SharePoint Tasks

SharePoint is very commonly used as a tool for managing tasks. Who is doing what when, and why aren’t they finished?  The task list web part is standard in every license model of SharePoint and has a number of nice features.

Create a new Task List

Create a new task list web part by going to site content and clicking on “New App”. Choose Task List, give it a name, and your task list will appear.  Of course, you’ll need to have the right permission level to do this.

Once you’ve created the part, it will, by default, show a Timeline view and a Standard list view. The list should look something like this.
Task Timeline

Adding tasks to a task list

Click on “New task” in the Ribbon, or use the “Edit” button to add several new tasks at once. Simply fill in the form and click save. It’s that easy.

Like everything else in SharePoint, task lists can be customized to require and display custom metadata. Your task list form will be unique to your installation and settings.


If the task list is so enabled, you may be able to assign predecessors to a task. Predecessors are tasks that must be completed before you start another task.  If your aim is to create a Gantt chart view, predecessors will be important.

To set a task as a predecessor, create the proceeding task first. Then, select that proceeding task while creating the next task that succeeds it.


Predecessors are different from subtasks. Subtasks are tasks that are a part of an overall task. Cracking eggs is a subtask of baking a cake. Cracking eggs might also be a predecessor to mixing the batter. It’s your choice as to how to organize these.

Ordering TasksTo create a subtask, select the subtask by clicking the check to the left of the task, and choosing “Indent” under the task tab.  Click on Move Up and Move Down to position the task beneath the main task. Click on the Stop editing this list button when you are finished.

You can then hide or display these subtasks by clicking the triangle to the left of the main task.

Task List

SharePoint Tasks Help

See the other posts in my SharePoint Task Series


  1. Hi Steven,

    I have a question about Predecessors, is the column there simply for use with the Gantt chart view? Or, is it supposed to actually stop you from completing tasks before the predecessors are complete in the task list?

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