Reorder and organize SharePoint tasks and timelines

The Tasks app (or Task list) in SharePoint has many features to help your team communicate and stay on track. You can group tasks into buckets by designating some tasks as subtasks to others. You can also specify any order of tasks, and groups of tasks, that you wish. The built-in timeline web part polishes off the task list, providing a visual representation of the tasks and phases that matter most.

Note: See bottom of post for a video demo.

Create a new subtask

To create a subtask of an existing task (thereby creating a “group”) just select the ellipses next to the parent task to open the task menu and choose “Create subtask.”


Reorder tasks

You can reorder tasks, and groups of tasks, by using the “Move up” and “Move down” buttons on the Tasks ribbon. First, select the task (or parent task of a group). Then from the Tasks menu, choose Move up or Move down.

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Change an existing task to a subtask of another

If you’ve already created your tasks and need to rearrange and organize them later, you can do so.

  1. Select the task(s) you want to change into subtasks.
  2. Use Tasks > Move Up and Tasks > Move Down until the task is positioned beneath the intended “parent” task.
  3. Use “Indent” to make it a subtask of its predecessor.
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To “promote” a task, you’d do the opposite, using the “Outdent” option to move a task back up a level in the hierarchy.

Create multiple layers of task groups

Using the “indent” and “outdent” options seen in the previous section, you can create many layers of tasks that can expand and collapse for a clean and organized user experience.

Add and remove tasks from the timeline

SharePoint won’t automatically add tasks to the timeline for you. This could get cluttered fast. Instead, be selective in what you choose to show on your timeline. Perhaps those that are part of the current phase or upcoming date ranges. Avoid getting too granular in what shows in this “overall” visual representation.

To add a task to the timeline, open that task’s menu and choose “Add to Timeline.”

To remove a task, simply select it on the timeline, then “Remove from Timeline

Change date range “bars” to “callouts” on the timeline

To create a cleaner appearance, you could explore changing the “bars” on your timelines to callouts. Callouts appear as brackets encompassing the date range they’re associated with and may be easier to read for some.

  1. Select the bar
  2. Click “Display as Callout” from Timeline menu
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Video demonstration

The following video demonstrates a few of these tips when working with SharePoint tasks and timelines.

  • Change display format of date ranges on timelines
  • Create subtasks
  • Rearrange and reorder tasks
  • Promote/demote tasks
  • Add/remove tasks from timeline

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