Keep Track of Your Tasks with the Microsoft To-Do App

Lance Whitney

You can manage your to-do lists from Windows, the Web, and your mobile device.

You need a way to create, track, and juggle all the tasks in your life – personal, professional, and otherwise. You’ll find a variety of to-do applications worth checking out. But one program that can get the job done is Microsoft To-Do. Here’s a quick run-down of what you can do with it:

  • Create separate lists for different types of tasks and even apply a unique visual theme to each list.
  • Add a due date, reminder, and note for each task.
  • Sort your to-do tasks by name, due date, creation date, or status.

Microsoft To-Do is available as a Windows 10 app, an iOS app, an Android app, and a website, so you can access it from virtually anywhere.

For this article, I’m using the Windows 10 app. Let’s get started.

Open the page for Microsoft To-Do in the Windows Store to install and launch the program. Once that’s done, open the program.

If prompted, sign in with your Microsoft Account. Click on the category for To-Do and click on the link to Add a to-do. Write your to-do item. Then click on the Add button.

Click on the item you just added. From the right pane, add more details to it.

Click on the option to Add due date. You can choose from Today, Tomorrow, Next Week, or a specific date.

Next click on the Remind me option. You can select Later today, Tomorrow, Next week, or a specific date and time.

Click in the box to Add a note if you want to write some details about this item.

To add another item, click on the link for the next Add a to-do.

Let’s walk through how to set up a recurring item.  Choose a recurring item that will start today or tomorrow. Click on Add and then select the item. Click on the option for Add due date. Pick today or tomorrow. Click on Repeat. You can choose from Daily, Weekdays, Weekly, or Monthly. You can also opt for Custom to choose a different frequency. Then click on Remind me. Choose the starting date and time to receive a reminder.

You can add steps to a single to-do item in case you want to break it down into individual tasks. Click on the link to Add step. Type the step and press enter. Repeat for additional steps.

What if you need to change an item? To revise the item itself, select it and click anywhere in its text in the upper right. You can now delete or add text. To revise a setting, such as Remind me or Due date, click on it to change it. Click on the X if you want to delete it. You can certain settings by right-clicking on an item. From the popup menu, select Due today, Due tomorrow, Pick a date, or Remove due date to tweak or delete the due date. You can also delete the item entirely.

When a reminder for an item is ready, you’ll hear the familiar alarm noise and see the reminder at the lower right of the screen. Click on Snooze to temporarily turn off the reminder or Complete if you’re already accomplished the task.

If you select Snooze, the app will remind you again in another five minutes. If you select Complete, the app displays a green checkmark and strikethrough for the item. And no, you don’t need to have the To-Do app open or running to receive the reminder. It pops up as a standard Windows reminder.

If you complete an item before the reminder chimes, just click on its circle. For an item that encompasses multiple steps, you can click on the circle for each step separately to signify when each one is completed or just click on the full item.

Want to view certain items at a single glance? Add them to My Day. Right-click on an item and select Add to My Day from the menu. Do that for other items. Those items appear in the My Day section so you can easily see them all together.

Next you can sort your list in different ways. You can drag and drop an item to a different spot in the list. For specific sorting options, click on the ellipsis button and hover over the Sort entry. You can now sort your items alphabetically, by Due date, Creation date, Completed status, and My Day listing.

Maybe you want to rename a list and go even further by creating multiple lists?

Right-click on the current list that says Untitled list. Select Rename list and give it a new name. Next, click on the link that says New List. Type a name for this new list.

Okay, cool, you’ve got two new lists. But you still have your current to-do items stuck in their own list. No problem. You can move items from the current list to any of your new lists by drop-and-dragging each item to its desired list. You can also right-click on an item, hover over the entry for Move to-do to and select one of your new lists. Now when you want to add a new item, first click on its appropriate list and then follow the steps to create and set up that item.

You can give each list with its own visual theme. Select a list and click on the ellipsis button. Click on each of the six theme buttons at the bottom and pick a specific design. Then click on each of the five color buttons at the top to choose a color.

If you organize tasks with other people, you can collaborate with them on a specific to-do list. As long as the other people have Microsoft Accounts, they can view and modify your to-do items.

To get started, right-click on a list and select Share list from the menu or click on the Share list button in the upper right. The app prompts you to create an invitation link to send to other people. Copy the link. Click on the button for More Options when you’re finished inviting people and want to prevent new people from joining the list. Send the link to anyone you want to collaborate with on that list. The recipients click on the link and sign in to join the list.

After signing in, other people can open the list to add and revise items. If you want to return the list to private mode, right-click on it, select Sharing options, click on More Options, and then click on the button to Stop Sharing.

Since you use your Microsoft Account to sign into Microsoft To-Do, your items are synced online. So you can access your lists from anywhere with or without the Windows 10 app. To work with your to-do lists and items on the Web, sign into your Microsoft To-Do website. To work with your lists and items on an iPhone or iPad, download the iOS Microsoft To-Do app. And to work with them on an Android device, download the Android version from Google Play.

= Paid content

All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2018-06-28: