What is Google Tasks?
Google Tasks is a task management tool limited to its most basic functionalities. With it, you can
- Create, edit, and delete tasks.
- Add details to tasks.
- Create subtasks.
- View your to-do list.
- Create multiple lists for one or more accounts.
- Receive task notifications.
- Set due dates and times that synchronize with Google Calendar.
- Add emails as tasks through synchronization with Gmail.
Where Can You Find Google Tasks?
There are several ways to reach and use Google Tasks:
- by installing the Tasks app for iOS and Android.
- in Google Calendar.
- in Gmail.
- in Docs.
- in Slides.
- in Sheets.
Each of these Google Workspace products has a right side pane you can choose to show or hide. If you set it to show, you can find the Tasks icon there. Clicking it opens your Google to-do list(s) where you can view all of your Tasks with their due dates, edit existing Tasks, check them off, and add new ones.
Google Calendar has a few extra ways in which you can view and manage Tasks. The first way is by simply clicking a time slot on your calendar and selecting the option "Task" instead of "Event" underneath the title field.
Aside from that, you can select the Tasks Google Calendar view underneath "My calendars" in the left sidebar to get a more visual overview of when you need to complete your tasks.
In Gmail, you can easily turn an email into a task by clicking the "Add to tasks" icon and editing the task's details.
You also have this option on mobile by opening the options menu/three dots and selecting "Add to tasks".
5 Tips to Increase Team Productivity with Google Task Management
Below, we share some examples of how you and your team members can use Tasks to work more efficiently and increase productivity when working in Gmail.
1. Color Code Your Tasks
Just like Events in Google Calendar, you can color-code your Google Tasks to create a visual representation of what kinds of tasks need to be taken care of. You can color-code per type of task, per priority, per project the tasks belong to, per team that should execute the task, … Whichever way makes most sense to you.
2. Create Recurring Google Tasks
When there are things your team needs to do on a recurring basis, you can create them as recurring Google Tasks. That way, you don't risk forgetting about them nor do you need to take the time to schedule them in repeatedly.
To create a recurring Google Task, create a new task like you usually would and then click the "Add date/time" option. A new calendar view appears in which you can select "Repeat" and set whether you want the task to be repeated every day, week, month, or year.
Once a task is set to be recurring, it will have this little symbol:
Unfortunately, Google Tasks does not yet have the option to set a custom interval for tasks like you can do for Events in Google Calendar. That means that if you have something that needs to be done every Monday and Wednesday, you'll need to create the same recurring task twice: once for Mondays, and once for Wednesdays.
3. Use Google Task Keyboard Shortcuts
Google Tasks easily lets you drag emails into your Google Task list and move tasks with the drag and drop feature, but managing your to-do list in Google can be even quicker if you learn some of the specific Google Task keyboard shortcuts.
You can find a full list of shortcuts by pressing Command + / on Mac and Ctrl + / on Windows.
Three shortcuts that are particularly useful when you're working in Gmail are:
- open Google Tasks: g+k on both Mac and Windows
- add Gmail email conversation to Google Tasks: Shift+t on both Mac and Windows
- switch between Google Tasks and Gmail: CMD+Alt+ on Mac and Ctrl+Alt+ on Windows
4. Switch To Schedule View for a List of Meetings and Tasks
In Google Calendar, it's possible to switch to Schedule View to get a clean list of your meetings and tasks for the day. This view also indicates where in your day you are at that moment. It's particularly helpful if you want a quick overview of your to-dos at the start of your day or if you quickly want to scroll to a certain day to see if you are free for lunch then.
5. Add Google Calendar Reminders to Tasks
There's a good chance you're also using your Google Calendar Reminders to remind you of things you need to do. To avoid needing to switch between different views, you can copy all of your existing reminders to your Google Tasks list.
In the Google Tasks side pane, click the three dots to open the overflow menu and select "Copy reminders to Tasks". Note that this is a one-time copying over. If you add new reminders or change existing ones, these new reminders won't be synced with Tasks and neither will your edits. It's thus best to only create Tasks going forward so you always have all of your to-dos in one view.
If you have set a specific time for your reminders-turned-tasks, you'll still get a notification at that time just like you would have when that task was still a reminder. If you don't set a specific time but do set a date, you'll get a notification at 9 am on that day.
4 Advanced Tips to Manage Projects in Gmail
While the Google Tasks integration with Gmail is great for those that already spend a lot of their time in the Google ecosystem, teams quickly bump into its limited functionality. Google Tasks currently cannot be shared like, for example, Google Docs can. It's only meant for individual use.
