Gmail Labs’ New Task Manager Turns Email Into To-Dos

Gmail Labs’ New Task Manager Turns Email Into To-Dos
For years now, the huge obvious missing hole in Google’s online suite of applications is a to-do list maker, but not any more: Today Gmail Labs adds a Tasks module to your email account. The killer feature? You can add a Gmail message to your task list in one click or keystroke. To get started, enable Tasks in the Gmail Labs section of your Settings area, and a Tasks link will appear below your Contacts link. Click on that to make a Task list appear on the bottom right of your screen (like chat), and there you can create multiple lists and switch between them, indent items, and mark them as done. To turn an email into a task, from the More Actions drop-down, choose “Add to Tasks.” There are also copious keyboard shortcuts.

The Googlers explain:

1. Manage your email workflow better by converting emails into tasks: “More Actions > Add to Tasks”

2. ENTER creates a new task, TAB and SHIFT-TAB indent and un-indent, CTRL-UP and CTRL-DOWN let you reorder from the keyboard, and SHIFT-ENTER toggles back and forth between the detailed view for a task and the main view

3. After turning Tasks on, turn on Keyboard shortcuts in “Settings > General” and then use “SHIFT-T” to create tasks from your emails – even faster than using the More Actions menu

Pretty huge news for GTD’ers who love Gmail. Is Labs’ Task manager looking good enough to lure you away from your current online to-do manager? Let us know what you think in the comments.


  • If you read the US comments the same things keep on popping up. No Calender integrations and it is a pop up box and not integrated in the page. Here’s another. It doesn’t load itself up automatically either you have to hit the tasks link under contacts. I have the RTM loading up automatically underneath there, nice interface and you can put a nice button in the task bar so you can enter the RTM item you want without having to load up a web page to enter a task. If the integration into calendar with the SMS reminder thing that Gcal can do, I would forgive the faults and completely switch over without a second glance. Hope it gets developed a little further.

  • Why is it attached to GMail?? Mail is only one way that tasks come in, and it just feels all wrong to go to my email to get to my tasks.. they should be in the calendar where they belong!!

    That and I still can’t bring myself to use GMail fulltime..

  • We use Dooster as well. Have had it for about two months and it enables synchronisation between tasks and emails which happens on its own because I think we do everything through Dooster. The customer service is good.

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