How To Create a To-Do List in Google Sheets [Free Templates]


To-do list apps dedicated to task management are convenient, but they aren’t always practical. Maybe you’re working on a project with a team and need to share the list. Maybe you want to print a list and keep it on your fridge.

Creating a to-do list in Google Sheets lets you customize it to fit your needs and share it, print it, or access it from any device. We’ll show you how to make a to-do list in Google Sheets with a Google template, a third-party template, and from scratch!

Access Template

How to Make a To-Do List in Google Sheets with a Template

Google Sheets users have access to plenty of free, built-in templates. This is an easy and handy way to generate a quick checklist that includes due dates, task descriptions, and checkboxes for completed items.

Google Sheets to-do list template

Open the Template

Visit Google Sheets and log in to your Google account.

  1. If recent templates are displayed on your Google Sheets main page, select “Template Gallery” (at the top). Otherwise, hover over the plus (+) sign in the bottom-right corner and pick “Choose Template.”
Google Sheets Template Gallery option


  1. Move to the “Personal” section and select the “To-do list” template.
Google Sheets To-do personal template in the gallery


  1. The template will open with sample data, including details that explain how to use the template.
Google Sheets to-do list template generated


  1. Optionally, you can change the name by selecting “To-do list” on the top left and entering your chosen name. Otherwise, jump right into using the template.
Change the name of the Google Sheets template

Enter Your Tasks and Due Dates

You can start by removing the sample tasks and dates and unchecking the boxes if you like. You’ll then have a clean list to get started.

Blank Google Sheets to-do list template


Next, enter a task name or full description of a to-do in the “Task” column.

Task added to the Google Sheets to-do list template


On the left, entering a due date in the “Date” column is optional. You can use a common date format (e.g., May 1, May 1, 2024; 5/1/23). The template should automatically convert the date to a numeric M/D format, such as 5/1.

Date added to the Google Sheets to-do list template

Sort or Filter By Completed, Date, or Task

You can sort or filter your to-do list using any of the columns. Select the “Filter” icon (to the right of the column header) and then sort alphabetically, by date, or by color.

Sort options for the Google Sheets to-do list template


Select the “Filter” icon and select by color, condition, value, or a specific item at the bottom.

Filter options for the Google Sheets to-do list template

Mark Tasks Complete

When you complete a task, check the box in column A. The text will be formatted with strikethrough font, and the row will be shaded in gray.

Task completed in the Google Sheets to-do list template


As you progress through the list, you’ll see the number of completed tasks and the total at the top.

Number completed in the Google Sheets to-do list template


Related: Check out these useful Google Sheets tips and tricks to improve your to-do list template!

Using a To-Do List Template from a Third Party

You may like the idea of using a to-do list template but prefer one that offers spots for statuses or task prioritization. This free to-do list template from Vertex42 is a great choice.

You’ll have spots for tasks, statuses, priorities, due dates, PICK options, owners, and notes.

Vertex42 to-do list template for Google Sheets

Download and Copy the Template

  1. On the Vertex42 site, you’ll see this template at the top of the to-do list options. Select “Google Sheets” on the right.
Vertex42 to-do list template for Google Sheets


  1. Next, click on “Get the Template.”
Get the Template button Vertex42 to-do list template


  1. Sign in to your Google account. You’ll see the template preview. Select “Use Template” in the top-right corner.
Use Template button for the Vertex42 to-do list


  1. The template is in “View only” mode, so we recommend saving a copy of the template for your personal use.
View Only indicator for the Vertex42 to-do list template


  1. Select “File” > “Make a copy,” provide the copied file a name, select a Google Drive folder (optional), and click “Make a copy.”
Make a Copy GSheets for Vertex42 to-do list


Your copy of the template will open in a new tab, ready for you to use.

Enter Your Tasks and Details

Start by entering your to-dos in the “Project/Task” column. Use the columns on the right-hand side for additional details.

Tasks added to the Vertex42 to-do list template


  • Status: Use the drop-down list in the “Status” column as you progress through each task.
  • Priority: Set a high, medium, or low priority for each task.
  • Due Date: Enter a due date in a common format. The template automatically changes it to the MM/DD/YYYY format.
  • PICK: Optionally, you can assign a PICK option to each task.
  • Owner: For a shared to-do list, enter the responsible person in the “Owner” column.
  • Notes: Include additional details or items.
Details added to the Vertex42 to-do list template

Customize Status, Priority, and PICK Lists

To fit your personal needs, you can customize the items in the Status, Priority, and PICK lists:

  1. Go to the “Lists” tab at the bottom.
Lists tab for the Vertex42 to-do list template


  1. You’ll see the items that currently exist for each of the lists. You can add, edit, or remove these items to tailor them to your project (or the way you manage your tasks).
Lists for the Vertex42 to-do list template


  1. When you make a change, you’ll see it automatically reflected in the corresponding list once you return to the “ToDoList” tab.

For example, you can remove the “Pending Approval” and “Pending Review” items simply by deleting the text.

Deleted List items in the Vertex42 to-do list template


When we return to the to-do list, the “Status” list is up-to-date and reflects that change.

Updated changes in the Vertex42 to-do list template

Be Aware of Template Conditional Formatting

In addition to customizing the lists described above, this template includes conditional formatting that quickly helps spot items:

  • Priority: “High” will turn the text red. “Low” the text will turn blue.
  • Due Date: Any past due dates will be shown in red text.
  • PICK: Choose Easy/High Value and the text will turn green. For Hard/Low Value, the text will turn red.
Conditional formatting in the Vertex42 to-do list template


For an effective to-do list template — with bonus features that make task management simpler — this Vertex42 template is a terrific option.

