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How to use Google Tasks in Gmail on your desktop

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Google’s Tasks app functions like a digital to-do list. While there are dedicated Android and iOS apps for Tasks, it’s also integrated right into the inbox view when you’re using Gmail on a desktop. So it can be a handy way of keeping track of items while you go through your email in case you need to remember to reply to an email later or need to be able to access a message quickly.

How to use Tasks with Gmail:

  • You should see a panel on the right side of Gmail’s main page with icons for Tasks, Calendar, or other Google apps. If you don’t see it, look at the bottom right corner of the screen for a small arrow, which is used to open or hide the side panel.
  • To open Tasks, look in that side panel for its icon: a blue button with a white line and a yellow dot in it. (By default, it’s below the Calendar and Keep buttons.)
  • Tasks will open up in a sidebar on the right-hand side. If this is your first time using Tasks, click “Get started.”
  • Click “Add a task” to create a task.

Click “Add a task” to create a new task.

Click “Add a task” to create a new task.

  • Enter the name for your task where it says “Title.” You can also enter any details about the task and set a date and / or a time. The symbol to the right of date / time lets you create a repeating task.
  • To edit or add more details for a task, simply click on that task, its details, or its date.
  • You can also create a separate list to help categorize your tasks. Lists are handy for organizing your tasks into categories like “Work,” “Family,” etc. To change the list, or create a new list, just click on the list name on top of the Tasks panel (when you first start, it will probably say “My Tasks”) and click on another list name, or on “Create new list.”
  • If you want to either delete a task or add a subtask, click on the three dots on the right of the task name. You can also change the list you’ve assigned to that particular task or create a new list here as well.
  • For more general tweaks — to change the sort order, for example — click on the three dots to the right of “Add a task.”

Edit a task by just clicking on it.

Edit a task by just clicking on it.

  • You can drag and drop tasks to change their order.
  • To save an email as a task, just drag the email into the Tasks sidebar.

You can drag and drop an email into the Tasks sidebar to add it as a task.

You can drag and drop an email into the Tasks sidebar to add it as a task.

  • To mark a task as complete, click on the circle to the left of the task.

To mark a task as complete, click on the circle to the left of the task

To mark a task as complete, click on the circle to the left of the task.

  • To view your completed tasks, click on “Completed” at the bottom of the sidebar.

Completed tasks are shown in the bottom of the sidebar.

Completed tasks are shown in the bottom of the sidebar.

The tasks you add in through this sidebar will be synced with the mobile apps, and you’ll also see them if you open up Tasks through another app, like Drive or Calendar.

Update July 29th, 2021, 4:20PM ET: This article was originally published on July 7th, 2020, and it has been updated to allow for changes in the features and interface of Google Tasks.

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