Google Tasks Explained

Google Tasks

 Daniel Nations

Google Tasks is a free online service that helps manage your to-do lists. You can access Google Tasks via your Google account.

Why Would You Want Google Tasks?

Managing paper notes is tried-and-true, but many of us feel it's time to get rid of that magnetic grocery list stuck to the refrigerator and boot those sticky notes that are littering the desk. Google Tasks is an all-in-one list maker and task organizer. And if you use any of Google's products like Gmail or Google Calendar, you already have access to it.

Google is known for making solid "no-thrills" products that strip away all of the bells and features to give you a simplified easy-to-use application. And this describes Google Tasks perfectly. It may not compete with apps like the Todoist or Wunderlist in terms of features, but if you mainly want an app to keep track of shopping lists or to track items on your task list, it's perfect. And best of all, it is free.

The best part is these are features that exist "in the cloud," which is a fancy way of saying they are stored on Google's computers and not your own. You can access your grocery list or tasks from your desktop PC, your laptop, your tablet or your smartphone and it's the very same list. This means you can create the grocery list on your laptop at home and view it on your smartphone while you are in the store.

What Exactly is Google Tasks?

Think of Google Tasks as a piece of paper that allows you to write down items or tasks and then cross them out when they are done. Only instead of cluttering up your desk, the sheet of paper is stored alongside your email. Presto! No clutter. And Google Tasks allows you to create multiple lists, so you can have one for the grocery store, one of the hardware store, a list of tasks that need to be done before you start that bathroom remodel, etc.

And if that is all it did, Google Tasks would be a useful feature. But Google Tasks also works alongside Google Calendar, so those tasks you created for the bathroom remodel can have actual due dates.

How to Access Google Tasks

Google Tasks is embedded in Gmail and Google Calendar, so you can access it through your web browser. And if you use Google Chrome, you can download a Google Tasks extension that will give you access from any web page.

  • You can open Google Tasks on a PC through the Gmail website. Simply click on the Gmail drop-down on the upper left corner of the screen just above the Compose button. Next, click on Tasks to open up Google Tasks in a small window on the lower right side of the screen.
  • To view your tasks in Google Calendar, you may first need to switch from Reminders view to Tasks view. Click on My Calendars in the left-side menu and hover your mouse cursor over Reminders until a down arrow is revealed. After you click on this down arrow, a new window with Switch to Tasks at the top will appear. Once you switch to Tasks view, the tasks you have assigned due dates will appear on the Calendar.
  • If you want Google Tasks available at all times, you can download the Google Tasks extension for Chrome. Navigate to the Chrome store by clicking Apps in the far left side of the toolbar and choose Web Store. Search for Google Tasks and click the Add To Chrome button next to the Google Tasks (by Google) extension. To access Google Tasks after installing the extension, simply click the green checkmark at the far upper-right corner of the Chrome screen.
  • If you have a Samsung Galaxy S, Motorola Moto Z, Google Pixel or similar Android smartphone or tablet, you can download To-Do List for Google Tasks from the Google Play store. This third-party app is the easiest way to use Google Tasks on your Android device.
  • If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can access Google Tasks through the Gmail website in the Safari browser. Simply tap the More link at the top of the screen and choose Tasks. If you find Google Tasks very useful, you can also buy gTasks Pro from the App Store to get a better interface.
  • You can also access Google Tasks on your iPhone, iPad or Android device directly in your web browser by navigating to This is a great way of getting quick access to Tasks on your smartphone or tablet.