How to Create and Populate a SharePoint Tasks List

Happy new(ish) year!

I received a question via email earlier this week regarding advanced task list functionality and, while setting up a test task list to work with in the course of researching the answer, it occurred to me that I've never blogged the creation and population of a tasks list.  So, before I get to that advanced question (and ultimately its answer), I thought that it would be useful to take a step back and walk through the creation of a SharePoint tasks list.

Start by selecting the Create drop down from the Site Actions button in the site where you wish to create your task list.  On the resulting Create page, click the Tasks hyperlink under the Tracking heading:

Clicking the Tasks link will render the form which you'll use to create the new list which, as you can see below, includes fields to enter the list's Name and Description, as well as questions regarding the ability to Display this list on the Quick Launch (default is Yes), and Send e-mail when ownership is assigned (default is No):

Create new list in SharePoint

Note: The e-mail regarding assignment of ownership pertains not to the list itself, but to the tasks that will appear within it.

Once you click Create on the Create form, your browser will refresh to display your new list, along with the default columns Title, Assigned To, Status, Priority, Due Date, and % Complete.  Naturally, your newly created list will be empty until you add tasks:

As you can see, the content area of a newly created list is helpfully populated with instructions explaining how you go about populating the list:  There are no items to show in this view of the "[your list's Name]" list. To create a new item, click "New" above.

Clicking the New button as instructed will surface the New Item drop down button, which is what you want to click in order to add a new item to this list.  Clicking that drop down button will surface the form you'll use to create a new item:

Create New Item in SharePoint

As you can see, in addition to the default text fields of Title, % Complete, Assigned To, Description, Start Date and Due Date, there are also two drop down fields.  The first of these is Priority, with the default selection being  (2) Normal, and remaining choices being (1) High and (3) Low.  The second drop down field is for Status, with the default selection being Not Started.  The remaining Status choices are: In Progress, Completed, Deferred, and Waiting on someone else.

Once you've filled out the New Item form for each new item you wish to add to your task list, your task list is complete.  At least until you want to, say, add new columns or change the order in which columns appear, that is.  Stay tuned because that's part of what I'll be getting into tomorrow when I share the question that I was asked which set all of this in motion.

Read the entire Working with Tasks Lists series:

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