Although it lacks features that die-hard GTDers typically use, the new Google Task app turns Google Calendar and Gmail into a high powered way of keeping track of the things you need to do. The power of this new app lies in the method in which you use it, and not necessarily in its features. This article is a little walkthrough in the way I’ve used it to increase productivity at home and in the workplace.
The Task List is your Inbox
One of the tenets of Getting Things Done™ is that all the information you receive throughout the day should immediately be put in your inbox (In other words, write it down immediately). Well, although Google Tasks is missing contexts and other GTD related functions, it is still a perfect inbox. What I do is simple, I have a planner that I carry with me at all times in which I write down all the tasks that come to mind, or that are given to me throughout the day. At the end of the day, I transfer all of those tasks to Google tasks (weeding out the ones that I either can’t do, or don’t need to do) and then start processing them by giving them specific times in which I will complete them. As I process them, I check them off the list. If I don’t process them all, I leave them there for later – since I will eventually process them at some point in time. If I need to make the task into a project, I just indent the sub-tasks under the main task and continue processing.
Now that I have all or most of my tasks on my calendar, I do them when I planned on doing them. If I can’t get to them, I simply move them to another date and time. It’s that easy.
If you still refuse to use Google Tasks because there are no contexts, that can be easily solved by making multiple calendars. Like I said, it is a powerful app.
The Calendar is not Only for Events
Most people see calendars as a tool that is used strictly for events. However, if you process your task list and give yourself specific times in which you will complete a task, then you are more likely to meet that goal. Plus, it allows you to see how much time you have available for a task before you need to move on to something else.
Google is Everywhere
Of course, the real reason why Google Tasks is so powerful is because Google apps are able to sync with just about any device. I sync all of my calendars on my iPhone, but when I am at work I am able to use the main Google Calendar site and still stay on top of my tasks. Not only that, it allows me to do the following:
- See what tasks my co-workers or friends are doing (If you share calendars).
- My family can put important dates on their calendar and I can view or modify it.
- Integrated Google Maps let’s me know exactly where a task or event is.
- Just like any other task service that is out there, you can have GCal alert you either via email or SMS.
While it may not be 100% GTD compliant, if you use your imagination and be a little flexible, you make GCal into an extremely powerful productivity tool.
When you join the Productive Catholic community, you will receive exclusive tips and tricks to living well and and fruitfully. You'll get productivity, business, and life tips that will help you to take your faith to the next level!
You can unsubscribe at any time! (we hate spam)