How To: Add a Checklist in Google Docs or Sheets

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Create surveys or task lists in your Google Docs or Sheets file using checklists. This simple solution allows you to insert a simple checklist into your document for others to complete.

Checklists are a convenient and effective way to stay informed and get things done. I remember discovering their many benefits in a study in my district a few years ago when I read the “Checklist Manifesto”.

Checklists can be used in a number of ways, for students for instance:

  • Steps in a science experiment
  • Self-monitoring of behaviour
  • Mastery of technical content and standards
  • Tasks when composing and editing your writing
  • Work according to a mathematical process
  • And many others…

How to Create a Checklist in Google Docs

Although Google Docs does not have an interactive checklist feature, it does offer the ability to create a list of non-interactive blank boxes. Therefore, we must first create a list of checkboxes, as follows:

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1. Create the list you want to check with each item on a separate line

2. Now select the list and click on the “head arrow” next to “bulleted list” in the upper right corner.

3. Select the option “Checkbox list”.

This will create your checklist with empty boxes next to the checkboxes.

How to Create a Checklist in Google Sheets

Insert checkboxes

  • Open a spreadsheet on your computer in Google Sheets.
  • Activate the desired cells by ticking them.
  • Click Insert in the menu at the top, then click Checkboxes.
  • To remove the checkboxes, select the checkboxes you want to remove and click Remove.
    Note: You can use checkboxes with graphs, filters, pivot tables and functions.

Adding custom checkbox values

You can add checkboxes with custom values. For example, the user-defined value that is checked could be “Yes” and the value that is not checked could be “No”.

  • Open a worksheet in Google Sheets on your computer.
  • Check the boxes of the cells you want to have.
  • In the top menu, click Data, then click Validate Data.
  • Check the box next to Criteria.
  • Click Use custom cell values.
  • Enter a value next to “Validated”.
  • Optional: Type a value next to “Unchecked”.
  • Click Save.


Using a checklist not only allows you to complete tasks faster and do more, but also allows you to be more creative by noting important steps to make room for more creative brainpower.

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