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How To Manage Tasks & To-Dos with Google Keep

If efficient productivity, to-do lists, and time management worries you like it does me, I have sympathy for you. I have spent years (dramatic and probably untrue) sifting through a pile of sticky notes, buying calendars and planners, and creating countless phone alarms for the most routine of tasks - think “pay rent” and “take out garbage cans.” Forever, I found myself utilizing a daily planner, but with the information age firmly upon us, I was seeing major holes in my pen and paper method – namely overall inefficiency, as well as a lack of collaboration. It was time for a transition to….Google or more specifically Google Keep and Google Tasks.

While I don’t identify as a productivity guru, these tips for effectively utilizing the Task Management applications within G Suite might just be life changing, or at the very least help you remember to pay rent.

How to manage tasks and to-dos in G Suite

How to use Google Keep

With Google Keep, I have found the most seamless transition from my sticky note days of yesteryear. On start-up of the application, the interface is immediately familiar to those sticky note supporters. Create a note, color code it, pin it to the top of the home page, and begin to sort with labels. 

What’s even better about Google Keep than the familiarity is the convenience of collaboration. Once you’ve added a co-collaborator to your keep note, he or she will be able to add in text, images, and other content directly. See you later, paper stickies.

Bonus points: add a date and time reminder associated with the note. Within the reminders settings of Google Calendar, you can create custom notifications to really help you get on top of the task. Once you’re ready, you can mark the reminder as complete directly from Google Calendar.

How to use Google Tasks

Gmail TasksIf you’re transitioning from a pen and paper checklist or many of your emails are associated with a specific task, Google Tasks may be the choice for you. Access Google Tasks within the right side panel of the core G Suite applications. (If you don’t see the side panel, you may need to click the extension arrow located at the bottom right corner.) Once you’ve navigated to the blue pencil Tasks icon, you’ll see you have options for creating custom tasks and organizing them within labeled to-do lists.

While the interface is quite intuitive, only Google Power users will be utilizing these key features:

  • Create repeating tasks
  • Manage to-do’s within Google Calendar (be sure to check the ‘Tasks’ calendar)
  • Create a task by dragging an email directly into the Tasks bar

Once you’ve mastered these power-user skills, you’ll be able to jump from a calendar task directly into the corresponding email, navigate through separate task lists, and even remember to take the garbage cans out every Thursday morning.

Hopefully, with the help of these tid-bits, you’ll find a task management system that works for you. For me, the implementation of collaborative Google tools with an openness to change has led me to become more productive in both professional and personal life. If task management is a task in and of itself, then maybe it’s time for a change.

Originally published on July 15, 2020

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