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Why are Google Calendar and Google Tasks the only task apps you need?

In early 2018, Google migrated all users to its latest version of Google Calendar. Google Tasks is now more integrated with Google Calendar. This makes for a powerful combination that could replace any other to-do app you might use.

One of the most annoying things about using an external to-do app if you're a Google Calendar user is keeping your calendar in sync with your to-do app. There are ways to sync many of the most popular apps out there, but none are very convenient.

Instead: Why not keep your to-do list and calendar in one well-organized place?

Google task display next to Google Calendar

If you haven't customized Google Calendar, the default view looks pretty simple (if not a bit boring).

This boring facade is deceptive. Enabling Google Tasks adds a degree of functionality that you might not expect.

Google Tasks used to be one of the worst apps to do online. To integrate more useful features, you had to install a browser plugin like GTasks. But the latest version of Google Tasks. How Google's new tasks help you manage your to-do list. How Google's new tasks help you manage your to-do list. Google Tasks have a new look. It's so easy to organize your tasks in your Gmail inbox. Read More

It's only when you use it in conjunction with Google Calendar that it becomes clear that it could be the last to-do app you'll ever need.

You can open Google Tasks by clicking its icon on the right side of Google Calendar.

This docks with Google Tasks on the Google Calendar side.

Once this is enabled, you're ready to start building your various to-do lists.

But before you get to that, you need to enable the Google Tasks integration with Google Calendar.

You do this in the navigation menu on the left side of Google Calendar. Click the checkbox to enable Tasks inside the calendar.

Now that everything is enabled, it's time to set up and organize your tasks.

If you use any other to-do apps like Todoist or RememberTheMilk, I recommend that you follow the process below to transfer those to-dos.

By using the following techniques, Google Tasks and Google Calendar can do everything those apps can do, and more.

Creating your Google to-do lists

Much of the power of this combination comes from how you organize your tasks within Google Tasks.

If you haven't read how to combine goals apps with to-do apps Reach your goals by combining a goals app and a to-do app Reach your goals by combining a goals app and a to-do app A goals app and -the app can give you powerful results when you combine them to fulfill your big dreams. Read More It will help you create and organize your Google task lists.

Gather your lists of goals you want to accomplish and your list of associated tasks to accomplish them. Then create a unique list for each of those high-level goals.

Within these lists is where the sub-goals are created.

Sub-goals are added as regular tasks. You will add their individual subtasks within them.

Click on the sub-goal and then list all the steps you need to take to achieve it.

With Google Tasks, this is easy. press the edit icon to open the sub-goal. Just type each one and press Enter to type the next.

Finally, give each of these subtasks realistic due dates.

Remember that you will be uploading all of your goals and tasks to Google Calendar. Therefore, keeping everything you plan to accomplish in mind will ensure realistic due dates.

You'll notice that you can't add a due date to subtasks when you first create them. You need to go back to the main list level and add them there. Add the expiration date here by clicking the edit icon for that task.

Add the expiration date on this page.

When you click Add date , it will give you a popup calendar to choose the date.

An important thing to consider when adding dates is that you should use the “start” date that you want to start working on the task. This is where all the other to-dos out there fail.

This is the first big benefit of using this approach over other to-do apps. Most apps will put your task on the priority task list based on when it's due.

The integration of Google Tasks with Google Calendar solves this problem.

Using Google Tasks within Google Calendar

When you enabled Tasks in the left navigation menu, it adds all task due dates to the calendar.

You'll see your tasks listed at the top of each due day.

This visual display is also useful for revealing if you have overloaded on any particular day during the week.

At the beginning of each week, preferably Sunday, you can switch tasks to even out the weekly workload.

To do this, click on any of the task items at the top of the calendar. Then click the edit icon and change the expiration date.

This is the second benefit over other to-do apps. Most to-do apps don't provide a visual calendar within the app, making it hard to plan your workload. It's also not that easy to switch tasks on the fly based on your visual workload.

After changing the due date, the task automatically moves to the new date on the calendar.

Each morning, you can use your Google Tasks work layout to block out times during the day when you plan to work on them.

You could do this on Sunday for the whole week. But sticking to your day plan in the morning gives you more flexibility. That way, if something unexpected happens and you need to switch tasks to another day, you don't have to rework your entire calendar because of it.

Whichever frequency you choose, this regular review follows the important rule of 80/20 time management.

This is the third major benefit over other to-do apps. With most apps, your daily to-do list is automatically set based on due dates.

With this visual approach, you'll quickly see if you really have enough hours in the day to complete the list.

More task management tips from Google

This visual approach to task management may take some getting used to, especially if you're used to the old-fashioned to-do list-based approach to tasks.

Some more tips:

  • Include the final due date in the task note so you know how far you can push tasks
  • Consider Using Task Grouping How to Group Tasks with Google Calendar to Increase Focus and Productivity How to Group Tasks with Google Calendar to Increase Focus and Productivity Multitasking doesn't work. We'll show you how to beat switching costs by bundling several similar tasks together. This will skyrocket your focus and productivity. Read More
  • Try to maintain a healthy weekly balance between tasks for short-term goals and long-term goals
  • For recurring tasks (such as training), instead of completing the task, reschedule

Using Google Tasks and Google Calendar in this way keeps the most important tasks in front of you every day.

If you're looking for more ideas to stay productive, you can dig even deeper with more ways to meet your time management goals. 9 Surefire Ways to Follow Through on Your Time Management Goals. 9 Surefire Ways to Follow Through on Your Time Management Goals. You want to meet your time management goals, but can't seem to meet them. These tips and tools will help you take them more seriously. Read more . Having a great task planning strategy is just the first step. There's a lot more to making sure you're focusing on the things that matter most at the right time.