Introducing a new Mentor Tool: the Planning Checklist

Back in December I described a two-part project to give WordCamp mentors new tools to help them help camp organizers. Today I’m announcing that the second part of that, which we’re calling the Planning Checklist, is live and available on every WordCamp site. You can access it on sites for which you are an admin by clicking the Planning link in the Dashboard menu.

The Planning Checklist is a list of tasks that need to be completed before, during, and after a successful WordCamp. Organizers can use the checklist to make sure they’re not missing any important details as they go along. Mentors can use the checklist to monitor the progress of a camp and better understand what challenges the organizing team is currently facing. The hope is that this will facilitate more efficient and effective conversations between mentors and organizers.

In the Planning Checklist interface, the tasks are listed in roughly the order they need to be completed. All tasks start with a “Pending” status, and they can be marked as “Completed” or “Skipped” as appropriate. There are filters along the top of the list so you can view all of the tasks from a particular category, or with a particular status.

Many tasks also have a more detailed description, and/or a link to a relevant Handbook page that is revealed when you click on the task.

The Planning Checklist interface uses the REST API to sync changes to the server, so that if multiple people are looking at the list at the same time, any changes they make will happen in the other users’ browsers as well.

The content of the tasks is intentionally hard-coded, instead of being stored as editable content in the WordPress database. This way, if the mentor and the organizing team have chosen different locales for viewing the site, they can all still see the Planning Checklist details in their preferred language (assuming translations are available).

This is version 1. All feedback is welcome. If you have ideas for improving the content of the tasks, or the UI, let us know in the comments or start a feature request discussion.

If you would like to help translate all of this new task content, the project is here. (cc


Big shoutout to those who made this project happen: @brandondove for coming up with the idea and guiding the development of the UI, @camikaos and @courtneypk for editing all the task data that I messily imported from a Google Spreadsheet, and @iandunn for a thorough code review.