How to Create a Task from an Email in Gmail

Add to your to-do list and make the emails associated with the task easy-to-find

Screenshot of Gmail with an email selected and the More menu expanded to show "Add to Tasks."
Screenshot, Gmail.

Imagine if you could manage the tasks that come in through your Gmail box, have your task list always visible, keep your inbox clear of clutter that you might need later but don't need right now, keep notes on all your tasks, and complete everything on time. Wouldn't that be the best picture of productivity that you could image?

Here's the thing: That's not a fictional situation. It's completely attainable using Gmail and Gmail Tasks. It's much easier than you think to create and manage tasks in Gmail and link them to relevant emails. It all starts with the email you want to turn into a task. 

Create a Task from an Email in Gmail

To create a new to-do item and link it to an email message in Gmail:

  1. Open the desired email or select it in the message list.

  2. Click More and then choose Add to Tasks. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut (if you have keyboard shortcuts enabled) Shift+T. The Task pane opens with your newly added task highlighted in yellow at the top of your list.

  3. To edit the default Task name, click the task and then delete the existing text to replace it with your own.

  4. Now you can move the task or make it a subtask of another task. Sub-tasks also let you link a single task to multiple messages.

Attaching an email to a task does not remove it from your Inbox or prevent you from archiving, deleting, or moving the message. It will remain attached to your task until you remove the message, but you're free to handle it outside of Tasks as you normally would.

 

To open the message related to a to-do item in Gmail Tasks:

  • Click Related email in the title of the task on the task list.

To remove an email association from a to-do item in Gmail Tasks:

  1. Click the > in the right corner of the task title to open the Task Details. Alternatively, you can click anywhere in the task title and use the keyboard shortcut Shift+Enter

  2. Locate the email icon below the Notes box in the Task Details.

  3. Click the X next to Related email. This removes the email from the task, but it does not change it's located in Gmail. If you have archived the message, it will remain in the archive folder.