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Gmail Tasks Are a Good Start. Now Please Integrate with Google Calendar.


The folks over at Google announced a new Labs feature, the Task Manager for Gmail. Typical of Google, the feature is a simple, easy-to-use interface. You can type a task right in the Tasks panel.

As Google says on its blog announcing this feature:

People use Gmail to get stuff done, so we’ve added a lightweight way to keep track of what you need to do, right from within Gmail.

The other cool, but incomplete, thing is that you can add an email to the list of tasks. This is a great idea. I know I get a lot of emails at work in Microsoft Outlook that require some follow-up. But I don’t use Outlook’s Task panel to track them.

Rather I use the Actions > Follow-up > Add Reminder menu. This lets me stay in my email, while scheduling the follow-up day and time. Here’s a shot of that feature in Outlook:

outlook-email-task-manager-with-scheduler

For me, this is a terrific feature of Outlook. The follow-up notifications get my attention. I’ve used the Task panel before to record tasks. You know what happens to them? I never bother returning to look at my list. Email is where I go for my notifications.

Gmail Tasks do support associating a date to a task. That’s not bad, and it’s an improvement over my current follow-up methodology…starring the email. But what’s missing are:

  • Ability to set a time
  • Integration with my Google Calendar

My concern is that without the Calendar integration, Gmail Tasks will end up like Outlook Tasks for me. A place where written notes go to die.

I tweeted this idea about Calendar integration:

Added the Gmail ‘Add to Tasks’ feature (http://bit.ly/MVO). Would be great if that integrated with Google Calendar for scheduling.

And as is typical, a good discussion ensued. Stupid Blogger (aka Tina) noted that without Calendar integration, the Tasks feature is essentially useless for her.

She then added this thought:

Not just that, Hutch, but if it integrated somehow with the calendar then it would show up on my G1 as a notification. This would be BRILLIANT.

That’s right. Turn those task into reminders that come through on your T-Mobile G1 Google Android phone.

It’s a Labs feature, so certainly it’s a work-in-progress. Let’s hope they get Calendar integration out of the Lab soon.

*****

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About Hutch Carpenter
Senior Consultant for HYPE Innovation (hypeinnovation.com)

8 Responses to Gmail Tasks Are a Good Start. Now Please Integrate with Google Calendar.

  1. http://resourcesandmoney.blogspot.com says:

    I have a calendar on my pc and most of pc’s do have calendar why use google calendar?

  2. Because Google Tasks integrates with Gmail, and Calendar is just one tab over. But integration with Outlook Calendar would be awesome, I’ll admit.

  3. Integration with Google calendar’s features such as SMS reminders would be very welcome. Syncing with iCal tasks would also be cool … wishlist growing by the second :)

  4. Yup – if I could get those tasks into Google Calendar and turn on the SMS notifications, that’d be great. Significant pick-up in my attention to them.

  5. The inclusionn of tasks in gmail has gone a long way to making gmails more useful, but until google comes up with a way of linking gmail, tasks and the calendar it will not become a true competitor for microsoft outlook in terms of time and workload management. I have written a number of articles on this subject on my blog.

    http://pauldrasmussen.blogspot.com

  6. Devaraj says:

    Yep it would be great if google integrates task with calendar.

  7. Rick says:

    There is an iphone app that distinguishes between tasks and events, but treats both as calendared items (tasks have dates!!). Seems to me that’s the elegant answer. It’s all in one place.

  8. Rick says:

    What I mean to say is not that you buy an iphone and the app. Simply that Google should take the same approach, date and calendar the tasks, but they can still be itemized to a list (see the “Agenda” tab on your google calendar).

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