Google Tasks

About this time in the school year there seem to be so many things going on I am constantly afraid something important will slip through the crack. I've always written lists on paper, but then as often as not, find myself in a different place than my list or rewriting my list as I cross things out or want to add to it. Enter Google Tasks.

Google Tasks helps you keep track of everything that needs to be done by creating lists and setting due dates, and, because it is stored online, it is available whenever and wherever you have access to the internet.

Tasks in Gmail

To use Tasks in Gmail, you'll have to enable it in your Gmail Settings.

Find Settings to the right of your e-mail address at top of the page.

Once in Settings, select Labs, and finally choose to enable Tasks. Don't forget to Save your changes before you return to your Inbox. Once this is done, you'll find Tasks right below Contacts in the left-hand side bar.

When you select Tasks, it'll open at the bottom right of your window. To begin your list, just click in the Tasks window, start typing, and press enter. You can now enter another task. You can also enter tasks by using the + button at the bottom of your list.

Add dates and notes to your task by selecting the arrow at the right of your task.

Here you'll be able to enter a due date and add notes to your task. You can switch tasks between lists using the drop-down list.

will let you create a list with sub-tasks, reorder your list, or sort your list by due dates.  Don't forget to check off a completed task, to have that great feeling of accomplishment. You never have to delete a completed task. You'll be able to "Hide completed tasks" to get an uncluttered view of what's on your list. Later, you can chose to "View completed tasks" to see how much you've done.

Notice that many of these tasks have keyboard short-cuts for the busy person.

Most people like to keep their lives segmented, keeping their work to-do list separate from their home chores list, etc. You can create as many lists as you need by clicking on the list icon in the bottom right-hand corner. Google Tasks helps you keep track of it all.

Probably the coolest thing about using Tasks in Gmail is automatically adding a task to your list while reading an e-mail. While the e-mail message is open, press Shift + T and the title of the message will automatically be recorded in your list of tasks. You can then edit it for due date and add notes. Right beneath the task will say "Related email." Click on in, and you'll be taken back to the original email, saving you time!

Tasks in Calendar

Any task lists you have created in Gmail will automatically appear in your Google calendar. When you choose the Tasks link, the Tasks list will appear on the right side of your calendar.

You add and manage tasks much like you would in Gmail, but with a few added features. Tasks that have due dates will automatically appear on your calendar in the All Day section. To add a task with a due date, click in the All Day section of a day, or on the date in Month view. You'll get an "Edit details" balloon. Select Tasks to enter information. It is easy to change the date of a task in Calendar. Just drag the task to the new date (just like you would with any calendar event).

Even More

If you like keeping track of things on your iGoogle page, you can choose to add Tasks as a gadget.  You'll have to search for it; just type [tasks] in the "Search for gadgets" box. It'll return "Tasks (Labs)." Choose "Add it now" and it will appear on your iGoogle page.

Not only can you now access your tasks from any computer or device that is connected to the internet, you can even access and manage your Tasks list from your iPhone or Android mobile phones. Now there is no longer a need to carry scraps of paper with notes around.

For more information about Tasks check