How to Create a To-Do List in Workflowy


Checkboxes are here! Have you tried them?

Image created by Jonathan Wylie

Workflowy fans have been waiting a long time for a better way to create to-do lists. Today, I’m excited to say, that wait is over. You can now add checkboxes to create checklists and make to-do lists. It’s easy to do and an instant upgrade for all users.

Here are four ways to create a to-do list in Workflowy.

1. Use the Bullet Menu

If you hover over a bullet and click the three dot bullet menu immediately to its left, you will be able to select Bullets and then To-do. This will add a checkbox in front of your text.

If you hit return after a to-do item, another checkbox will appear below it. This behavior will continue until you click the three dot bullet menu again, select To-do, and then Bullets. This will return you to a bulleted list.

GIF created by Jonathan Wylie

2. Use the New Slash Menu

If you haven’t tried the new slash menu in Workflowy, then you are missing out. It made it’s official debut last month, and is a huge improvement to the user interface.

It works the same way as the slash menu in tools like Notion, Slack, Discord and more. Simply tap the forward slash key on your keyboard and start typing to select the command you need.

For a to-do list, click anywhere on a bulleted text and then tap the slash key. Then select To-do to turn your bullet into a checkbox. If you prefer, you can hit the slash key and start typing “to-do”. Once you see it highlighted, tap enter to select it.

GIF created by Jonathan Wylie

3. Use the Menu Bar Options

The third option is not as intuitive as the others on this list, but it’s good to have options. Here’s how to create a to-do with the menu bar.

Start by zooming in on the bullet you want to convert by clicking on it. Then click the Change layout button on the menu bar. Choose To-do to switch your bullet to a checkbox, and then click the breadcrumbs to zoom back out to where you were before.

I understand why this option is included. The Change Layout button already let you switch between bullets and boards, so adding the to-do option makes sense. However, I don’t think I will use this method very often. The slash command is already my favorite!

GIF created by Jonathan Wylie

4. Convert Multiple Bullet Points

Before we had the option of creating checkboxes, you could create a to-do list with bullets and mark them as complete from the bullet menu. If you still have some of those bulleted to-do lists, you can convert them all to checkboxes quickly and easily. Here’s how.

Click and drag to make a selection of all the bullets that you want to convert to checkboxes. Then select To-do from the pop-up menu.

Bonus Tip: Formatting Checkboxes

When you start using checkboxes, you may find that you have a bullet point and a checkbox. However, it doesn’t have to be that way!

If you head over to, click on the three dot menu, and then select Settings, you will see an option called, Show bullets for todos and items with children. If you toggle this off, you will just see checkboxes for your tasks. No bullets allowed.

Screenshot by Jonathan Wylie

What About the Workflowy Mobile Apps?

Although I mainly use the web and desktop apps, I find myself using the iOS versions of Workflowy more than you might think. So, how do to-dos work on the mobile apps?

The Workflowy mobile apps do support to-do lists. If you create one on the web or desktop app, it syncs to the mobile app, as you might expect. While using a mobile device, you can create a to-do with the slash command or with the menu bar options.

iPad Screenshot by Jonathan Wylie

However, I have yet to find a way to format my checkboxes so that they don’t show a bullet and a checkbox. That option doesn’t seem to sync between the web and the mobile apps. There is nothing in the Settings to turn that on or off, so to-do lists have a bullet and a checkbox, at least for now. An option to disable that may come in a future update.

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