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  • opinions on Google Tasks?

    Hi everyone,

    I just started setting up GTD using Google Tasks (along with Gmail and Google Calendar). I'm keeping individual lists for:
    • Inbox
    • Purpose
    • Vision
    • Areas of Focus
    • Goals
    • Projects
    • Someday/Maybe
    • Waiting
    • Each of my contexts (@Errands, @Home, etc.)
    This seems to be working really well so far, but I haven't pushed the system very hard yet. Two observations, though:
    1. I don't seem to be using the Inbox list very much. I did at first, but since processing it to zero the first time I've been just sending things directly to their relevant list. I'm not sure this is a problem, but it suggests to me that I might not need this particular inbox in my overall system. New stuff seems to come in through my physical or Gmail inboxes.
    2. There doesn't seem to be a way to connect next actions to particular projects. Google Tasks doesn't seem to offer any tagging or other feature to achieve this sort of linkage. But again, I'm not sure this will be a problem. I recently listened to a podcast in which David seemed to suggest that explicit linkage is not necessary and indeed might even be an unnecessary complication. Not having this hasn't bothered me at all yet: when I see a next action on one of my context lists, I haven't had any confusion about which project it belongs to. But I wonder if I won't grow disoriented as I get more stuff in the system.
    Can anyone shed light on either of these points? Has anyone else tried using Google Tasks in their GTD implementation recently? I'd be very interested to hear about any experiences or insights you could share.

    Also wanted to mention that one of the things I really like about Google Tasks is that I can get to my lists on my mobile devices (iPod and Android phone) as easily as on my desktop. No need to sync; it just works.

    Thanks in advance!

    (Note: I posted a very similar question on another thread a few days ago, but I think that thread went stale and I have a few other things to add. Hope this doesn't break any rules!)

  • #2
    Re: opinions on Google Tasks?

    I've tried Google Tasks for GTD and generally liked it but found it limited in functionality. Currently I'm using my small Moleskine plain cahier for capture, plus OmniFocus for iPad.
    --http://www.omnigroup.com/products/omnifocus/
    --http://www.amazon.com/ (search for pocket moleskine cahier)

    To your questions:

    1) I've used the Inbox for capturing items but agree it doesn't need to be used heavily if you're sorting items as you input them. Still, it is useful for quick capture sometimes.

    2) Haven't tried to link tasks to projects; no real need if reviewing regularly, in my opinion.

    --But you can set a date for a task, which then shows up in the All Day section of your Google Calendar.

    --Also, you could "tag" a task by adding a label to the Notes for the task. Then you could search for tags via ctrl-F (Find) on a specific list page. Not an elegant solution, though.

    Other points:

    GTasks is not as functional as a program like OmniFocus, but it is free and convenient/useful if you're using Google apps like Gcal and Gmail.

    GTasks will sync with certain iOS apps (and, I assume, Android or BBerry apps); the one I liked best was GeeTasks, as it's inexpensive, simple, and fast.
    --http://www.geetasks.com/

    I was told by an app developer that Google is currently working on updating its Tasks app; Google did publicly ask for suggestions on improving Tasks last year. So maybe something better will come along soon.
    --https://www.google.com/moderator/?icon&expr#16/e=31b21

    Tasks offers some keyboard shortcuts, like Shift-Enter to go to the Notes section of a task.

    The Canvas view is very useful. And in Windows 7, you can pin this view to the Windows taskbar at the bottom of your screen (in Google Chrome, go to the wrench icon at the top left, then Tools, then Create application shortcuts).
    --https://mail.google.com/tasks/canvas

    Chrome and Firefox also offer various Tasks extensions for their browsers for fast input to Tasks, like iLove Google Tasks for Chrome.
    --https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/djagodlhefkdlmdhboaonegjldnomnnm

    Andy

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    • #3
      Re: opinions on Google Tasks?

      Note: sorry links aren't clickable in my reply above; tried to fix that, but kept getting browser errors.

      Comment


      • #4
        thanks!

        Great info, Andy. Thanks!

        I thought the dated tasks on calendar feature was broken because it didn't seem to be working for me. Then I realized that you have to (1) have your tasks open in your calendar view, and (2) select the particular list you're interested in. I had been using the Gmail popout view of tasks, and happened to be looking at a list that didn't have any dated items. Now it works--very cool.

        I didn't know about the Canvas View either. Very handy! I'll have to check out the browser extensions as well.

        I haven't found any info about how to add a label to the notes for a task. Can you explain how that's done?

        Great news about the upcoming updates to Tasks. I found an announcement about the 5 most requested features--nothing about tags here, but all welcome features anyway.

        (Just fyi: I used the globe-with-chain-link icon to insert the html link above; seems to work.)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by lcbrett View Post
          Great info, Andy. Thanks!

          I thought the dated tasks on calendar feature was broken because it didn't seem to be working for me. Then I realized that you have to (1) have your tasks open in your calendar view, and (2) select the particular list you're interested in. I had been using the Gmail popout view of tasks, and happened to be looking at a list that didn't have any dated items. Now it works--very cool.

