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Be More Productive With Google Tasks
Google Tasks: Get Things Done

Be More Productive With Google Tasks

Google Tasks is a simple but efficient task list manager
April 27, 2018

Google Tasks: Get Things Done (Free) by Google is the official app for managing your tasks and to-dos associated with your Google account. The app came out earlier in the week, which should be appealing to users of the service, which was previously only available through the web.

Ever since I got my first iPhone back in 2008 and then joined the lovely AppAdvice team, I've grown into a kind of productivity nut. I never really kept track of a digital calendar until I got an iPhone, at which point I started to just use Google Calendar for everything. I also went through many different task managers, writing apps, and other miscellaneous things to up my productivity levels. Even though I've come to settle down on a workflow that works for me (Things 3 is what I currently use), I can't help but check out other to-do apps as they come along. So when I saw Google Tasks hit the App Store this week, I had to give it a go, especially considering the fact that most of my stuff is on Google anyways.

App Feels Like

App Feels Like

App Feels Like

Free
Google Photos
Google Photos
Google, Inc.
Free
Google Calendar
Google Calendar
Google, Inc.
$9.99
Things 3
Things 3
Cultured Code GmbH & Co. KG
Free
OmniFocus 2
OmniFocus 2
The Omni Group
Simple but efficient

Visually, Google Tasks is simple and clean. If you've used other Google apps and services before, then Tasks will look familiar to you right away. It's definitely not the prettiest thing to look at, but no one uses Google services because they're pretty, it's more about functionality. Tasks features plenty of whitespace and bold headers so you know exactly where you are in your lists. The app is fast and responsive, with smooth transition animations as you navigate through the app and edit items. And since this uses Google's cloud, syncing data is fast and seamless across multiple devices, such as between your iPhone and the web (this version needs some work).

When you launch Tasks, you'll need to sign in to your Google account, obviously. Most of us should already have a Google account by now, but you can also make one if you don't use Google's productivity suite yet.

Once you sign in, your default screen is "My Tasks." This is like the inbox for your items, and where they go to by default if you don't add to a specific list. Speaking of, Tasks only has support for lists, so if you wanted to create projects, such as "Work" with multiple jobs, then you're out of luck. You can switch lists at any time by tapping on the hamburger button in the bottom left corner and then selecting the list you want to view. You can also create a new list from here as well.

Creating a new list is fairly barebones — just give it a name, and then hit "Done." It gets saved and you have an empty list, ready to get to work. When you want to add a new task, just tap on the large button in the center, and it brings up the prompt. Type in your task, and then tap on the "+" button for additional details like notes and a due date.

Unfortunately, Google Tasks does not support due times, which is something I prefer, with deadlines to meet. Maybe it's something that Google could consider in the future, but it may or may not be a deal breaker for some.

If you decide you need a task to be in a different list, it's easy to move. Just view the item in question, and then tap on the list in the upper left corner, then pick where you want to move it to. Or you can trash it with the button in the top right.

Google Tasks does come with support for subtasks straight out of the box, though, so at least there's that. You can add subtasks to any existing task in a list, and there's no limit on the number of subtasks you can have. You can check off each subtask off as you complete them, but checking off the main task also marks any subtasks as done in one go.

A nice thing about Google Tasks is that it has the ability to create tasks for you from emails. When you use Gmail to directly add a task, you can check out your tasks in the sidebar of Gmail. Tasks even let you trace it back to the source, in case you forget where it came from.

Previously only available on the web, Google Tasks is now a standalone app.

The Good

The Good
Create multiple lists

Google Tasks is a great choice to consider for tasks if you are already using Google's other G Suite apps, such as Gmail and Calendar. The mobile app looks a lot nicer than the web version, and it's fast and simple. It's not a complicated app, so those who are usually scared off by complex task managers like OmniFocus should definitely take a look at Google Tasks.

The Bad

The Bad
Create subtasks

I can see Google Tasks being good enough for those who don't want anything too complicated. However, I'm not a fan of the lack of due times with dates, and I wish I could organize lists together in a collection or project. Perhaps it's something that can be considered in the future.

The verdict

The verdict

While I use Google for a lot of things (Calendar, Gmail, Contacts, and Photos), I don't think I'll be sticking with Tasks. While I like the simplicity of the design, it's just too barebones for me. However, if you don't need a complicated task manager and just need something that handles basic lists with subtasks or integrates with Gmail, then Tasks is a good fit. But if you need more powerful features, then I recommend looking elsewhere.

Google Tasks is available on the iPhone App Store for free.

7.8
OVERALL
iPhone Integration 8
User Interface 8
Is engaging 8
Lasting appeal 7.5
Does it well 7.5
FREE
Google Tasks: Get Things Done
Google Tasks: Get Things Done
Google, Inc.