Master Checklists for Everyday Success

Tips & Stories

Master Checklists for Everyday Success

Posted by Taylor Pipes on 23 Dec 2014

Posted by Taylor Pipes on 23 Dec 2014

Checklists are an important part of how many people use Evernote.

This week, checklists will be put to work to plan for family travels and holiday shopping. Even Santa will tap the productivity power of Evernote. Talk about the perfect way to manage his naughty or nice list and monitor North Pole gift inventory.

In the professional world, checklists are a huge component to the daily work of pilots and surgeons. Detailed step-by-step checklists help fight complacency in the cockpit, and maintain safe operation of the aircraft during all phases of flight, from gate to gate. In hospitals, medical teams use checklists to ensure surgical procedures go smoothly.

Harness the power of checklists in your daily life

Recently, The Art of Manliness provided an historical look at checklists, along with a detailed primer in deciding which lists will work for you, culled from the excellent, The Checklist Manifesto.

You can implement the same routine in your daily work to help give you a greater shot at success.

Mastering procedural processes and repetitive tasks with checklists allows you to focus on the larger goals at hand. It’s the minutiae of the workday that can be easily forgotten at the detriment of other important projects.

In Evernote, you can use checklists to manage exam preparation, reading lists, travel planning, project steps, personal tasks, professional goals, New Year’s resolutions, and more.

Here’s steps to create checklists in Evernote to maximize your productivity:

Create a checklist

Evernote for Mac, Windows desktop, iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch:
1. Start editing your note.
2. Click or tap the ‘Insert checkbox’ button in the formatting bar, to add a checkbox.

1. In the note editor, swipe the bar above the keyboard to display formatting options.
2. Select the checkbox icon.

Power tip: On Evernote for Mac and Windows desktop, you can turn a list of items into a checklist. Simply highlight the list, then select the checkbox icon. Hitting Enter will add another checkbox to an existing list.

How are you using checklists in Evernote? Share your stories and tips in the comments.


Evernote Premium

Upgrade for features to help you live and work smarter.

Go Premium
View more stories in 'Tips & Stories'

23 Comments RSS

  • Guy Gordon

    Recurring checklists, please! 🙂

    • Ed Kern

      also very much would like to see recurring checklists with evernote

    • Heather

      Agree, recurring checklists for daily, weekly things!

    • Yana

      Hey guys, if you keep a note for a recurring checklist, you can use Swipes with Evernote to sync it as a task and then schedule it as recurring. We’re their partnering app for task management: I’d love to hear your comments on how does that workflow fits you. 🙂

      • Ruurd

        Nope. That is a recurring TASK you’re taling about. What we want is a checklist template you can use to make a nice shiny new checklist with with all the boxes unticked.

  • LG

    Sometimes you have a note with checklist items, and you revisit the note every so often as a recurring to-do list. (List of things to pack when traveling, list of holiday cards to send, list of steps to take for a software release, etc.) You may have nested checklists, checklists interspersed with text, etc. It’s a big pain to find all the checked items and uncheck them, for the next time you reuse that document.

    It would be very helpful to have an Evernote feature, a menu bar item, that means “uncheck every checkbox in this note.”

    • JT

      Let me add my voice to the many previous requests: we need to be able to have checked-off items go to the bottom of the list, and to be able to save/reuse/clear check lists.

      • sandy

        good idea but I cant even find the basic feature stated that turns off and on the boxes… ? do I have to have premium for this?

        • Taylor Pipes

          It depends on where you are using Evernote, but adding them depends on where you are using it. For the most part, it is a one-step process to adding a checkbox. Find the checkbox feature in Evernote on your iPad, Windows and Mac formatting bar. Tap the checkbox icon to create a new one.

          To add checkboxes using your iPhone, tap on the note you’re working in and hit the ‘A’ icon in the lower right-hand corner to bring up formatting options. From there, tap the checkbox icon to add a new one.

          When editing a note using your Android device, swipe the bar above the keyboard to display formatting options and select the checkbox icon.


          • Mike Hobby

            you have done good at making creation easy, now make managing them easier. JT got it right, check box sorting or automation is a must.

  • Frank

    Don’t forget about the Reminders List! There’s another place you can check items off. Take a look at this geeky blog post which showcases the Reminders List in Evernote:

  • John Johnson

    I have a templates notebook and use the duplicate note menu item to fake a recurring checklists feature. This works well with grocery shopping lists and travel checklists.

  • Brian

    I use list when I have projects that I don’t do frequently, but need to remember the details every time. For instance, blowing out my father in law’s sprinkler system is a bit more complex than the average system. So I noted each step, with an accompanying image to remember where each valve is, etc. I find this list valuable each year in the Fall.

  • Johan

    I kind of love checklists. In the past i used Springpad, but now Evernote. Springpad had a feature to move checklist-items, really usable to be able to prioritize things on a checklist. It is to slow to cut and paste every line..
    Check/uncheck ALL would also be nice 🙂

  • Kim

    LG, I agree that would be a helpful feature. What I’ve done for those lists I know I’ll want to use again is create a folder called “my templates” and put those lists in there- not checked off. Every time I want to use one of the lists I copy it to a new note and rename it in the appropriate new folder. For example, Christmas card- make your list and save it to “my templates” then copy and paste into a new note and rename “Christmas cards 2014”.

  • Jason

    checklists functionality is awesome in evernote. world of difference. now all we need is to implement how when a task is completed it is either deleted/moved elsewhere so that only active tasks remain. is that possible?

  • Michael Powell

    This is one of the biggest features that has me stumped; or more so the way that it’s promoted to users.

    For me (rightly, wrongly or indifferent) checklists in Evernote are a great accompaniment for contextual purposes. However, if I want a dedicated ‘to-do’ style list, I use an alternative (for me currently, Wunderlist).

    Am I approaching this from a way that others don’t, or am I simply choosing to use an alternative solution for this particular Evernote feature?

    • Joe

      @Michael Powell – I agree with you, I also use Wunderlist for my todo’s, it’s great a checklist software. Can someone please explain an Evernote workflow that is similar to Wunderlist? I would love to use Evernote for tasks, I’m just not understanding the best way to do it.

  • rex

    I take a photo of my paper checklist and store in Evernote. That way I can see historical progress.

  • Keith

    checkboxes are TOO small should be adjustable especially on tablets they are so small us old folk have a very hard time seeing them – please make them adjustable

  • Moushumi Sikand

    I would like an option to add gmail email as attachment, so I can click on the link for more detail and that will open up the relevant gmail message for me.

  • Ruurd

    On a more general note: Can we have a means to create template notes (of whatever size and shape) and use them as the source for new notes…

  • Ralph

    If you want to quickly clear a checked list so you can use it again, just highlight the list and toggle the checkbox format off and on again. Presto, all the boxes reappear unchecked.