How to Create and Manage Your Tasks in Gmail

Easily keep track of your to-do list

Screenshot of Task menu item and Tasks List in Gmail
Screenshot, Gmail.

Do you have Gmail open all day long? Did you know that Gmail includes a powerful task manager that you can use to keep up with your tasks or to create simple lists. You can also link to-do items to relevant emails so you no longer have to search for that email that details everything you need to know to complete a task.

How to Create Tasks in Gmail

By default, the task list in Gmail is hidden away behind a menu, but you also have the option to have it open, in the bottom right corner of your Gmail screen, or you can minimize it down to the right corner if it's in the way.

To open Gmail tasks:

  1. Click the downward arrow in the upper left corner, next to Gmail.
  2. Select Tasks​ from the menu that slides down.
  3. Your Tasks list opens in the bottom right corner of your screen.

To create a new task:

  1. Click in an empty area in the Tasks List and start typing.
  2. Press the Enter key on the keyboard to add task.
  3. Your cursor automatically enters a new Task item where you can type the next item on your list. When you press Enter again, the new task is added and your cursor is moved to the next list item.
  4. Repeat until you've completed entering your tasks list. 

You can also create a task linked to an email and make tasks sub-tasks (or dependents) of other tasks. You can also set up multiple tasks lists to organize your activities even more granularly.

How to Manage Tasks in Gmail

To add a due date or notes to a task:

  1. After you create a task, click the > at the end of the task line to open the Task Details.
    1. Note: You can do this before you move to the next task line, or you can come back to it and hover your mouse over the task to see the >.
  2. In Task Details, select the Due Date and type any notes.
  3. When you're finished, click Back to list to return to your task list.

To complete a task:

  1. Click the checkbox to the left of the task.
  2. The task is marked as complete and a line strikes through it to indicate it's complete.
  3. To clear completed tasks from your list (without deleting them), click Actions at the bottom, left of the task list.
  4. Then select Clear completed tasks. Completed tasks are removed from your list, but not deleted.
    1. Note: You can see your completed tasks list in the same Actions menu. Open the menu and select View completed tasks.

To delete a task:

  1. To remove a task from your Tasks List completely, click the task you want to delete. 
  2. Then click the trashcan icon (Delete task).
    1. Note: Don't worry. If you accidentally delete a task, you can always get it back. When you delete an item, a link appears at the bottom of the Tasks List to View recently deleted items. Click that link to see a list of deleted tasks. Find the task you didn't mean to delete and click the curved arrow (Undelete task) next to it to return the task to its previous list.