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Get started with the Google Tasks app

Google Tasks simplifies the mechanics of a to-do list app in a user friendly way.

Google Tasks is a minimalist to-do list that has been a part of Gmail as well as Google Calendar for quite some time now. Users were often baffled as to why there wasn’t a separate app for it which would effectively allow them to manage tasks on-the-go. Google has finally come around to solving this debacle by creating a standalone Google Tasks app for Android and iOS smartphones. While some may be disappointed with the straightforward interface which may seem lackluster, others appreciate the inherent simplicity the app boasts.

The Google Tasks app can also add an email from Gmail on your tasks and sync with Google Calendar.

The easiest way to re-imagine the Google Tasks app is imagining a simple paper to-do-list in the form of a checklist. You may scribble a quick note at the end of one item, add a date or create smaller tasks that fall under a wider category of a task. Just digitise the entire thing and lo-and-behold, you have Google Tasks. Do not be fooled though, Google Tasks may be disguised as deceptively simple but it can be powerful when used in conjunction with Gmail and Google Calendar. Let’s delve into getting started with using Google’s new task manager app.

Get the new Google Tasks app

Google has finally converted the basic Google Tasks that used to be neatly tucked into Gmail and Google Calendar into a full-fledged, standalone app that is available both on Android and iOS devices.

Google Tasks can be easily downloaded from the Play Store and even the App Store.

Simply head to the Play Store or App Store and download Google Tasks. Install the app and fire it up. It will automatically sync with your Google account if you’re already signed in or will ask you to log in to your Google account. Once you’re done with that, you are ready to go ahead and start using Google’s new task manager.

Start adding tasks

Adding tasks to the Google Tasks app can be as simple or detailed (given the current permutations, we’re sure new features will be added) as you want it to be. You can create a simple checklist of multiple standalone tasks, or create tasks with sub-tasks, date to be completed by and add some basic comments under the task. However, first and foremost, you will need to create a list for the task you are noting down. By default, all tasks go to the ‘My Tasks’ list that comes preinstalled in the app. However, if you want to create a brand new list, you will need to follow these steps:

  • Click on the hamburger icon (three horizontal lines) on the bottom left of the screen.
  • You will find a tab saying ‘Create new list’
  • Select that and enter the list title and then click on done.
Google Tasks allows you to input additional details to your task.

You have successfully created a new task list to which you can add new tasks. Now that we have learnt how to create a new list, let’s get on with creating the actual tasks. Follow these steps to create tasks in the list of your choosing:

  • Click on the blue button in the bottom of the screen that says ‘Add a new task’.
  • Add your task and click save. You have successfully created a task.
  • To add details to your task, click on the name of the task to pull up the edit page.
  • Google tasks will now give you the option to add details/notes to your task, add a date (synced with Google Calendar) and even add a sub-task to the main task.

To sync Google Tasks with Google Calendar, simply go to calendar.google.com and Select the Tasks option under My Calendars tab on the left panel.

Sorting, moving and deleting

You can move around tasks in a list easily by long-pressing a task and moving it around to your desired location in the list. This will assist you to sort your tasks in an order that you deem fit. Another method to sort your tasks is by date which will list the tasks in order of imminence. Simply click the three dots on the left bottom side of the app and click on Sort by: Date.

Sort tasks by date or your own specific order and delete lists in this menu.

To delete a task you will need to click on the name of the particular task you want to delete and click on the bin icon on the top right side of the screen. If you need to delete an entire list, click on the three dots on the bottom right side of the app and click on delete list. The app will ask you if you want to delete the particular list you are working on. Hit ‘Delete’ to confirm.

Emails as tasks (from Gmail only)

Google Tasks allows you to add emails (from Gmail) to your tasks which is a handy function. It copies the Subject of the email as the title of the task and even offers a link to the email in the task itself. To add emails to Tasks you will need to use Gmail on a desktop browser. Follow these steps:

  • Select the email you wish to add as a task and open it up.
  • Click on the ‘More’ drop-down and select ‘Add to Tasks’ in the drop-down menu.
This nifty little feature allows you to add emails as tasks.

It is that simple. You can add important work-related or personal emails to your lists and have them be easily accessible in the form of a to-do-list. Unfortunately, there is no way yet to do this directly from the mobile Gmail app or the Tasks app itself.

Google Tasks is simple, elegant and easy on the eyes sporting a very-Google UI. However, there are multiple avenues that this app still hasn’t delved into. Few examples of this include location-based tasks, setting a task to repeat on a particular schedule or assigning colours or indicators to signify urgency.

We would also like to see Google Tasks allowing integration of photographs and videos to Tasks much like Google Keep. Google Tasks, despite this, is quite capable and extremely handy in many instances. We suggest you give it a go since it fits nicely into the gambit of apps offered by Google. We expect multiple feature additions as well as integration with other Google apps in future updates to the app.

Dhriti Datta

Dhriti Datta

Reader, thinker, writer. Dhriti spends most of her time engrossed in technology reviews and gaming walkthroughs. When not at her post-graduation college studying journalism, she can be found eating, singing out loud and whining incessantly about the smallest things.