Create a Google Sheets To-Do List from Scratch

If you’d rather create and customize your to-do list in Google Sheets, you can absolutely create one from scratch. Create a list that utilizes elements you need or want. Keep reading to learn how to use:

  • Checkboxes for completed items
  • Drop-down lists for task statuses
  • Conditional formatting for past-due items

Related: If you like the template we’ve created below, click on the button below and select “Make a Copy” to open it in Google Sheets.

Access Template

Open a Blank Workbook and Enter the Basics

Head to Google Sheets and sign in if necessary.

  1. On the main Google Sheets page, either select “Blank” in the template section or hover over the plus (+) sign (on the bottom-right corner) and pick “Create new spreadsheet.”
Blank spreadsheet option in Google Sheets


  1. Name your to-do list in the “Untitled spreadsheet” spot in the top-left corner.
Name your untitled spreadsheet


You can use something like “My To-Do List,” “Our Project Tasks,” or whatever works for you. You can also format the title using the font and the fill section of the toolbar.

Added and formatted a To-do list title in Google Sheets


  1. Enter a column header for each item you want in your list. Here, we’ll include columns for Complete, Task, Date, and Status. Again, these headings can be in bold or any color you choose.
Columns added for a Google Sheets To-do list

Insert Checkboxes for Completed Tasks

In the “Complete” column, add checkboxes to quickly mark off completed tasks.

  1. Select the first cell where you want a tick box, open the “Insert” menu, and pick “Checkbox.”
Checkbox in the Google Sheets Insert menu


  1. Click the fill handle. This is found at the bottom-right corner of the cell containing the checkbox. Drag down to fill the remaining cells.
Checkbox added and copied for Google Sheets To-do list


For additional options, take a look at our how-to for inserting checkboxes in Google Sheets.

Format the Date Column

To keep due dates consistently formatted, apply a date format:

  1. Select the “Date” column or the date cells. Click the “More formats” button in the toolbar.
More Formats in the Google Sheets toolbar


  1. Choose the “Date” option that appears in the list.
Date format option in Google Sheets


  1. Alternatively, you can choose a custom date and time in a different format. Select an option (or use the fields at the top to select it) and click “Apply.”
Custom Date format box in Google Sheets

Automatically Format Past Due Items

After you format the Date column, you can add conditional formatting to emphasize past dates. This is a great way to see overdue tasks.

  1. Select the cells containing the dates and click “Format” > “Conditional formatting” in the menu.
Conditional Formatting in the Google Sheets Format menu


  1. When the sidebar opens, click the “Single” color tab and confirm the cell range in the “Apply to Range” field.
Apply to Range box on the Single Color tab for a Google Sheets format rule


  1. Below “Format Rules,” choose “Date is before” in the first drop-down box and “today” in the second drop-down box. This applies the rule to any past date.
Date Is Before and Today selected for a Google Sheets format rule


  1. Beneath “Formatting Style,” determine how you want to format the text or cells. For example, you can make the font white and the fill color red. You’ll see a preview above the formatting toolbar as you make your selections.
Formatting style for a Google Sheets past due dates


  1. When you finish setting up your list, select “Done” to apply it to the selected cell(s). Close the sidebar by clicking the X on the top right.
Done button to finish a Google Sheets format rule


Test your formatting rule by entering yesterday’s date and another in the future. You can then delete the test dates.

Dates inserted to test the Google Sheets format rule

Add Drop-Down Lists for Statuses

If you decide not to use checkboxes for completed items and use a status list instead (or if you prefer to use both), adding a drop-down list for these statuses is easy.

  • Select the cell where you want the first drop-down list and click “Insert” > “Dropdown” in the menu.
The dropdown option in the Google Sheets Insert menu


  • When the sidebar opens, confirm the cell reference and make sure that the dropdown displays the below criteria.
Apply to Range box and Dropdown in the Criteria box for a Google Sheets dropdown list


  • Enter the status list items in the “Option” boxes and choose a color (to the left of each option). For example, you can include the following:
    • Not Started
    • In Progress
    • Delayed
    • Complete
Options added to a Google Sheets dropdown list


  • For additional actions such as help text, warnings, and the display style, click “Advanced options” and make your selections.
Advanced Options for a Google Sheets dropdown list


  • When you finish setting up your list, select “Done” to apply it to the cell and close the sidebar by clicking the X.
Done button for a Google Sheets dropdown list


  • Test your new drop-down list to make sure it looks correct. If you want to make a change, select the “Edit” button (pencil icon) to make those changes.
Google Sheets dropdown list showing the Edit button


  • Click the fill handle (in the bottom-right corner of the cell containing the drop-down list) and drag it down to fill the remaining cells.
Google Sheets dropdown list copied down

Use Your Custom To-Do List

Once you finish setting up the basics, you can put your custom to-do list to work.

Enter your tasks and due dates, choose your statuses, and mark your tasks complete when the time comes!

Custom Google Sheets To-do list created

You can use any or all of the above suggestions or implement your own ideas. For instance, you can:

Get to Work on Those To-Dos

Whether you need a task list in a hurry for a new project or have time to customize your own, you currently know how to make a to-do list in Google Sheets.

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By the end of this course, students will be able to easily create and customize Google forms, connect forms to Google Sheets, filter form responses, create pivot tables, transpose data, and demonstrate other valuable spreadsheet skills.


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