Here’s how to use checklists in the Apple Notes app

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Struggling to keep track of your to-do list or shopping list? Here’s how to create a checklist using the Notes app on your iPhone or iPad.


Apple Notes app on an iPhone

Checklists are a great way to stay on top of tasks and stay organized. There are many ways to use checklists in Apple’s Notes app to keep track of your various to-do lists. We’ll explain how to use checklists in the Notes app below.

Update your iPhone or iPad to make sure all features are accessible, then you can follow this guide to start creating, customizing, and sharing checklists.

How to Create a Checklist in the Notes App

Creating a checklist in the Notes app is significantly faster than reaching for a pen and paper and jotting down a list in real life. Let’s take a look at the basic steps required to create a checklist:

  1. Open the Remarks app and either press the compose (an icon with a square and a pen) or open a pre-existing note to which you want to add a checklist.
  2. Your screen will show a bar in the middle with different icons. Tap the control List icon in the middle.
  3. A circle will appear in your new note, indicating that you can now start writing your checklist. Type an item, press Enterand repeat the process until your checklist is complete.

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Related: The iPhone Notes app: Everything you need to get started

And that’s about it. Your checklist has been created. Now you can check off items, add more along the way, rearrange the order of items, and share the list with a contact on your iPhone.

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How to check off items in a checklist

The purpose of a checklist is to cross off items and tasks as you complete them, so you can keep track of what’s left. To check off an item from the checklist you created, simply click on the circle next to the item, and the circle will turn yellow with a check mark in between, indicating that the task has been marked as complete .

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If you tick an item by mistake, tap the circle again to undo it.

How to indent elements

Indenting checklist items moves them from the left side, as if they were nested below the item above them. You can do this to make certain elements stand out or to group tasks together.

To indent an item to the right, swipe it to the right. You can then swipe left to remove the indent and bring the element back to the left. You can swipe repeatedly to add or remove multiple indents to your items.

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Read more: How to lock private notes in Apple Notes app

How to Reorganize a Checklist

If you want to change the order of your checklist items to make it more organized, there are several ways to do so:

  • Long press the item you want to move, then drag and drop it to the desired location.
  • Cut an item and paste it where you want it in the list.

Another way to reorder completed vs. pending items would be to enable automatic sorting of checklists, which we’ll explain below.

How to automatically sort checklist items

One of the highlights of checklists in the Apple Notes app is automatic sorting. This feature automatically moves completed items to the bottom of the checklist, allowing you to focus on what remains to be worked on. To enable automatic sorting, do the following:


  1. Open Settings and go to Remarks.
  2. Scroll down and tap Sort checked items.
  3. Faucet Automatically.

Now every time you check off an item, it jumps to the bottom of your checklist.

How to Share a Checklist from Apple Notes

Want to share a shopping list with a family member? Or a to-do list with your partners on a group project? Here’s how:

  1. Open the checklist you want to share and tap the three points in the top corner.
  2. Press on Share note.
  3. You can choose to let others make changes by tapping Sharing options down and choosing Show only Where Can make changes.

Stay on top of tasks with checklists in the Notes app

Apple lets you automatically sort checklists, add indents, rearrange items, and share them whenever you want using the Notes app on your iPhone or iPad. That’s pretty good for a free offering, but if you’re looking for even more functionality, there are plenty of third-party note apps to choose from as well.



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