Google recently made its first significant refresh to Gmail in years and added a new standalone app to its lineup: Google Tasks.
Before now, Tasks worked as a to-do list built into Gmail. And while Tasks still works with Gmail – and Google Calendar, too – it now has its own app for those who just want to easily organise their lives.
Now, I’m a big believer in to-do lists and have dabbled with productivity apps in the past. While those apps work great for me at first, I’ve never found the perfect one.
So I was curious to see if I would like Google Tasks, especially since I’m about to move into a new apartment and have a lot of organising to do.
The verdict: if you use a lot of Google products, Tasks is the best to-do app for you.
Here’s what it’s like to use Google Tasks:
Google Tasks looks a lot like other Google apps, so if you frequently use Calendar, Gmail, or Drive, it will be super-simple to use.
Google Tasks lets you add items to a general list, or create separate lists for specific topics. For me, it was helpful to be able to organise items that were related to my upcoming move into one standalone list.
When you start adding tasks, your list will look like this. Google Tasks has a clean, minimalist layout that’s perfect for Type-A people like me.
If you click on a task, you’ll be able to add additional details, along with a due date.
I loved the date feature, because it helped me stay on top of items that need to be done immediately versus tasks that I don’t need to complete for a few more weeks.
Adding a date to a task also allows you to organise your lists chronologically.
And if you accidentally add a task to the wrong list, you can easily move it to a different one.
Once you complete a task, just tap the bubble next to the item. It will be moved to the “Completed” folder, which you can then sort through and delete.
Look how satisfying it is to cross an item off your list:
Is this a beautiful to-do list or what?
The best part about Google Tasks is that it works on desktop too. When you open up the new version of Gmail, you’ll see the tasks button along the right-hand side.
Google Tasks also integrates with your desktop Google Calendar – all you need to do is check off the “Tasks” button on the left-hand side.
You can even drag and drop emails into the Tasks bar to quickly and easily create a new item on your list.
I only have one complaint about Google Tasks: You can’t set up alerts to remind you when an item is due.
Otherwise, Tasks has become the best tool for keeping my organised and productive.
Sure, there are other, less simplified to-do list apps on the market. I’ve tried Things 3 in the past and, while I like it a lot, can’t justify the cost – $US10 for the smartphone app alone, which doesn’t include desktop integration.
But Google Tasks is free to use and it works on desktop. Plus, if you’re someone who leans heavily on Google products, Tasks will be a welcome addition to the lineup.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.