Google Docs recently introduced the ability to create checklists and assign items to others right within documents. This feature integrates with Google Tasks, making it easy to delegate tasks and track progress.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to assign checklist items in Google Docs.
Create a Checklist
To start using checklists in Google Docs:
- Open a document
- Place your cursor where you want the checklist
- Select Format > Bullets & Numbering > Checklist in the menu
Alternatively, you can click the Checklist button in the toolbar.
Once you create a checklist, you’ll see checkboxes automatically added when you press Enter at the end of each line. Simply type out your list of tasks.
Once your checklist is set up, assigning items is simple:
- Hover over the square icon next to a checklist item
- Click Assign to tasks
- Enter the name of the person you want to assign the item to
- You can also set a due date if desired
- Click Assign to finish
The assignee will receive a notification and the item will appear in their Google Tasks list.
As tasks get completed, progress will sync between the Google Doc checklist and Tasks:
- When an item is checked off in Docs, it will show as completed in Tasks
- If the status changes in Tasks, it will update in the Doc
The assignee’s name will display next to finished items.
Here are some tips for effectively using checklists in Google Docs:
- Give clear, actionable task descriptions
- Set due dates for items when possible
- @mention assignees in the document so they are notified
- Reorder checklist items by dragging and dropping them
- Change assignees by hovering over an item and selecting Edit
Collaborate in Real Time
A major benefit of using Docs for checklists is that multiple people can edit them simultaneously. The changes will sync for everyone, allowing you to:
- Get instant feedback from teammates
- Discuss task details within the doc
- See progress as tasks get completed
This facilitates better collaboration compared to separate to-do apps.
Checklists in Google Docs work well for:
- Project plans
- Team responsibilities
- Event checklists
- Process documents
- Inventory tracking
- Job aids
- Meeting agendas
- Editorial calendars
The integration with Google Tasks also makes Docs great for personal task management.
While very useful, there are some limitations to be aware of:
- Tasks cannot be assigned to users outside of your organization
- Only basic metadata syncs between Docs and Tasks
- The mobile Docs app does not allow assigning checklists
Hopefully Google continues improving this feature over time.
Being able to create interactive checklists and assign to-dos right within Google Docs streamlines work tracking and task management, especially for teams.
The checklist feature bridges the gap between documents and dedicated task apps. While not without some limitations currently, it provides an easy way to delegate and monitor progress on work items.
Give it a try for your next project!