Google Tasks… you might be wonder what the heck this is and whether you need it. If you use Google, Gmail, and to-do lists then the answer is a resounding YES.
Do you really need another to-do list?
The productivity coach in me says… it depends.
Look, if you have a system that works then stick with it, you don’t need to fix something if it’s not broken but… If you have a half-assed to-do list, you often miss appointments, deadlines, or picking things up from the shops then you obviously need a better system.
Where did the old Tasks App go?
As Google has been jiggling things about, Google Tasks have been bought into the Gmail fold as it were rather than it being a stand-alone product. If you used the old version, Google will be prompting you to move over to the new version which is now part of Gmail.
What is Google Tasks for?
Think of it as a to-do list on steroids. You can access it inside Gmail, as an app on your phone, from your Chrome browser and in Google Calendar. It’s basically everywhere you need it to be. One thing I love about it is that you can have multiple lists so you can keep home and work stuff separately or set up a specific list for say, your launch. We’ll dig into that a bit more later.
Using Google Tasks in Gmail
When I get up first thing, I have a quick look through my emails. Anything that is important or needs dealing with I add to the Tasks list.
I do this on my phone, so open the email, hit the 3 dots top right and then Add To Tasks.
It opens a new window with the task added. Simple!
On the desktop… Open the email you want to add to the tasks.
From the icons above the email, choose the circle with a checkmark and + sign (shown below).
This will open a panel on the right-hand side. There you can add in some notes (details) and date if you wish – this will get synced to your Google calendar.
You can also change the list (1). If it is your first time using Tasks, you will name your first list. My main list is the Hit List. You also have the option of adding a new list. This is great if you want to separate out your tasks. (2)
As you can see I have:
- Hit List which is where most of my tasks go.
- Promo + marketing – anything promo related.
- 🎄Christmas – I buy most of my gifts online for friends and family back home so I like to keep track of when orders have been sent/arrived etc so I dump them all in here.
- 193 Little Adventures Club which is business stuff but for the sake of my sanity, I keep those separate too.
You can name them and use them as you like!
You can also sort and organize your lists by using the vertical dots icon.
If you are in your inbox and need to check in with your Tasks you will find the icon – a circle with a checkmark on the right-hand side. If it’s not showing up, look for an arrow near the bottom of the page that will expand the window to show those icons as shown below.
If you want to add a task that isn’t an email – say you suddenly remember a friend’s birthday is coming up and you need to buy a gift. You can click the Add A Task option and drop what you need in there. Again, if you add a date it will sync with your calendar.
Using Checklist Setting for Google Tasks as a Chrome extension
This is a chrome addon and quite handy. There are a few different versions, this is the first one I tried which works well enough. You can get your add on here, you will need to login into Google and give permissions.
When you hit the icon you can see that you can add new tasks, if there are any tasks that need doing they will be listed so you can check them off and you can toggle between lists. It’s quick and easy to use.
Another Chrome extension is TaskBoard for Google Tasks. This is great if you prefer the kanban layout for your lists. You can install it here.
What about Google Calendar and Google Tasks?
This is another reason why I love tasks, it all syncs up seamlessly with my calendar. If I add a task either via the app, Gmail or chrome extension and add a date/time to it. It will show up in my calendar (1). If I am in my calendar the function works the same as in Gmail, the icons are down the right-hand side, just click and the set-up is exactly the same.
Google Tasks App for your phone.
Of course, there is an app! It is clean and simple to use and great for when you suddenly remember something but are in the middle of doing something else. You can dump the task and carry on with your day. Download the app from the Apple store here or if you are on Android, get it from the Play Store here.
Should Google Tasks replace project management apps?
No. Well… if your project is super simple and really all you need is a quick checklist of things then yes, you could do it with tasks. But for proper project planning and management then I think these are the apps multi-passionate entrepreneurs need.
You can also find all the apps, gadgets and resources that I use to run my business on the resources page here.