in these lists and what the due dates are. I decided that clean my room is due today but there’s no way I’m doing that.

Light bulb
Click on the light bulb
Smart Suggestions
Smart Suggestions

Now choose what you want to do with your day from scratch. This will give you a fresh list totally under your control. You can left-click and you can reorder by holding down your left mouse key or your finger if you’re on mobile and dragging it down. If you get it done, mark it as completed. If you decide you’re not going to do it, remove it from My Day by moving it to another list. If you decide you don’t want to do something on your My Day list at all, just delete it.

Conclusion

That pretty much covers Microsoft To-Do. There’s not too much clutter with it. It’s relatively simple it just lets you organize what you’re doing during the day and you can decide what tasks you see in your day and which ones you don’t.

Tasks in Outlook

Microsoft To-Do – Using the My Day feature

Purpose

Microsoft To-Do is a task management app that works on your phone, tablet, and computer. The app centers on a simple to-do list, much like the one in Outlook, but adds a few new twists to it. It can be used with Outlook, as the tasks will mostly synchronize, or on its own as a stand alone.

Tasks in Outlook
Tasks in Outlook

Basic Use

Video explanation

My Day

The big innovation with To Do is the My Day function. At the beginning of each day, you open up My Day and it’s blank. The thought is you may have all of these tasks that are nicely categorized and they’re dated, but YOU choose what you do that day.

My Day
My Day

Click on the smart suggestion light bulb and it’s going to suggest things that you do today based on what you have in these lists and what the due dates are. I decided that clean my room is due today but there’s no way I’m doing that.

Light bulb
Click on the light bulb
Smart Suggestions
Smart Suggestions

Now choose what you want to do with your day from scratch. This will give you a fresh list totally under your control. You can left-click and you can reorder by holding down your left mouse key or your finger if you’re on mobile and dragging it down. If you get it done, mark it as completed. If you decide you’re not going to do it, remove it from My Day by moving it to another list. If you decide you don’t want to do something on your My Day list at all, just delete it.

Conclusion

To Do’s power lies in its comfortable resting spot in the Office 365 environment which gives it integration with Outlook. The My Day function sets it apart from Outlook and makes it a worthy candidate for your organization app of choice.