Google tasks is doing some great stuff. It’s simple, intuitive and awesome.
When you’ve got your mind flowing and you’re cranking out tasks left and right, it’s nice to have your list right there so you can blow away completed items with the box-checking-pleasure you know you secretly love almost as much as that song you keep humming to yourself. This is an excellent way to keep a log of what you’re doing, which can be extra valuable if you are a consultant or contractor and need to invoice your clients for work performed.
Google Tasks is easy to work right along side you without getting in your way. It’s low-maintenance, doesn’t complain about the bad coffee in your office, and instantaneously synchronizes across all the methods you use to access it (see below). This is one of my favorite things Gmail Labs has done.
First, enable it in Gmail by clicking the “Tasks” link under “Contacts” on the left side of your Gmail window.
It creates a chat-style pop-up box that fits in your lower-right corner or can be popped out to its own window for your task-defeating pleasure while you reply like the inbox-zero mad-dog you are. FTW!!!
Second, enable it in Google Calendar by looking for the “Tasks” link (Google web designers are so smart to label it that!) and two things happen:
1) Your task lists will show up on the right side of your calendar for easy maintenance and
2) Your scheduled tasks will show up on your calendar itself, allowing for easy viewing and completion right on the calendar.
Gmail blog explains more about Tasks in Calendar.
Third, find alternate ways to access your tasks:
Bookmark it on your smartphone ( go to gmail.com/tasks from your blackberry, palm, HTC, android or other web-aware phone. Oh, and of course, snobby iPhone-ers get special treatment)
You can also add it to iGoogle as a gadget or the standalone “Tasks Canvas” page to view, edit and manage tasks in other places. I have a “chores” list that I pull up on our Opera browser for the Wii so the kids can see and check off their chores on Saturday morning. Geeky? Yes, but it gets the carpets vacuumed.
Here are some bonus links for your clickety browsing pleasure:
- Task Jedi? Check out Google’s help page for keyboard shortcuts and tips to become a real taskmaster (the good kind… not the kind prefaced with “evil”… or the Marvel Comic character). Sort. Categorize. Complete. Repeat.
- Do you like to GTD?See how to approach Nirvana with gTasks here.
- Got Chrome? Follow these tips to make a Google Tasks shortcut on your desktop. It pops up in its own window and has a shortcut icon on your computer desktop or quick-launch menu (depending on your OS). This works and it’s slick!
Update: 2/25/2011 ––
MakeUseOf has lots of ways to get your Google Tasks happiness going on. Several AIR apps and some cool other options available, too.
One option they explained (and I am using now) is to Load your gTasks in your Firefox Sidebar:
- Bookmark the following link: https://mail.google.com/tasks/ig
- Head to the Bookmarks menu, right click on the new bookmark, and hit Properties.
- Make sure Load this bookmark in the sidebar is checked, then hit OK.
Another thing to note is that, if you’re using a browser, you may want to note the difference in the following “Task Canvas” URLs:
- http://mail.google.com/tasks/canvas?pli=1 Shows a “menu” bar at the left with your lists available to you. Best for options like showing your tasks in its own browser window or using the Chrome Shortcut technique (see above under Bonus Resources).
- https://mail.google.com/tasks/ig Shows the widget-version of tasks, with no sidebar. You swap task lists by selecting the “bulleted list” icon in the bottom-right corner. This may be best for smaller instances like loading your Tasks in the Firefox Sidebar
Finally, I have gone through lots of ways to sync my tasks by mobile (android), even attempting a switch to Remember The Milk (gasp) which I just couldn’t go through with. It turns out, after trying Astrid, Producteev, Taskos, and RTM, I am sticking with GTASKS by Dato on my Android phone. It syncs, it works, simple dashboard style widget, and it even has an “All” tasks screen, which I kinda wish Google would implement!
How are you accessing Google Tasks?