New Feature: Inline Checklists

Got knocked off the air yesterday (internet can still be a bit flakey in Buenos Aires) so I decided to polish off an old idea that had been hanging on a branch on my local machine for awhile… inline checklists!

inline checklist
inline checklist

Notice that the notes area under the third task has a checklist.  We’re calling them checklists instead of subtasks, as it really is just a checklist of things that I might want to tick off as part of completing a task.  If I required the granularity of context filtering and due dates I might have creating a project with tasks under it, but in this case I just wanted a list of things I needed to consider… and there is something satisfying about checking things off as they are addressed.

Here’s how it works: Nirvana will convert any line in a task note that begins with a “- ” (hyphen space) and will replace it with a checkbox.  Checked items will replace the “-” with an “x” in the notes, and that’s it.

– item one

– item two

– item three

If I were to check items 1 and  2, the task note will be updated as:

x item one

x item two

– item three

If you want to update the list, edit or move things around, click on the task name to bring up the edit dialog and make changes to the notes area.

And that’s all there is to it.  Super simple.


  1. Forgot to mention, the little Note icon to the right of the task name is also something new… it only appears if the task has notes, and clicking on it let’s you expand or collapse (toggle) displaying the notes area, regardless of which view [single|double|full] you happen to have selected globally.

  2. MarcinGTD

    Interesting feature

    I already found a use for it:

    its a check list of things I might want to ask or talk about when I am doing a call to X, picked from my @phone list


  3. Damian Castillo

    This is great. I can see a use for this when you don’t really have multiple steps for something and just want a nice checklist.



  4. David

    What I like about this is that I can email a check list to Nirvana – the first time something like a template feature has appeared.

    Of course what I really want to do is to be able to email projects with subtasks – maybe this is a step in that direction.

    Nice new feature!

  5. e.liffe

    I think that this is a very good feature that offers the user a greater granularity.

    My only fear is that this will make me go completely overboard with being too granualar. Instead of making next actions I may be making sub next actions. I suppose I have to look after myself to prevent this from happening.

  6. Elbert

    @David – yes, this was a quick hit off-shoot of some of the work we’ve been doing around templates and multi-line importing via email. I’ve mentioned in the discussion boards a few times that we’re huge fans of TaskPaper, and we’ll probably adopt a similar syntax for importing multiple projects and tasks via email. Note: we quietly updated the nirvana export feature recently to output in TaskPaper format too. 😉

  7. Fantastic service, and a useful new feature!

    Just one question, any chances to optimize a tick icon for a dark BG? (for the Terminix theme)

    Thank you.

  8. Jon

    Awesome Feature. I already use it constantly to add detail to a task. Great job!

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  10. e.liffe

    This is really a great feature that I have come to use a lot. But for some reason, it does not seem to work on the project level. That is, if i click the notes icon on a project I do not get the check boxes, only “- ” before an item. Having this on project level would be great since I am more likely to put my brainstorming into checkboxes in a project (next actions are not yet defined) than on a task.

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