Google Tasks is a powerful but straightforward task list that will help you accomplish more! Here’s how.
What is Google Tasks
The app began as a simple task list and became one of the core apps when Google launched G-Suite. It graduated to a core app in 2018, when mobile apps launched for mobile devices. Google has further integrated Google Tasks to become a default task manager for Google Workspace in 2022. You can learn more about Google Tasks at this link.
Google Tasks Features
Google Tasks is an app that is integrated into the side panel and available for many of the Google apps you’re already using. Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, and all the Google office apps.
The basic foundation of Tasks is the task list. You can create multiple lists for any topic or subject you need. When you have a list created and entered tasks, an important feature is creating sub-tasks for tasks requiring multiple steps to complete. You can sort your list by date or an order you choose. When you select a non-date order, you can drag and drop tasks into any order that works for you. One thing to remember, if you sort your tasks by date, you won’t be able to see the sub-tasks listed under the main task. They will be listed by date regardless of what task they belong in.
A new feature that recently dropped is the ability to star a task. This is super helpful when you want to view essential tasks.
You can check the star icon when you’re in the detailed view of a task. When you have crucial tasks “starred,” you can select the Star list.
The next cool feature of Google Tasks, and another recent addition, is the ability to create repeating tasks. You can make the repeat frequency similar to setting a repeat in Google Calendar.
Integrating Google Tasks
A favorite feature of the integrations for me is the ability to export an email into Tasks. It’s super easy, with a button on the Gmail message tool bar. to find it, hover over the “Add to Tasks” button.
The subsequent daily integration I use displays your Google Tasks into Google Calendar. If you’re logged into your Google account, you will have a calendar titled “Tasks.” When you see your tasks, you can drag a task from one day to another. Google Calendar will display all your tasks with a date, regardless of their list. You can also add a task from the “Create” button in Google Calendar
When you’re in Google Chat, whether from the Gmail sidebar or the chat app, you can click on the three dots next to a chat text and send it to a task. When you view this task, it will note the chat it came from, and clicking on that icon will open the original chat.
The final integration I love is in Google Docs by typing the @ symbol. With this option, you can create a task that you can not only include a date but can also assign the task to another user.
Managing Projects and Goals
Google Tasks is excellent at monitoring projects and goals. The first way, for more simple projects, is to create two lists, The first is for projects, and the second is for goals. For these lists, you make a task with the targeted completion date for the project or goal. Next, populate the task with subtasks required for incremental completion of the project or goal. Remember to display the project in a hierarchical format and sort the lists by your order.
For more complex projects or goals, simply create a list for each. Then you can populate the list with large segments as tasks, with more detail below as subtasks.
If you are in the Google ecosystem, Google Tasks is an excellent task management tool. In my work with clients on projects and through the Total Effectiveness System, I coach people to make things as simple as possible. There are many ways to manage your tasks. Still, I think many have the problem of “feature creep,” which is developers adding features to improve their platform. The downside is that it then takes more time to manage your tasks. I’d love to discuss how using Google Tasks can make you more effective. You can reach me at my contact page at this link, or you can also sign up for updates to the Total Effectiveness System at this link.