[SOLVED] Simple checklist within fields

+1 for this option to move away from Trello. Can’t wait to see it.


+1 for simple, ad-hoc To-Do/checklists within an airtable entry. These do not need to be relational – nor sure they be. Ditto on the use case from from moving over from Trello…

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Came here because I was looking for a solution - we’ve used Axosoft up until now for project management, and it does a great job of having sub-issues which you can expand/collapse from the parent issue.

I found a workaround in Airtable that works really well for us - may be hard to explain, but here goes:

  • The primary field in our table is called “Sub-Task” - this is the granular level task that needs working on.
  • I then have a field next to it called “Parent Task”. This is an optional field, as I’ll explain below.
  • I then Group By “Parent Task”, which has the effect of separating out all Parent Tasks into their own section. Any sub-tasks that don’t have a parent task are just collected together in their own “Empty” group.
  • Each parent task’s Group can then be expanded/collapsed to view all sub-tasks. And it shows a count of how many sub-tasks there are in each parent task, which is handy.
  • You can then group further by Category or Person (set this grouping before Parent Task), so you could see all “Features” tasks as one group, and inside that would be all Parent Tasks, and then expand each parent task to view sub-tasks.
  • I added a “Completed” checkbox for each sub-task, and then set the Group summary for the Completed field as “Percent Checked” - this shows us % progress for the parent task (and any Grouping above/below that), even when collapsed.
  • Finally, I created a couple of duplicate views, so I can see “All tasks, grouped by Category” (e.g. marketing vs. Features vs. Business), then one for “Tasks per person”, one for “What each person is currently working on” (Group by “Assigned To”, then Group by “Parent Task”, Filter where Progress = “In Progress”), and “My current tasks” (Filter where Progress = “In Progress”, Assigned to = me).

Another benefit is that any single task can easily be turned into a task with sub-tasks, simply by typing something into the “Parent Task” field. Airtable automatically moves it to its own group, where you can then add lots of new rows and type each sub-issue into the “Sub-Task” field.
Added bonus - you can create lots of sub-tasks really quickly. Type all of your sub-tasks into a plain text document, one task on each row - copy to clipboard. Then click in a blank Sub-Task field, and paste. It will ask if you want to Expand the Group by default - that option then creates a separate sub-task for each line of your pasted text.
Thus, the workflow to create a parent task with 10 sub-tasks is super-easy:

  • create a new row, and type something as the Parent Task name
  • grab 10 plain text lines and paste them into the Sub-Task field.
  • Done.

I’ve only just set this up, so will have to see how this works over the long run, but straight away it feels like I have a way of managing my tasks, people, and progress, better than any other tool.

Here’s an example of how it looks:

Unlike Axosoft, which I chose because it’s powerful, the UI in Airtable is easier to use, and seems more flexible, especially with different field types and Views.

Hope that helps anyone trying to manage sub-tasks too!


Thanks for this work around Claude! It really helped.

I hope there’s an update for this. Would be great to have multiple checklist within a field. That would make things so so much easier.

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Thanks Claude - very Helpful

One disadvantage is that all “parented groups” of tasks will either be on the top or the bottom - but until Airtable adds it in - this is a good way to go

Parent-child records are a useful workaround for some cases (we actually do this a lot), but not for most cases where I want a simple checklist. Case in point: our checklists are typically templates that get used over and over (each month, each release cycle, etc.). The heavyweight parent-child approach is hard to use as a template. A simple checklist (e.g., in a rich text field) can be saved as single row/record and simply duplicated to create a new instance to work on.


This is probably the only thing my team is missing in Airtable atm. For now we’re using a very simple solution of lists with emojis like :record_button: (unchecked) and :white_check_mark: (checked), which is a bit sub optimal.

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Bump +1 on this as well.

Followup: going along the emoji idea, what about giving a markdown textbox? but ideally would be able to get a completion count

I am a BIG MAJOR +1 on this!

Yes. Need. +1,000,000

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I did a little work around using the link table function. I’m in a manufacturing environment and we have a checklist when we switch out parts. I created a table that will represent my checklist with all of the steps that I want my associates to complete. Each field represents a check. Of course I changed the format of each field to the check-mark function.
I linked this “checklist” by part number to my actual table that my associates use.

When I click on the part number that links to the check list, it expands and my associates can update accordingly

I would have posted more screen shots but I can only post one since I am a new user

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Hi David,

This workaround may work for us! How do you link the checklist to the desired record?


Yup same here first impressions were promising but not having the capability of subtasks or checklist within a field kinda defeats standard project task tracking which is important for me. Smartsheets has this feature but they are too pricey for small teams and single users.

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If this was implemented it would solve all my todo lists issues. I could replace trello with the view, the tags are there with other reocrds and it has export. PLEASE give us this. its the one feature stopping air table from beating most specialized apps.

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Not all of us are databasing experts though - a checklist field is way easier in terms of UX for the average person. I don’t want to deal with organizing child tables. I just want to break down a task into more manageable subtasks.

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This is a must-have for fully switching from Trello.


+1 This would be massive for us. Without this it’s very hard to use airtable for complex project management when there are objectives, goals, tasks and sub-tasks… and then if you do that across different time periods it becomes too complicated and messy. At the moment Asana, Clickup, Todoist etc are superior just because of this feature.


Voting and bumping this feature as well

maybe just some simple markdown implementation could work

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This would be a great feature, I’m new to AirTable and have just realized this becomes a limitation when collaborating others.

The workarounds mentioned are doable but are just that, workarounds. They’re clunky,time consuming to setup, manage, and difficult maintain long term. Plus, they don’t/ca’t work with the “Board” view.

I feel like 3 more features and AirTables would put these programs to rest (which is crazy to say since I’ve loved each of them for different reasons over the years):

  1. Trello: Checklists + progress bar
  2. Sheets: =hyperlink(A1, A2) formula
  3. Asana/Trello: Markdown support

Seriously, :drooling_face::drooling_face::drooling_face::drooling_face::drooling_face: