If like me, you spend a considerable portion of your day living in Google Chrome and Gmail, a simple, discreet and accessible to-do list is very helpful. Fortunately, there is one built right into Gmail and Chrome: Google Tasks.
Not only can this compact list be “always on top” in Gmail, it can be minimized for easy reference, and accessed through a Chrome extension. Tasks can be also be added directly from emails.
Launch Google Tasks from the top left corner of your Gmail account in the drop down menu (see picture above). The tasks list will pop up in the bottom right corner of your Gmail page. Tasks can easily be added by either clicking the “+” sign at the bottom, or just by clicking on the list and typing.
Add subsequent tasks by clicking enter. To erase tasks as you complete them, select the task, and click on the trash can. To minimize the tasks list, click on the small bar at the top of the Tasks window. The Tasks bar will rest in the bottom right of your Gmail page; simply click on the bar to show the full list.
An attractive feature of Google Tasks is the ability to add to your to-do list directly from an email. When you are in the email, click on the “More” drop down menu at the top right of the email, and you will see the “Add to Tasks” option. Clicking on this will add the name of the email to the Tasks list with a link back to the email.
Other features include the ability to create multiple lists and navigate between them using the icon in the bottom right corner; the ability to create sub-tasks by using Tab to indent; and the ability to print your Tasks list.
When you are viewing other web pages, you can easily add items to your Tasks list by installing the Tasks extension (available in the Chrome Web Store. Simply click on the extension button in the tool bar, and edit your list. Click back on the webpage to exit from Google Tasks.
There is also a mobile version of Tasks available in the mobile version of Chrome (google.com/tasks): see the picture. Although there is no official Google app, there are some third party apps available for iOS, notably GoTasks which synchs very nicely and is fairly minimalist and easy to use.