When you're working in a team, not being able to share and delegate tasks can become an issue pretty quickly.
This is why we at Gmelius have created a solution for teams to easily create and collaborate on tasks, or even manage whole projects right inside Gmail.
Advanced tip #1: Turn Gmail into a Kanban Board and Share Tasks
Kanban boards help your team visualize what needs to be done by representing emails and tasks as cards ordered in columns that each represent a step in your workflow. Gmelius allows you to set up Kanban boards directly into Gmail so there's no need for an additional tool.
Boards are listed alongside your inboxes and Gmail tags in the left sidebar. You can customize your boards or use one of the existing templates, like the above four-step (four columns) “Get Things Done” workflow - To Do, In Progress, Done, and Review - which you can fully edit to match your team's processes.
You can add tasks manually or turn emails into task cards and add them directly to one of your workflows.
An easy-to-use drag-and-drop feature allows for smooth changing of your schedule when needed and priority tagging allows you to let the most important tasks stand out.
And that's not all. You can link to Gmelius task cards from other apps, assign tasks to team members, track your performance, and much more. Sign up for a free Gmelius account to create your first Kanban board and start collaborating with your team.
Advanced tip #2: Manage emails and tasks in Gmail
Wish you could vizualize your emails and tasks all in one place? Gmelius makes it possible! All emails and task cards assigned to you can be found under the “Mine (all)” tab in your Gmail left sidebar.
Your assigned emails are listed in the “conversations” tab. If a conversation is shared, has comments or tags, all of them are visible for extra context.
Tasks assigned to you are simply listed under “Cards”. If you have a lot on your plate, you can sort your cards for instance, by due date or priority to focus on the most urgent tasks. Also, you can filter your tasks by project board or tag, by due date (for instance, to focus on tasks for the week), or by creator (to quickly find that task that a teammate assigned to you for help).
Advanced tip #3: Automate Your Workflow
Gmelius also allows you to set "if this, then that" triggers for your incoming emails/to-dos. That means you can automate your internal workflows without leaving your inbox. Auto-assign emails to team members based on things like the sender address or the email subject line, or offer instant customer service by sending automated thank you and confirmation replies from shared inboxes.
And that's not all. With our Workflow Automation feature you can also:
- auto-label incoming emails.
- add notes with more information.
- automatically assign an email to a Kanban board.
- set time-based warnings so no important email goes unanswered for too long.
Workflow automation can save a lot of time for you and your team, so you can focus on what matters instead of performing repetitive tasks.
Curious to see this in action? Get in touch to schedule a demo.
Advanced tip #4: Remove Tool Friction
The great thing about Google Tasks is that team members can check their to-do list regardless of which Google Workspace tool they spend most of their time in. Whether they always have Docs, Sheets, or their Gmail open, their task list is just one click away.
But what with all of the other ways your team collaborates virtually?
Switching between tools and platforms interrupts workflow and focus. On top of that, information often gets lost when a project flow is outlined in one tool but communication about the project happens in another.
That's where Gmelius comes in.
Gmelius allows you to sync all of your Trello boards with Gmail so you get a consolidated view of your team's projects in both places. Emails that are turned into task cards are instantly synced with Trello and all your team's Trello lists, card descriptions and due-dates are mirrored inside your inbox.
Gmelius also integrates with Slack and allows those team members who work mostly from Slack to contribute to email conversations. With Gmelius, they can:
- add internal notes to your email threads
- change email statuses
- assign emails to other teammates
- and even reply to emails
all without leaving Slack.
Not so much related to task management but worth a mention is that Gmelius also integrates with Zoom for the scheduling of meetings, and is working on an integration with Zapier.
Efficient Google Task Management with Gmelius
While Google Tasks offers a great task management solution for those working in Google Workspace, it's not created to support collaborative work. Gmelius remedies that by offering teams ways to create, assign, share, automate, and talk about tasks directly within Gmail.
Project conversations are synced between Gmail and Slack while project tasks are synced between Gmail and Trello if needed so team members can work on the platform of their choice.
There's a new world of work out there and Gmelius' mission is to help you optimize your workflows without adding extra tools to your plate so you can minimize busywork and focus on what really matters.
Ready to take task management a step further? Experience better team collaboration and organization in Google Workspace when you sign up for Gmelius. We help teams manage tasks, share inboxes, automate email workflows, and more.