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Community Champion

To Do List

I have some questions about the To-Do list.  First of all, when I click on the calendar and then the plus button, I see that I can add things to my to do list.  I fill out the information and I can see it get added to the calendar and to the agenda view, but why doesn't it also show in the right hand side bar under the other to-do items?

Also, if I make an event for the same day it only show up for "coming up" rather than the to-do in the dashboard view. 

We have noticed lots more students this year saying, "I didn't know we had HW because it wasn't on my To Do list on Canvas", even though the HW was (1) listed as an Event on the calendar,  (2) sometimes also listed as an Assignment on the Calendar (with "no submission"), and (3)  written on today's Canvas page in Modules. 
Can anyone clear up the confusion with the to-do list?
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8 Replies
Community Member

Greetings  @BStutzman  Smiley Happy

It's nice to reconnect with you again, and I hope this response finds you doing well!

Just in case you haven't already, please view the following links from the Canvas Support Guides pertaining to the matter:

How do I use the To Do list and sidebar in the Dashboard as a student? 

How do I use the to-do list for all my courses in the List View Dashboard as a student? 

How do I use the To Do list and sidebar in the Dashboard as an instructor? 

These should provide the nuts-and-bolts regarding this powerful Canvas tool.

Per the above referenced documents, and regarding your same-day events the guides inform us that ungraded quizzes and non-submission assignments will not display in the To Do grading list for instructors.

To assist students with keeping track of their tasks and due dates, it may prove helpful to have them access their "Recent Activity Dashboard" which will display notifications from all their courses.

Let us know if this proves helpful.  If not immediately so, then let us know that as well.

Good "seeing" you again, and Have a SUPER Day!

Community Champion

Hi  @tlampley ,

I am well!  Thank you for your response.  Yes, I had looked at all of the guides regarding the to-do list.  Maybe it's just me that finds it more complicated than it needs to be.  It seems like anything that goes on the calendar should automatically go on the to-do list and especially those items that I put down as a "to-do".  Even if a quiz is ungraded or an assignment will be done outside of Canvas, it still is something that I have "to-do".  Right?  I guess that's where I scratch my head in confusion.

Community Contributor

Thank you for posting this question, @Belinda Stutzman. I, too, have a few questions about Canvas's "to-do list".

@Canvas support: Quick observation: When I go to the homepage of the Canvas Guides, and I search on the phrase "to-do list"... I get a lot of stuff. But, what I would really like is a "What is the to-do list?" or "How is the to-do list populated?"

My questions begin with... how does this feature even work? What becomes a "to-do" item? 

The most relevant Canvas guides I found are the three that Mr. Lampley referenced above.

So, this reply is really directed at any Canvas support folks: Is there an intro page, that just talks broadly about the "to-do list"... and just explains what it's doing, and how it decides what to designate as a "to-do" item, and what can be included, and why an instructor should care, and where are all the places an instructor can go to create a to-do item?

When I go to the "Canvas Instructor Guide" homepage... Canvas Instructor Guide - Table of Contents ... the only mention of the "To-do list" is in the guide titled, "How do I add a page to the student To-Do list as an instructor?"

But, that's it. No further information about what the to-do list is... or WHY an instructor would want to use it.

I assume such a homepage for "To-Do Lists" already exists somewhere. But, I can't find it in the Guides.

Any help?

Hi Cliff & Belinda,

I also had the exact question as Cliff, I found this link in the community that it might help:


Summary: "The To Do section shows all items that require grading in Canvas, regardless of due date", I think for this reason, whatever Belinda add to her to-do won't appear, because it's not considered graded?

It's a bit confusing indeed and not very helpful the way that is setup right now.

Did you find a workaround for this?

Question: As an instructor, can I view my own To-Do List in more places than just my Dashboard. When I'm working through grading, it takes me 3-4 clicks to get the next item on the to-do list. It seems like there has to be a better way but I can't find it. 


The crazy thing is that announcements appear on the To Do List for students.  Those aren't graded.

The other issue is that assignments without submissions (for example, a student submits the assignment on paper) won't disappear from the To-do list even after a grade has been entered.  

This is super confusing to kids.  They want the To Do item to disappear once they've had it graded


New Member

I'm in agreement here. If an item has a grade, that item should come off of the "To Do" list. It's frustrating students who are emailing me wondering if something has been received or not. They could check the grades to see that McGraw-Hill has sent a grade to the grade book, but the students are focused on the "to-do" list. It seems like it would be an easy programming fix to add an "or" statement to the script that would strike out the item from the list and the calendar. 

I had the same issue, then I realized that you can click on the breadcrumbs at the top of the page to return to your homepage (and the to do list) in 1 click.