Checklists for Sutta Reading

In a recent post I mentioned the checklists I had made for keeping track of which suttas you have read.

I just updated the page to include Vv, Pv, Thag, Thig and Jataka. I also added a markdown format if you are using one of the many note taking apps that use that.

I’d love to hear if these are useful or how they might be improved.

There is also a checklist for Bhante Bodhi’s guide to the Anguttara Nikaya:


I found one for SN which I had saved a while ago and tried to ‘check’ the boxes on my iPad and they aren’t tickable. I believe this is possible in a pdf. I prefer this option as the paper version will get a bit ratty before I’m done.


But that’s half the fun!

I looked briefly at how to add checkboxes using libreOffice and it appears that there is a whole form system under the hood that is connected to the checks. So I’m not sure how that would work for thousands of check boxes.

That’s why I added the markdown version. In Joplin I’m able to check them off looking at the rendered view.


I made an excel version. All the books in KN included. Put “y” to mark as read. Download your own copy to play around with it. From file, save as, download a copy.


Thanks @Snowbird. I downloaded them but did not use them. I would have liked to have the title of the sutta to better memorize it. I would also add another column to come back to it if I particularly liked it for example.

Thank you Bhante Pannadhammika @NgXinZhao for the excel file. :pray:

I’ve been using the checklist and I have been finding it very helpful.


I’m taking notes in my Google Docs account.

If you decide to update the checklists implementing them in a spreadsheet, with 1 tab per collection would be helpful to people like me. The spreadsheet could be used on a desktop or importing into Google Docs.

I’ve been using a Word version of that checklist in Libre Office.

I’ve been “checking things off” by selecting a sutta number, pressing the “strikethrough” button, pressing the “bold” button, and pressing the font color (“A”) button set on red.

Can use the excel to fill in the sutta name if you’re keen. Can practise until you can fill in by memory.

You can do what you like from the excel file I shared. I think you missed reading it.

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I DID miss seeing that. I searched my old thread and could not find it. Would you direct link to it?

It imported into Google Docs seamlessly.

I wasn’t expecting the counting macros either. Nice!

About the AN tab. I take it that the delimiters are cast aside, such that if I wanted to mark AN 11:21 as done I would put a “yes” next 1121. If so, why are there two columns there for entering a “yes”?

AN11.21 is book 11, sutta 21. So find the column 11, row 21. Put y.

The counting only works with y, unless you find where I put the formula and modify that.

Use computer to open the file after you download a copy. Don’t open it online with mobile.

In your Theragata section how would

3.15 261-263

break into

Book, Sutta, Person?

Chapter 3, 15th sutta (person) verses 261 to 263. They are redundant. But some books use verses and some used the chapter.sutta numbers.

That doesn’t work for the spreadsheet I am referring to

There is only Book 3 Sutta 15 Person 184 - the “Person” or verse number doesn’t go higher

Not sure what you mean. Person isn’t really a thing. I’ve never seen that used as a form of citation for the Thag or Thig. But I guess it could be.

I dunno the verse. Just book and sutta is sufficient to find the place to tick y.

Person is according to the book as translated by Mrs rhys davids as it’s easier to keep track of how many person is there. Since there’s more than one poem per person, it’s actually not accurate just counting how many separate poems, I made it before I read the Theragatha.

Verse is much more troublesome to keep track in excel. Need manual type, instead of drag and let excel fill.

In the rhys davids translation, can see the content page. It’s CLXXXIV = 184, book is canto. So it’s under canto III.

Not to confuse other people, this comment is NOT about Songbird’s checklist, but Bhante NgXinZhao’s


I compared your checklist to Songbird’s. There is only one listing for Thag 3.15 on Songbird’s, so the verse doesn’t matter for finding the right item to check off. I understand now.

Ah. I’m new to all of that. So there are multiple authors in that sutta and multiple verses. Songbird’s checklist lists verses, your checklist lists the number of authors as the Rhys David’s translation lists that.

Not being familiar with those suttas that is good to know! Thank you.

I am still confused about one point. In your Thag checklist Book 3, Sutta 15 has “189” listed under “Person”. That “189” is sequential in that column. That can’t mean there were 189 authors in that sutta.
Is that 189 part of a range of numbers down the margin of a page to locate the contributions of particular author’s?

Sorry for the confusing question, I couldn’t find a Rhys David translation of Thag 3:15 on to see what you saw when you made your checklist. :slight_smile:

No, this is all much simpler than you are making it out. Part of the problem is that we are using the term “sutta” when it’s not really appropriate. But for consistency, that’s the term we use.

In this situation “sutta”===“thera” i.e. person.

In the Thag there are 21 chapters. And within each chapter there are one or more theras/suttas in each.

What is going on in Ven @NgXinZhao’s chart is that he has numbered sequentially in the third column all the suttas/theras.

Since the first chapter is made up of theras that only have a single verse, the “person” number is identical to the verse number.

This “person” number does not appear in the SuttaCentral system.

I don’t use the person number on my checklist for this reason.

Theragāthā Psalms of the brethren by Caroline Augusta Foley Rhys Davids | Goodreads

It’s an actual book, old translation, the new translations in Sutta central is easier to read, but the book got commentaries on the background story, so easier to get contextual knowledge. So can combine and read the background story in the book, then read the verse from Sutta central’s newer translations. Also, Thag 3.15 is person 184, not 189.

I screenshot the content page of the book. You can see Canto 3 is Book 3. Count no. 15 in the Canto 3 is CLXXXIV, which is roman for 184. “Person” label is by me. But the system of classification is not new.