Two of the most important parts of developing strong working relationships with your freelancers are communicating and staying organized. The to-do list feature on hourly contracts can help.

Using to-do lists is optional, and both you and your freelancer must agree to use the feature before you start creating to-dos. If you choose to use a to-do list, you will both have access to add to and edit the list. If you are working on a project with additional freelancers, you will all have access to the same to-do list.

Keep in mind that to-do lists are unique to each contract.

Create a to-do list

Once a contract is active and all parties have agreed to use a to-do list, you can start creating to-dos. You can create to-dos from two places: the contract and Messages.

Find the contract under Jobs > All Contracts. Click on the contract and you’ll see the TO-DOS tab — this is the central place to manage your to-do list for this contract.

To add a to-do, click the + Add a to-do button. This opens a modal, where you can:

  • Set a title for the to-do
  • Assign it
  • Add an optional, non-binding due date
  • Describe the to-do, providing details, objectives, etc.

You can also create to-dos from Messages:

  • Choose Add a to-do from the menu in the message header
  • Convert a message to a to-do by clicking on the message and selecting Add as a to-do from the menu. When you create a to-do directly from a message, the to-do description is auto-populated with the message text and the to-do is linked to the message for future reference.

Use the to-do list

All to-dos are displayed in a single place on the contract so that the information is visible at-a-glance.

You can manage the to-do list by taking the following actions:

  • Reorder the list by selecting the dots to the left of a to-do and dragging and dropping it in the desired order
  • Open or edit a to-do by clicking on the pencil icon
  • Mark a to-do as completed by selecting the checkbox to the left of a to-do
  • Delete a to-do by clicking on the trash bin icon

To help keep your project organized, you can utilize the following features:

  • Activate the Only show my to-do’s toggle at the top of the to-do list to filter out to-dos that are not assigned to you
  • Expand the Show completed section at the bottom of the list to view to-dos that were marked as completed

Notifications are delivered when a to-do is added, edited, deleted, or marked as complete. Notifications are sent to everyone in the contract and will appear in Messages and notifications.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a to-do list?

A to-do list is a feature on hourly contracts designed to help you and your freelancer stay organized and communicate on project deliverables. To get started, create a to-do from the associated contract or Messages.

Am I required to use a to-do list?

No, to-do lists are optional. Both clients and freelancers should agree to use a to-do list before to-dos are created.

How are to-do lists managed?

Everyone in the contract can manage the to-do list, which includes adding, editing, deleting, reordering, and marking to-dos as complete. Upwork sends notifications when any of these actions are taken. These notifications are delivered to everyone in the contract and accessible in Messages and notifications.

My freelancer missed a deadline. What now?

Upwork does not monitor the content or progress of to-do lists. If a to-do is not completed by the assigned due date, collaborate with your freelancer to discuss next steps.

How do I add a to-do item from Messages?

Go to Messages and select (or start) a message with whoever is linked to the contract you want a to-do list item. Choose the Add a to-do button under the recipient's name. It will appear in your list under Jobs > All Contracts.

What if a freelancer suggests this and I don’t want to use it?

You and your freelancer can decide whether a to-do list would be a helpful tool during a project. Using the feature is not required, but an option that some users might find helpful when working on projects and deadlines. If you can’t agree, you should discuss and mutually agree on whether to move forward with the contract.

Why don’t I see this option in my contract or Messages ?

This feature is currently only available for hourly contracts.

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