When a new hire joins the federal government, existing employees complete over 60 tasks to bring them on board — everything from providing them with a new computer to ensuring that they take mandatory training courses.

Each of these tasks have deadlines relative to other tasks. For example, you have to sign into your work email before you can set up two-factor authentication or view your first paycheck. Keeping track of these tasks and how they relate to each other is difficult and time consuming.

Screenshot of the tasks screen in Checklistomania

Enter Checklistomania. We developed the tool at 18F specifically for onboarding. It’s used by new employees and teams who onboard them, and it has several unique features:

  • Each checklist shows the items that a person must complete, in order of urgency, as well as tasks they already completed. This is particularly useful in government, because we need to complete quite a few training sessions and pieces of paperwork.

  • The checklists are centrally defined, so any member of an organization can subscribe to the authoritative checklist.

Screenshot of various checklists you can sign up for

  • Deadlines can be set according to a fixed date or relative to completion of other items. For example, if Task B must be completed three days after Task A (but only after Task A has been completed), the due date will shift accordingly.

  • We can view each other’s checklists, which makes it easy to see everyone’s status at a glance.

Screenshot of the users screen in Checklistomania

Checklistomania is an open source project in the public domain and may be adapted by any organization. We’ve found it particularly useful for new employees; they find it helpful to know exactly what’s expected of them over their first few days of work. It also reduces the number of questions that they ask so the onboarding team can focus on other material. The checklists do not have to be limited to onboarding activities. They’re useful for any repetitive list of tasks that must be completed by multiple people.

If you’d like to request additional features or work on Checklistomania, please file or look at existing issues.