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Getting started with Google Tasks

I love to-do lists (which might explain why I wrote a book called “Master your To-do list“) and I’m guessing if you’re reading this, you do too.

Luckily Google has provided us with an easy to use, light-weight task (or to-do) application for free.

Who shouldn’t use Google Tasks?

Before going any further, I should mention that this is a very light-weight application. If you’re looking for something with the power (but not the cost) of Outlook tasks, then Google Tasks is not for you.

But if you only require some simple lists, with the ability to add date / time and nest tasks under other tasks, then read on to see how you can get started with Google Tasks.

Using Google Tasks on your Desktop/Laptop

If you’re already using Google Calendar or Gmail, then Google Tasks is automatically built-in.

From either the Calendar home screen or the Gmail home screen click on the blue Tasks icon

Access tasks from Google Calendar on desktop

If this is your first time looking at Google Tasks you’ll see a welcome screen:

welcome to Google Tasks

Click on the Get Started button and you’ll see a nice empty Tasks screen ready for you to enter as many tasks as you like.

First Google Tasks screen

Simply click next to the radio button and start typing your first task. To create more than one task, click on add a task to get a new empty task line.

Google Tasks with a new task added 1

And you’re done!

That really is how easy it is to get started with Google Tasks. You now have a list of all the tasks you want to do, under a list titled My Tasks.

But wait, there’s more

Tasks generally have to be done by or on a specific date right? Sometimes they even have to be done at a specific time.

By default, any tasks you enter into Google Tasks will be undated and untimed. To enter a date and/or a time click on the pencil icon next to your task and then click on Add date/time

adding a date and or time to Google Tasks on the desktop

Use the calendar and time pop up screen to select the day and/or time you want to see the task appear in your calendar.

select a date and set a time for a Google Task on desktop

Untimed tasks will appear as an all-day event in your calendar whilst timed tasks will appear at that time of course! (Can’t see the task? Check your Calendar settings).

view of timed and untimed Google Tasks

Using Google Tasks on your mobile device

In order to use Google Tasks on your mobile device you’ll need to download the Google Tasks app:

Android users:

iOS users:

Once you’ve installed the app, click on Get Started and you’ll immediately see any tasks and lists that you’ve previously created on your desktop/laptop.

From the app you can also add any tasks you like simply by typing in the space next to the radio button, tapping on ‘add a new task‘ or tapping on the floating action button at the bottom of the screen:

using the floating action button on mobile Google Tasks app

To add a date/time to a task on your mobile device, tap on the task.

You’ll get a pop-up notification on your device when a timed task is due. For tasks that have a date but don’t have a time, you’ll get notifications at 9am.  

There’s a few other things you can do with the mobile app – check out my Doing More with Google Tasks article for ideas.

Get ready to be more productive in 2023

Want to learn how to master your to do list for less than the cost of a chai latte? You’ve come to the right place! My fully revised book gives you a step by step process that really works, using Google’s simple, easy to use, free software.

In less than an hour, you’ll learn how to increase your productivity and manage your to-do list without increasing your stress or the length of your working day.

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