How to Use Google Tasks Effectively in Gmail

Manage your tasks the smart way with this tool that's built in Gmail for PC.

Google Tasks in an easy-to-use to-do list service baked into Gmail. You can use it to create multiple lists, set reminders, repeat reminders, star tasks, and even create subtasks within a task. This article shows you how to start using Google Tasks in Gmail like a pro.

How to Open Google Tasks in Gmail

You will find the Google Tasks icon along with Google Keep, Google Contacts, and Google Calendar in the panel on the right of the Gmail website. Google Tasks is also available as a separate app on both Android and iOS.

  1. If you don’t see the sidebar, click on the small arrow at the bottom-right corner to expand the sidebar.
Google Tasks Expand Sidebar
  1. Click on the Google Tasks icon to open it.

Pro Tip: you can also access Google Tasks from other Google services, including Calendar, Chat, Drive, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

How to Create a Task

There are two ways to add a task in Google Tasks. You can create up to 100,000 tasks.

Method 1: From Side Panel

  1. Open Google Tasks in Gmail.
  2. Click on the “Add a task” button.
  1. Give a title to the task. You can add more information about the task in the “Details” section and also add the date and time.  
  1. To change the title or details of a task, simply click on it once in Google Tasks in Gmail to edit it.

Method 2: From an Email

Another way to create a task is directly from an email.

  1. Open Google Tasks in the Gmail sidebar.
  2. Drag the email from the email list to Google Tasks. The email will be added as a task.
  1. Alternatively, open the email and click on the “Add to tasks” icon at the top.

How to See Completed Tasks and Mark Them Incomplete

  1. Click on the circle present on the left of the task to mark it as complete.
  1. The completed tasks will appear in the “Completed” list at the bottom.
  1. Click on it to view all the completed tasks.
  2. Hit the checkmark icon next to a task that you want to mark as not completed, i.e., move it back to the tasks section.

How to Delete a Task

  1. Hover the mouse over the task that you want to delete.
  1. Click on the three-dot icon next to task and select “Delete” from the menu.

How to Delete Completed Tasks

  1. To delete the completed tasks, open the “Completed” section at the bottom.
  1. Hover the mouse over the task, press on the three-dots next to it and select “Delete.”
  1. Alternatively, if you want to delete all of the completed tasks in a particular list, click on the three-dot icon next to the “Add a task” button.
  1. Choose “Delete all completed tasks” from the menu.

How to Set a Reminder for a Task

If you want to be reminded of a task, just add a date and time. You will get a notification at the scheduled time.

  1. Click on the task once to edit it.
  2. Click on the “Date and time” to set the reminder.
  1. Alternatively, if you only want to be reminded on a particular date, and time is not an issue, just add the date. Google Tasks will send a reminder at 9AM for tasks without a time.

Note: you will see the tasks with a date in Google Calendar as well.  

How to Repeat a Task

If you want a task to be repeated every day, a few days a month, or once a year, you can set the conditions to repeat the task.

  1. Click on a task to edit it, then set the date and time and hit the “Repeat” icon.
  1. Set the repeat conditions for the task. Hit the “OK” button to confirm.

How to Create a Subtask

Sometimes a single task consists of different steps or mini tasks. Thankfully, Google Tasks lets you add subtasks to your task. There are two ways to do so:

Method 1: Create a New Subtask

  1. Hover your mouse over the task you wish to add a subtask to.
  2. Click on the three-dot icon next to the task and select “Add a subtask” from the menu.
  1. Name the subtask and add relevant info, such date and time and additional information as you would do with a regular task.

Method 2: Create a Subtask From Existing Task

You can make an existing task a subtask of any task.

  1. Make sure the task that you want to make a subtask is present below the main task.
  2. Click on the three-dot icon next to the task that will be made subtask and select “Indent” from the menu.

How to Change the Order of Tasks

You can reorder the tasks and keep them in any order you would like.

  1. Drag the task to the new position.
  2. You may also click on the three-dot icon next to the task and select “Move to top” to bring the task to the top of the list.

How to Sort Tasks

By default, the tasks show in Google Tasks in the order they were added. You can, however, sort tasks by the due date or show the starred tasks at the top.

  1. Click on the three-dot icon next to the “Add a task” button.
  2. Choose the alternate sort option under the “Sort by” section.

How to Create a List

Google Tasks offers the ability to create multiple lists to store different types of tasks. For instance, you can have separate lists for personal and work purposes. The default list in Google Tasks is known as “My tasks.”

  1. To create a new list click on the “My Tasks” option at the top of Google Tasks.
  1. Choose “Create new list” from the menu.
  2. Name your list and hit “Done.”
  1. To switch from the default list to a new one, click on the down arrow next to “My Tasks” and select it from the drop-down menu.

How to Create a Task in a Different List

  1. To create a task in a different list, you must first switch to it as shown above.
  2. Click on the “Add a task” button in the list or drag an email from Gmail into the list.
  1. Alternatively, move a task to a different list. Click on the three-dot icon next to the task that you want to move.
  1. Click the list name from the menu you want to move the task to.

Note: repeated tasks cannot be moved to a different list.

How to Rename or Delete a List

  1. Switch to the list that you want to rename or delete.
  2. Click on the three-dot icon next to “Add a task.”
  3. Choose the “Rename” or “Delete” list option from the menu.

Tip: check out the useful Google Tasks keyboard shortcuts.

How to Reorder Lists

  1. To change the order of lists, click on the down arrow next to the list name at the top.
  1. Click and drag the list to the new position.

How to Use Starred Lists

You can prioritize certain tasks by adding them to the Starred list.

  1. To star a task, click on the “Star” icon next to the task. The star will be highlighted.
  1. To view starred tasks, click on the list name at the top and choose “Starred” from the menu.
  1. To remove a task from the starred list, click on the highlighted star icon next to the task, either in its own list or under the “Starred” list.

Note: you cannot reorder tasks in the Starred list.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you assign tasks in Google Tasks in Gmail?

Sadly, you cannot directly assign tasks from Google Tasks in Gmail. You can only assign tasks within a Space or document.

Are all these options available via the mobile apps?

Yes. Google Tasks mobile apps offer all these features. You can create subtasks and lists, add reminders, star tasks, and much more – but not via the Gmail mobile app.

How to view Google Tasks in full screen? 

Google Tasks doesn’t have a dedicated website now. You can, however, still access Google Tasks in full screen using a workaround based on the old website. Bookmark this link and open it whenever you want to access Google Tasks in full screen.

All screenshots by Mehvish Mushtaq.

Mehvish Mushtaq

Mehvish is a tech lover from Kashmir. With a degree in computer engineering, she's always been happy to help anyone who finds technology challenging. She's been writing about technology for over six years, and her favorite topics include how-to guides, explainers, tips and tricks for Android, iOS/iPadOS, Windows, social media, and web apps.

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