Google Tasks

Google Tasks (Photo credit: Richard Johnson Hurtado)

I wanted to give a quick update to this post: How do you do your To Do (list)?

I confessed to using a paper To Do list and Outlook for an electronic solution. Then I switched from Outlook to Thunderbird and was in the market for a new solution to replace both the paper and Outlook lists.

I was looking for either a productivity or goal tracking app or service  to manage my out-of-control busy life. What I really needed was a way to have multiple To Do lists for various projects but still have a way of looking at them all at once so that the Hair On Fire stuff from every list was obvious at a glance. I also needed something that worked everywhere and synced easily because I so rarely get more than a few moments at my computer these days. I spent MANY hours trying out a variety of apps and services and, in the end, all had some kind of fatal flaw that sent me running.

In the end, I decided to go back to good old Google Tasks which I had discounted earlier as too simplistic. While pretty no-fills, it works with everything easily (including Thunderbird) and is always right there where I need it with no extra login (and it works pretty great even without an app since it’s nice and basic on the web). Sure, it would be nice to have some of the sweet features other services offer but I don’t really *need* them, they were just fun to play with.  But what really sold me was the free app, GTasks which lets you view multiple Tasks list, even across multiple Google accounts, in one unified list. Now I can give each project its own list that I can view independently but still see all the items due regardless of list on the top of my screen in the morning.

All Google Tasks gives me is the ability to list a task on one of as many lists as I want to create, give it a due date and then check them off when they are done but, really, that was all I needed. The fact that you can turn an email into a task is handy as well because I used to do that all the time with Outlook. The one thing I really miss is the ability to share a To Do list (say, with a client for a project or my husband for baby related stuff) but seeing how much Google Tasks has improved in the last few years, I suspect Google will give us that feature sooner or later.

As for the bigger projects and goals, I realized that my To Do list wasn’t the place for them. Now only smaller, actionable items go on my To Do list and bigger projects go in a separate spreadsheet. I wasted a long time getting seduced by goal tracking apps before I realized that they weren’t what I was looking for.

Are you still doing your To Do lists the same way? What apps or services have you tried that are worth trying or avoiding?