Toggle checklist at any level at will

I have checklists within which I just want to have my bullet points. I would like to be able to toggle checklists at will, no matter what has been set at the parent.

That is: when I hit CTRL ALT C, a checklist item should come or go.


huh that’s interesting, that a checklist point can’t have regular points under/within

  • obviously checklists should function the same as points

  • besides ‘extra’ things like being able to ‘check’ them

this clearly failed design

  • don’t think so? send me a list (no more than 100 points) with evidence fully showing why

Yes I think this is very important. Ive recently started using check boxes as a way to collect together all to-do’s in one search (which I was recently delighted to discover we are able to do).

But it fails because as soon as you make a bullet a checkbox, every bullet below it also becomes a check box!

I can see why that would make sense to those using DL purely as a to-do list.

But for me the whole value of DL is to be able to mix up notes and to-do’s. So you can make a to-do of ‘plan party’ (for example) then brainstorm all kinds of ideas beneath that to-do, and as you come up with new to-do’s add check boxes to make them to-do’s that come up in the bookmarked to-do search. Having every note get a checkbox destroys that!

So - having now read some of the previous discussion on all this - I think the thing is that to my mind a check box is NOT AT ALL like at number in a numbered list.

Please could you give us an option in the settings to state whether we want check boxes added automatically (like numbers) or manually?

This would accommodate both workflows which are both valid and reasonable but different (a bit like choosing whether bullet-clikcing expands or zooms - which we have an option for).

Hope this is easy and can be done soon - automatic check-box-adding is a real downer for me in my increasing and increasingly enjoyable use of DL.

Thanks to all!


Actually in playing around a bit more I realise in numbered lists DON’T behave like checkboxes.

If you have
the next line at that level will get 3.

BUT if you INDENT the next line, it loses the number and just becomes a regular bullet.

With checkboxes, not only does EVERY line below get a check box (whether indented or not) but you cant remove the checkbox on any line except by removing the checkbox for the whole list.

No doubt that is excellent for some users but for me it creates frustration which interrupts the most loveable and adorable thing about DL which is its UNfrustratingness! IE for most things it ‘just works’ and you can concentrate on your thoughts not on your software.

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Hi Helen,

I think I understand your use case now.

Just to be clear, are you saying (1) we should change the default behavior, (2) we should provide an option to not automatically make all subitems checklists, or (3) provide a way to remove checkboxes from subitems?

(3) will work with multiple items too.

Thanks @Erica
For me personally I’d be happy to have default behaviour in which creating, checking and unchecking checkboxes affects only the currently selected bullet(s).

I recognise that others seem to prefer the current default, which is that creating, checking and unchecking affects currently selected bullet and all bullets below.

To accommodate both, I would suggest having an option that can be set (as for our current option to set whether clicking a bullet expands or zooms).

I’d be happy to have a way to remove checkboxes from sub-items but I don’t see that I would ever use that and I definitely wouldn’t want it to be the solution to the problem caused by the current default behaviour (if that is what you are suggesting?).

First - it creates an additional step (create a checkbox then remove all checkboxes automatically created at lower levels).

Second - I might not want to remove ALL checkboxes at lower levels. I’d presumably want to keep the ones I had deliberately created at an earlier date.

Hope I have understood correctly and that these points clarify my position. Please do come back to me if more info is needed. Hope this can be sorted soon - I would really like to use checkboxes as I write notes.

Yeah, I think that’s what we’re gonna do. We need to be careful though, as it can sometimes get hard to explain what an option is for (even if you add a description people will expect it to be under 140 characters), whereas on the forum or over the email we can go on and on to make ourselves clear.

To make things consistent, we can make a similar option for numbered lists too, which has a different default behavior than checklists (but you can change that using the option).

Yeah, I was asking if your problem is occasionally enough to be solved by that. Seems like a no!

I was asking because it’s something we’re gonna do anyway (it has been requested a long time ago), so it would be nice if that solves your problem as well.

Thanks @Erica for your responsiveness (as always). What you suggest sounds terrific. Looking forward to seeing it in real life!

Personally, I would not need a global option for how checklists work, but I would like to be able to right-click the children of a checklist item and remove their checklists in the same manner that checklists are added for any item. I often have a checklist item with children that aren’t subtasks, instead they are descriptors or details about the task, and would not want those details to show up in an is:checklist search.


Yeah, I get your use case. The Trello card I linked to is similar to what you described rather than adding a global option (we have way too many options already).

This x1000. It seems so obvious. I want to be able to add sub items that describe my checklist action item, but aren’t necessarily TODO items themselves!


What do you mean? I’m not sure if you’re suggesting in favor or against this feature request :joy:

Hi @Matt_Myers, I agree the need is obvious, but the implemention is not, at least from our consideration.

I take it that you want checklist to affect only one level of children (direct children) and nothing more?

This sounds the simplest and handiest solution:

Looking forward to having more freedom with checklists!
Just realized the feature “Force item to not have checkbox” is in Trello roadmap.
All the best with the development!

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We look forward to it as well! And thanks for the kind words.

Just want to chime in and say I really want this feature as well, e.g. I want to be able to have a parent node that is a checklist, but it has child nodes that are NOT a checklist.

Personally I think making this an option in settings is just adding yet another option to an already bloated option list. I think really the default should just be that when a parent node is made into a checklist, it does not automatically make everything below it a checklist. Or, it does make everything below it a checklist, but you have the ability to “un-checklist” any of the below items.

People who want everything below it to be a checklist would still be able to do it, they just have to do it manually. Is that really a big deal? They can just select-all and toggle it to checklist, not hard.

And, I would hazard a guess that people who want the feature as it currently is are in the minority anyway, that most people would rather have control over whether a child node is checklist or not? Sometimes you can’t please everyone. If the people who want the feature as-is were in the majority and I am one of the weird ones that wants control over whether a child is a checklist or not then I would happily accept not having that feature and working around it. But I would bet that is not the case, I bet most people want control and thus those that want it as-is should just have to do it manually.


@Erica Just wanted to check in if there was any update about this!

This feature is much needed.

I have some repeated tasks that have some subtasks. I set the due date and repetition on the parent task, and not the subtasks (because repeated subtasks of repeated tasks don’t behave nicely).

I also have a search saved to find all tasks without a due date (is:checklist -has:date). But if I make the parent task a checklist, then all the subtasks become checklists too and show up in this search.

I could work around this with tags, but that seems a bit tedious when the obvious solution is the ability to not make children checklists just because the parent is a checklist.

My two cents: I would like it if it worked similarly to the way numbered lists work now. That is, I could set a node to contain a checklist, just like I can set a node to contain a numbered list. Children of the parent node are all checklist items. Children of the children are just regular nodes.


+1 for this, I often have an item which is a task and I want some sub-items that are not themselves tasks, just notes on the task to be done. To me the behaviour of automatically adding checkboxes to children and not allowing you to remove them goes against the design philosophy I’m used to with Dynalist which is to be unopinionated and allow the user to use a low-level feature set in a way that works for them.

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