Tasks is Google’s attempt at a standalone to-do list app

Earlier today, Google introduced a brand new redesign for its Gmail web client. However, the company didn’t stop there as a new Tasks was introduced as well.

READ MORE: How to get the new Gmail

In addition to being added to the new sidebar in Gmail, Google has pushed the update to its mobile apps as well. Tasks is another one of Google’s pet projects that has largely been left in the “old days”. However, this new update hopes to make your to-do list easier to manage, at least to some extent.

Now, Tasks is no replacement for a true GTD app/service such as Todoist or Asana. Instead, this is more akin to your basic checklist, with some extra flavor added.

What does Tasks include?

After you download Tasks for the first time, you’ll be greeted with a welcome screen, and then taken to the “My Tasks” page. It’s likely that this page is empty, because who was using Tasks before?

To get started, you’ll want to head down to the bottom of the app and click the big “Add a new task” button. When pressed you are shown your keyboard and can start typing whatever you need to remember.

There is a little “+” button at the bottom, which will allow to either add more details or schedule the task. After this has been created, you can tap the reminder and view more information.

From here, you can add more details, change the date, or even add subtasks. If I’m honest, I was not expecting to see Google include subtasks with an app like this, so it’s a welcome addition.

Whenever a task has been completed, you will get a word of encouragement and can view your completed tasks. If you need to, you can go back to the Completed portion and “uncheck” the task to move it back to the main list.

Tasks and Gmail

There is a benefit here for those who live in Gmail. You can easily add your various emails to Tasks thanks to the side-bar.

Those emails will then show up in your task list, allowing you to tackle them when you’re ready. Obviously, the ability to schedule a reminder and change lists is also available here.

If you want to give this a shot, find an email you want to save, and then drag-and-drop onto your Tasks list. A new task will be created and you can view it from any device that Tasks is installed on.

What’s missing?

As we stated before, Tasks is no replacement for Asana or Todoist. In fact, Rita from Android Police created a list of many features that are missing from Tasks:

  • No collaboration on task lists, no sharing of tasks
  • No sharing from another Android app to Tasks, not even Gmail
  • No recurring tasks
  • No assigning a certain time to a task, only a date
  • No reminders, only notifications that can be dismissed or momentarily snoozed if your Android version supports it
  • No homescreen widgets or app shortcuts
  • No location-based tasks (though Cody tells me he found signs of it in his teardown of the APK, so it should be coming)
  • No smart parsing of “today” or “tomorrow” when adding a task, you have to manually assign dates
  • No attaching of files to a tasks
  • No tags
  • No Wear OS or Google Assistant integration.

As you can see from this list, Tasks is very “bare-bones”. Sure, you can add subtasks and reminders, but that’s about it.

We aren’t exactly sure how Google plans to position this app in the future, but for now it’s nothing more than a glorified checklist. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but this won’t replace your current GTD workflow.

As expected, Tasks is free to download, and you can hit the button below to get it on your device. If you’re like me and use both iOS and Android, Google has released this onto the Apple App Store, so you can keep things synced up.

Give Tasks a shot and let us know what you think about Google’s latest task management service.

Download Google Tasks!