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5 smart secrets for a better Google Tasks experience

Quick: When was the last time you used Google Tasks?

If you’re like many people I know, the answer to that question might be “Wait a minute – what? Google has a Tasks app?!”

Tasks is one of those services that is all too easily forgotten – or maybe even overlooked altogether. Sure, there is an Android app for that (and even an iOS app, if you know someone who swings that way). And Google is in the process of reformulating its cross-service reminder system so that it depends on Tasks as a primary hub for all those things you tell your Android phone or smart display to help you remember.

Still, on the desktop, where many of us spend our daytime hours, the only ways to access Google Tasks are through that clunky side panel on the right side of the Gmail website or as a slightly confusing option in Google Calendar – where Taken a bit—sorta exists as another home for that interconnected reminder system. Even if you spend a ton of time caving in the Google ecosystem, these aren’t exactly the most popular places for your most pressing to-do list items.

Hang on: Whether you use Google Tasks in that capacity or had no idea it existed, the service has some serious potential. And with the right advanced add-ons, it can become a powerful way to track and organize important items and stay on top of all kinds of obligations.

Check out these little-known Tasks improvements and get ready to see Google’s nearly invisible organizational helper in a whole new light. And if you want top-notch Googley tips in your inbox every week, here’s an easy one to tick off your list: Sign up for my Android Intelligence newsletter. I’m sending you three bonus tips now and three new things to try every Friday after that!

Google Tasks Tool No. 1: The Standalone Website

Okay, first things first: if you appreciate the sheer simplicity of Tasks as it exists in the sidebar of the Gmail website and you wish you had a way to open it as its own window, let me show you some more. know secret:

All you need is the right link, and you can pull that narrow little Tasks interface right out of your inbox and pop it into its own individual tab in no time.

This is the link:


Random, I know. But click it, copy it, save it, or even bookmark it, and you can always open Tasks in its own tab or even window, whenever you want.

Direct link Google Tasks Jr

And another option in the same direction…

Google Tasks tool No. 2: The simple full-screen app

If you want a nicer, more nicely formatted version of that same kind of setup, check out the aptly named Full screen for Google Tasks Chrome extension. It gives you a simple link in your browser’s extension menu (that little puzzle-shaped icon in the top-right corner of the screen) that opens an app-like version of the standard Tasks interface right in your browser.

Google Tasks in full screen Jr

And if you don’t use Chrome or just don’t want to install an extension, you can also access that same service through its website.

Full screen for Google Tasks inevitably requires permission to view and manage your Google Tasks data, but the developer of the app says absolutely no information ever collected or stored.

Google Tasks tool No. 3: The pop-up window

A standalone app can be spectacular if you really want to focus on your tasks, but what about a quick glance at your to-do list – to see what’s left on your list for today, to enjoy that unparalleled satisfaction of something check off that you’ve completed, or maybe add a new task to one of your lists?

For even easier ongoing access to your Google Tasks info, you can use a slick little tool called Fast GTasks. It’s an extension for Chrome that puts all your pending chores in a handy pop-up window that’s never more than a click or keystroke away.

Google Tasks popup Jr

And like our last tool, Quick GTasks is clear about the fact that it does not store or share personal data in any way.

Three tasks completed, two more to go!

Google Tasks Tool No. 4: The Quick Send System

The tools we’ve covered so far are great for accessing your Google to-do lists and even adding new items, but what about if you want to save an actual website in To-Do to revisit later?

Well, my fellow list aficionado, you’re in luck:

The dead simple Send to Google Tasks The Chrome extension adds a button to your browser’s extension menu And the right-click context menu that lets you send any page you’re viewing directly to Tasks with a few quick clicks.

And if you want to halve that number of clicks, do this:

  • Click that puzzle-shaped extension icon in the top-right corner of Chrome.
  • Find Send to Google Tasks in the menu that appears.
  • Click the pushpin symbol next to it.

That puts the extension’s icon right in your browser’s main address bar for even easier ongoing access.

Google Tasks Tool No. 5: The Trello-Like Board View

Our final Tasks tool is the most advanced option of them all, and if you’re as crazy about organization as I am, you’re sure to fall in love with it.

It is called Tasks Boardand it’s a browser-based desktop app that lets you view and organize your Google Tasks info in the style of a Trello-esque kanban board.

Google Tasks task board Jr

That means all your different to-do lists become columns, with individual tasks acting like cards in them. You can drag and drop any task from one column to another, and rearrange the lists in any order you want.

TasksBoard also has a bunch of nice extra features beyond the basic organizational structure:

  • It allows you to export any task list to Google Sheets as a spreadsheet.
  • It allows you to sort your lists by due date.
  • And if you upgrade to its $4/mo. (or $5 per user per month, in a team setup) premium subscriptionyou can share both lists and entire boards with private links, set custom colors for your lists and boards, and multiple boards for even more complicated organization.

TasksBoard works like a website, but you can also install it as a progressive web app on any device – computer or phone – and make it look and work like a regular native app, complete with an icon on your desktop or home screen.

Not too shabby for a barebones Google service, eh?!

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