          I didn't know about the Canvas View either. Very handy! I'll have to check out the browser extensions as well.

          I haven't found any info about how to add a label to the notes for a task. Can you explain how that's done?

          Great news about the upcoming updates to Tasks. I found an announcement about the 5 most requested features--nothing about tags here, but all welcome features anyway.

          (Just fyi: I used the globe-with-chain-link icon to insert the html link above; seems to work.)

          For tags, you could just put a keyword in the Notes section of a taks. It's not a great solution, but it works somewhat.

          I'm hopeful that Google will do something interesting with Tasks. They have managed to improve Gcal quite a bit over time.

          (In re links, I did use the icon but kept getting an error.)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by AndrewGM1 View Post
            For tags, you could just put a keyword in the Notes section of a taks. It's not a great solution, but it works somewhat.

            I'm hopeful that Google will do something interesting with Tasks. They have managed to improve Gcal quite a bit over time.

            (In re links, I did use the icon but kept getting an error.)
            I know I'm showing my ignorance, but how do you add a keyword to the Notes section? Are you just typing in plain text?

            Thanks, Andy!

            Cliff

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            • #7
              Originally posted by lcbrett View Post
              I know I'm showing my ignorance, but how do you add a keyword to the Notes section? Are you just typing in plain text?

              Thanks, Andy!

              Cliff
              That's right. But as mentioned, not a great solution.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by lcbrett View Post

                ...I thought the dated tasks on calendar feature was broken because it didn't seem to be working for me. Then I realized that you have to (1) have your tasks open in your calendar view, and (2) select the particular list you're interested in. I had been using the Gmail popout view of tasks, and happened to be looking at a list that didn't have any dated items. Now it works...
                Forgot to comment earlier, but those are key points you make.

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                • #9
                  Hi Guys


                  Sorry about the Forum errors. Our engineers are looking into what's causing this. It's specifically related to html in posts.

                  BTW, I'd love to see a robust Google Tasks. I know they believe in launch>iterate>launch>iterate, so I think it will only keep improving.

                  Kelly

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                  • #10
                    Google tasks isn't fit for purpose

                    As it exists now it's only useful for my grandmother who has a list of about ten things to do. You can't even set up *reminders* for Tasks, nor can you assign them categories or tag them. You'd think this was basic.

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                    • #11
                      I would love to use Google Tasks but they are just too "lite" for effective GTD use (at least by me!).

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                      • #12
                        my experiences so far...

                        Originally posted by crosetti View Post
                        As it exists now it's only useful for my grandmother who has a list of about ten things to do. You can't even set up *reminders* for Tasks, nor can you assign them categories or tag them. You'd think this was basic.
                        I've been using Google Tasks for about a month now, and it still seems to work pretty well for my needs. I'm tracking more things than your grandmother (>10, anyway), but I'd say my load is still relatively light. I'm also sort of easing myself gradually into the system, trying to form good habits gradually, so I may not be doing everything I should. With that in mind, I have a couple questions about your response:
                        • What sort of reminders are you missing? Do you mean a popup to give you a heads-up when something is near due? I've been putting due dates on my tasks, which adds them to the all-day section of the calendar. I haven't found a way to poke myself with an email or SMS, though. That would be a nice feature, but I haven't really missed it since I review my lists regularly throughout the day.
                        • How do you categorize your tasks? I've just been using my context lists (@Home, @Phone, etc.) and that seems to work fine. I'd love to have tags, but in practice have found that I don't really miss them.

                        It's funny: I spent quite a bit of time fretting over tools. I thought I needed links between projects and actions, for example. But something clicked for me while listening to one of DA's podcasts, and I realized I might be overcomplicating. Actually entering those sorts of links in my system would have been tedious and slowed me down. So I decided to just try keeping separate lists, like I would in a paper system. Much to my surprise, it's been totally fine: I haven't yet found myself in a situation where I couldn't remember what project an action belonged to. And I feel like my system is lightweight; it speeds me up rather than slowing me down.

                        I still wonder if this is because I'm only managing a light load, though. Maybe you need the overhead of those explicit connections as you juggle more stuff? Maybe I'm violating the "get it out of your head" principle? Does anybody have insight or experience to share on this?

                        Thanks!

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                        • #13
                          I looked at Google Tasks as an alternative to Toodledo (because Tasks appeared on my Android phone).

                          My main issue was that I could only set context by creating another list and it was clunky to switch between lists/contexts or get an overview.

                          If there was a way to easily tag or categorise tasks (and list based on tags), it would serve my basic requirements.

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                          • #14
                            Google Tasks

                            I understand what you're saying about Google tasks not being quite robust enough. Have you found another solution - web or app based?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I use Toodledo on web, syncing to Pocket Informant on Android. Only use context, stauts and sometimes end date fields and turned the rest off.

                              I am experimenting with subtasks on a Toodledo trial at the moment but think I will probably just stay 'vanilla'.

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