Your approach doesn't sound that awful. Checkboxes in a table are how
most web-based email works, and most people today are familiar with
Many workflow applications like publishing or shipping, where users
select several items and then update their status, behave in a similar
How many different reasons are there? If it's only a few and they're
short enough, they could be buttons. Think of Gmail: select and click
Mark Read. How often do people need to describe an "other" with a
custom reason? Could that be handled with a field that only appears
after choosing Custom?
If there are lots of reasons, the list could go in a menu, but that
hides them and makes the functionality less obvious.
I would encourage you to think about dragging reasons/resolutions to
items rather than the other way around. After all, you're selecting a
It doesn't sound like a touch screen or drag and drop really get you
new status has been applied (like a tag?) to each item, or as you've
described it, clear it from the To do list and perhaps move it to a
second Resolved section.
Finally, if you're moving from a paper-based system to an online one,
except to adjust both your interface and user's expectations. This
seems like a great opportunity for informal walkthroughs and paper
prototypes with users. That will inform your design and speed adoption
by user's who appreciate someone taking the time to understand what's
efficient about their current system.