Distinguish completed vs uncompleted sub-item of completed parent

What I did

  1. Create an item (the “parent” item)
  2. Create two sub-items
  3. Mark the first sub-item as completed
  4. Mark the parent item as completed

What I expected

To be able to distinguish between the first and second sub-item

What actually happened

The first and second sub-items look the same

In pictures…

I followed the above steps in Workflowy and Dynalist. Workflowy is on the left and Dynalist is on the right.

Possible Solution

Grey out but do not strike through sub-items that are not explicitly marked as complete themselves but have a completed parent

Context and Use Case

I have a list of big projects, each with tasks. I mark less important projects as completed so I can toggle their visibility quickly. Sometimes, I zoom into a completed project. At that point in time, I want to see which tasks are completed or not.

By the way

I brought this up on Twitter a couple of months ago, but I didn’t see it in the Trello roadmap yet, so I wanted to hear about the status (and am curious if other people run up against this as well!).

Thanks for an awesome product and such an awesome way to provide feedback!


I have a similar experience with turning items into todo’s (with checkboxes). So I guess it would be a matter of rewriting/altering the code that formats items like this to just make it based on an individual level, and then seeing which method is more popular; either having to highlight and bunch of items and then formatting it accordingly, or just compromise and then see if can be undone.

Sorry, I didn’t entirely understand this.

I don’t know how the code works, but to clarify what I was thinking as a possible solution: create a style targeting completed items that (a) strikes through the item and (b) greys out the item (c) greys out any children of the item.

Also, just to be clear, the style should only care about onscreen things. If we’re zoomed into a particular item, the completion status of any ancestors shouldn’t matter!


That’s a good and intuitive solution.

I was just saying that since it is a bit annoying to deal with (in other areas as well), a granular level of formatting items might serve as a fix for this in the meantime, just like how Workflowy handles items.

Edit: Things are currently “affected” by being treated as lists:

  • Adding checkboxes
  • Marking things as complete
  • Deleting a top level point deletes the entire list (which I guess could stay).

Using Chrome DevTools, I edited app.css by just making 3 insertions between the /* START */ and /* END */ markers in the following screenshots:

This acheives what I’m proposing:

However, I can’t make these changes stick!

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In my experience, ‘undoing’ formatting is much harder than selectively applying the formatting in the first place.

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That’s good to know. Good thing Shida and Erica are the ones working on Dynalist. :slight_smile:

OMG I totally misunderstood your request from July, so sorry!

Basically I understood it as you wanted an option to remove the strike-through. Now that I read it again, oh man, was I terribly wrong.

What you said is totally reasonable; in fact, it’s more of a bug than a feature request. We’ll fix it soon!

Now that I think about it some more… would it be a little unexpected for some users?

For example, let’s say you have


  • B
  • C
  • D

and A is a checklist.

When someone checks A, he could expect B, C, D to all be checked automatically as a result. In other words, he’s using checking A as the shortcut to check, A, B, C, and D. Thoughts on this?

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The proposed fix shouldn’t be confusing as the uncompleted sub-items are greyed out.

I think they the current system is more confusing for users when they uncheck the parent item and suddenly certain sub-items become unchecked. Hidden information is no good.

Ah, I see. Let’s close that feature request in favor of the fix proposed here.

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But the checkboxes are checked. That’s the confusing part.

In the example I provided above, after A has been checked off, B, C, and D will look greyed out but not checked. That’s the thing I was concerned about.

I knew what you meant; I just think greyed-outness is enough to make the uncheckedness not confusing. Something clearly happens that makes the sub-items look completed. But it’s easy to tell it’s because of the parent list. Best of both worlds.


I see what you mean. I now have an idea of how to implement it, and I’ll see how it works out when I try it. Sometimes you never know before you try it. :slight_smile:

Maybe we need to grey the subitems of the checked list a little more, but we can probably figure something out.

I agree exactly with Yatharth’s request and suggested implementation.

I use Dynalist to make outlines of information for writing. When I use something from the outline in my paper, I check it off. Sometimes I use a piece of information that is a parent, but I don’t use all of its children, so I don’t want all of the children checked when the parent is checked.

Yatharth’s suggestion is pretty much the way Workflowy’s “Complete” function works.


@Erica Any headway yet with this and the related fix for checklists?

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We’re fixing this one, and I think we have some misunderstandings to clear out about the other thing (i.e. this post). Would really appreciate it if you can reply over there to let me know your thoughts.


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Until this gets officially fixed, here’s a CSS style you can use with extensions like Stylish for Chrome:

.Node.is-checked .Node > .Node-self > .Node-checkbox:after {
    opacity: 0;

.Node.is-checked > .Node-self > .Node-checkbox:after {
    opacity: 1 !important;

.Node.is-checked .Node > .Node-self > .Node-contentContainer > .Node-content,
.Node.is-checked .Node > .Node-self > .Node-contentContainer > .Node-renderedContent {
	text-decoration: inherit;

.Node.is-checked > .Node-self > .Node-contentContainer > .Node-content,
.Node.is-checked > .Node-self > .Node-contentContainer > .Node-renderedContent {
	text-decoration: line-through !important;

discarding this function completely fixes the problem if it’s still a problem, i would just discard it

no, ‘completed’ markout function is always useless, everywhere

  • just delete, why keep shit around?
  • that’s what delete is for, it’s to get rid of shit
  • shit clutters everything up, don’t you get it?

should look into Marie Kondo, Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up talk at google and related

so useless & so improminent, im not even gonna add it to the ‘useless’ section on dyna – ~ ** { Making Life Better } ** ~

if this is highly useful, anyone can tell me in a clean & clear list why

Well, let’s say Dynalist gets a recurring reminders feature, something like a grocery list or list of ingredients would be something you wouldn’t want to re-enter.

Although I do agree that on some level things like tasks are bound to be deleted anyway, there are some exceptions, as mentioned above.

Update: this is added in the latest web version, coming to all platforms soon.

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