The 7-Minute Guide to Getting Started With Google Tasks

The Ultimate Guide to Using Google Tasks in 2024

Staying organized and keeping track of everything you need to do can be a constant challenge in our busy modern lives. To-do lists are a time-tested tool to help us stay on top of tasks big and small. But traditional pen and paper lists are easily lost and can‘t send us handy reminders when tasks are due. That‘s where digital task management tools and apps come in.

One of the best options, especially if you already use other Google apps, is Google Tasks. This simple yet powerful tool is conveniently integrated into Gmail, Google Calendar, and more. Here‘s everything you need to know to start using Google Tasks like a pro.

What is Google Tasks?

Google Tasks is a free task management tool that helps you create to-do lists, set reminders, and organize your tasks. Some key features include:

  • Seamless integration with Gmail and Google Calendar on web and mobile
  • Ability to create multiple lists to organize different types of tasks
  • Add details like due dates that show up in your Google Calendar
  • Break tasks down into subtasks
  • Set reminders that deliver notifications at the specified time
  • Reorder tasks by priority
  • Mark tasks complete and hide or delete them

Google Tasks has been around for years but received a major update in 2018 alongside the Gmail redesign. This refresh modernized the interface and added new features to make Google Tasks a more robust productivity tool.

How to Use Google Tasks on Desktop

Ready to give Google Tasks a try? Let‘s walk through how to get started on the web:

  1. Open Gmail on your computer and sign in. If you haven‘t already, click the gear icon to open the Quick Settings menu and select "Try the new Gmail."

  2. Look for the blue Tasks icon on the right side of your Gmail window (you may need to click the arrow to show the full side panel). Click the Tasks icon to open My Tasks.

  3. To create a new task, simply click the blue + button. Type your task and press Enter.

  4. Need to add more details? Hover over a task and click the pencil Edit icon. This opens the Edit Details view, where you can:

  • Rename the task
  • Add a description or notes
  • Set a due date (this will automatically add the task to Google Calendar too)
  • Create subtasks
  1. To reorder your task list, click and drag a task to the desired position. This is great for prioritizing your most important to-dos.

  2. When you‘ve completed a task, click the checkbox to mark it as done. The task will be crossed out and moved to a Completed section at the bottom of your list.

  3. To create a new list for a specific project or category of tasks, click the down arrow next to My Tasks and select Create New List. Give your list a name and start adding tasks.

Pro Tip: You can also convert emails into tasks without leaving your inbox. Simply drag and drop an email into the Tasks list. The task will link back to the original email for quick reference. Alternatively, use the More menu in an open email to select Add to Tasks.

Using Google Tasks on Mobile

Google Tasks is also available on the go via the mobile app for Android and iOS. The app syncs with the web version, so your tasks are always up to date. Here‘s how to use the Google Tasks mobile app:

  1. Download the Google Tasks app from the Play Store (Android) or App Store (iOS).

  2. Open the app and sign in with your Google account if prompted.

  3. Tap the blue + button to add a new task. Type your task and tap Save.

  4. Tap a task to open the details view. Here you can set a due date, add subtasks, and include an optional description.

  5. Mark a task complete by tapping the circular checkbox next to it.

  6. To create a new list, tap the menu icon in the bottom right corner. Then tap Create New List.

  7. Access the side menu by tapping the three line icon in the top left. Here you can switch between lists, rename or delete lists, and adjust list settings.

Google Tasks works essentially the same way on mobile as it does on the web. The interface is optimized for smaller touchscreens but still provides easy access to all the core features.

Google Tasks Tips & Best Practices

To make the most of Google Tasks and supercharge your productivity, try these tips:

Use the keyboard shortcut ⌘ + K (Mac) or Ctrl + K (Windows) to quickly add a new task from anywhere in Gmail.

Color code your lists for easy visual distinction. For example, use red for high priority lists, yellow for medium, and green for low.

Set due dates in Google Tasks rather than Google Calendar. This ensures you get a reminder notification when the task is due.

Use subtasks to break larger projects into more manageable steps. Seeing your progress can help keep you motivated.

Be specific when naming tasks. Include key details like contact names, locations, file names, etc. This saves you time figuring out what the task is later.

Keep your task descriptions concise. Bullet points work well for listing out the most essential information.

Review your task lists regularly and adjust due dates or priorities as needed. Keeping your list current prevents it from getting overwhelming.

Google Tasks vs Google Reminders

In addition to Google Tasks, you might also be familiar with Google Reminders (formerly Google Now). Both let you create time-sensitive prompts, but they work a bit differently:

Google Reminders are designed for short, one-off tasks that you need to remember at a specific time or place. For example, "Call Mom at 2pm" or "Buy milk next time I‘m at the grocery store." Reminders work across Google apps and the Assistant.

Google Tasks is better for organizing projects or groups of related tasks that you need to track and complete over time. Tasks offers more robust features like subtasks, descriptions, and the ability to create multiple lists.

In summary, use Google Reminders to quickly set a notification for something you need to do. Use Google Tasks for more complex planning and keeping track of to-do lists.

Boost Productivity With Google Tasks

There you have it – the complete guide to using Google Tasks in 2024. This handy tool may seem basic compared to other task management heavyweights like Asana or Todoist. But its simplicity, seamless Google integrations, and totally free price make it an appealing option for many.

If you spend a lot of time in Gmail and Google Calendar, Google Tasks is a natural fit to help you track all the things you need to do. Give it a try and see how checking off those tasks boosts your productivity and sense of accomplishment.