Classic to-dos

To-dos are simple lists of items that you need to complete on a project. A task can be assigned to a user on your project and can have due dates. To-do lists can be made private to your own company.

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Create a to-do list

To make a new list in a project, first click the To-dos tab, and then the button that says "New to-do list."
You'll then give that list a name, description, and permission setting:

Once you've filled that in to your liking, click the "Create this list" button, and you're off to the races! 

Create and assign to-dos

At the bottom of an existing to-do list, look for the link that says "Add an item."

Click that, and you'll be able to add details to your to-do:

To assign the to-do to someone on the project, click the drop-down menu under "Who's responsible." You can choose anyone who is part of the project, and you can also click the check box to send them a notification of the assignment. 

You'll also be able to set a due date for your to-do by clicking the box underneath "When is it due?" Choose a date from the calendar that pops up:

When you're done, click "Add this item."

Note: If you add a list and don’t add any items to that list, it will be marked as complete (any list with no items is marked complete). 

To see all the to-dos assigned to users in your company across all projects, click the "To-dos" tab on the Dashboard:

Add comments and files to to-dos

You can add a comment to a to-do, and attach a file to a comment on a to-do by clicking to add a comment to the item. 

Hover over a to-do and you’ll see comment icon after a to-do. A green icon means there are new comments on that item. A dark grey comment icon means there are comments on that item, but you’ve already read them. And if an item doesn’t have any comments, you’ll see an empty comment icon when you hover over that item.

Clicking the comment icon will take you to the comments view for that to-do. Each comment also has its own permalink, so you can link to that specific comment elsewhere.

To add a file, click into the to-do as you would to add a comment. You'll be able to post a comment, and attach your file.

Reorder to-dos and lists

To reorder the to-dos in a list, move your mouse over the item you want to move up or down. To the left of the item, you’ll see the reorder icon (it looks like four arrows). Click the icon and drag the item up or down to the location you want. You can also move items between lists by dragging an item from one list up or down to another list.

To-do lists don’t have explicit priorities (1-5 or “high” “medium” “low”, for example). Instead, priority in Basecamp is set visually, so you can always reorder items to be in a specific priority. Put the most important to-do items at the top of the list and the least important at the bottom.

To reorder your lists, click on the “To-Do” tab. Then click the red link that says “Reorder lists” at the top of the screen. You’ll see the title of each of your lists. 

To the left of each title, you’ll see the reorder icon (it looks like four arrows). Click the icon and drag the list up or down to the location you want.

To reorder something between lists, drag the item up or down the page to the other list, then “drop” it into its new location.

Basecamp does not support hierarchical to-do lists, sub tasks, or dependencies. Basecamp lists are simple one-level lists. You can, however, make as many lists as you want and you can add and rearrange as many items to those lists as you want.

Reordering is global: anyone who reorders the list reorders it for everyone.

To-dos and time tracking

Time tracking is available on the Plus, Premium & Max plans. To add time, click the “To-Do” tab. Find the list you want to enable time tracking for and put your mouse over the title. You’ll see a red “Edit” link appears to the left of the list’s title. Click this link and check the box next to “Enable time tracking for this list.”

You’ll see that all items on the list now have a little clock icon next to the checkbox. Click the icon to enter hours for that item. You can select the person who performed the task, add the number of hours, and add notes.

1 time unit = 1 hour
.75 = 45 minutes
.5 = 30 minutes
.25 = 15 minutes

Relate to-dos to milestones

When you relate a to-do list to a milestone, you’ll see a link to that to-do list displayed under the milestone on the milestones screen. This allows you to see which to-do lists relate to a particular milestone.

To relate a new list to a milestone, choose the appropriate milestone from the pull-down below “Does this list relate to a milestone?” You can also relate an existing list to a milestone too. Just roll your mouse over the list title and click on the red “Edit” link that appears to the left. Then select the milestone you want.

Note: Checking off an item on the to-do list or completing the list entirely doesn’t automatically complete the milestone. The association is purely visual. You’ll still need to go to the “Milestones” tab and check off the milestone manually to mark it as done.

To-do list templates

To-do list templates allow you to add frequently used to-do lists to any project. To-do List templates are global: they are available to you within any project.

From the Dashboard click the "Templates" tab on the right side of the screen. Then click on the link that says  "To-Do Templates."

Click the link that says "Create your first to-do template."

Create to-do list templates just like normal to-do lists. Any lists you make here will appear in a drop-down menu when you create lists inside your projects.

To add a list template into a project, click the "To-Do" tab. Then, click the "New to-do list" link.

If you've created a to-do list template, you'll see the "Use a to-do list template" link: 

Select the to-do list template from the menu of existing to-do list templates.

Once you hit the "Create this list" button, the to-do list page will reload and the selected template will now be loaded in your new to-do list screen. You can then adjust the list title or items and assign responsibility for the items.

Note: Clients and contractors can’t create templates, only people who are Administrators in your own company’s account can.

Move to-dos to another project

Admins can move to-do lists from one Basecamp project to another. 

Hover over the list's title. Click the "Edit" link that shows up:

On the editing page, click the link in the bottom right corner that says "Move..."

The  Move… link invokes a pop-over with a pull-down to select a destination project and some notes about what happens when you move that particular item.

Keep in mind some limitations that apply when you move a to-do list:

  • Any to-do items, any comments and attached files (attached to both to-do items and in comments) will move with it
  • The to-do list will no longer be associated with any milestones
  • Responsible parties will no longer be assigned unless they are already part of the destination project
  • Associated time entries move with the list

Delete a to-do list

From the main to-do list page for that project, hover over the title of the list you want to delete. Click on the trash can icon.

If you've clicked into the list, you'll see the option to delete the list in the upper right corner. 

Private to-do lists

Private things like to-do lists and messages can be seen by members of your primary Basecamp company but cannot be viewed by people in your client companies. Account owners and admins can make files, messages, and to-do lists private.

Clients will see no reference to the to-do lists—not on the to-do list page, not on the overview page, not on the dashboard page, and they won’t receive any email notifications related to private items. This allows you to share sensitive or not-yet-finalized information internally without needing to worry about clients accessing these entries.

Private items are called out with a small red “PRIVATE” item badge in the upper right corner of the item. They are highlighted in red on your Dashboard & Overview pages. 

While editing an existing list, you'll see the option to make that list private to your company. Just roll your mouse over the list title and click on the red “Edit” link that appears to the left. Then select the private checkbox.

To make a new list private, check off the Private option so that it's only visible to your country:

Privacy settings are inherited. This means a file attached to a comment on a private to-do list will also be private.