Tasks: Michael's list  of awesome Tasks tips
Tasks: The to-do list from Google that you have been waiting for
On December 8, 2008, Google announced a new offering from its experimental Labs playground called Tasks. Tasks is a to-do list that you can leave open in Gmail so you always have a place to jot things down (you can finally stop storing things in Gmail drafts!). Unlike most Web 2.0 to-do lists, Tasks behaves like a notepad, making it possible to just type instead of having to click all over the place to add or edit your to-dos.

Here are some tips on how to get the most out of Tasks:

Screenshot of Gmail on an iPhone. If Tasks is enabled for your Gmail account, a link to the mobile version of Tasks will appear below Contacts.
If you didn't see the announcement on the Gmail blog, you can access Tasks on any mobile device at http://mail.google.com/tasks/. Depending on the type of phone you have, you will get redirected to one of the following: A Google Apps user whose domain is example.com can get to the mobile version of Tasks at mail.google.com/tasks/a/example.com/.

The appropriate link to Tasks should also be available from the mobile version of Gmail (assuming the Tasks lab is already enabled for your Gmail account). However, it is better to create a separate bookmark to Tasks in the unfortunate event that Gmail is unavailable.

If you are a Google Apps user and you get a strange error when you visit Tasks on your phone, contact an administrator for your domain and make sure he or she has enabled the Turn on new features setting, as explained in this help center article. Note: It may take some time for Apps to reflect the new setting for your domain. Some users noted that the XHTML view mentioned in the previous tip (http://mail.google.com/tasks/m) also works well as a printable version of Tasks from a web browser. If you really need to print, give it a shot! Tasks has its own gadget that can be added to iGoogle multiple times, making it possible to view multiple lists on the same page!

Add to Google Add the Tasks gadget to iGoogle

Each instance of the gadget remembers which list it was displaying last, so it may make sense to create an iGoogle tab dedicated to Tasks so you can load the same set of lists each time. If you have an understanding of iGoogle gadgets, you may have figured out that the Tasks gadget is simply a pointer to http://mail.google.com/tasks/ig, which can be opened in its own page in your browser, giving you a full-screen view of Tasks. As explained on LifeHacker, this page also works well as a sidebar in Firefox so your tasks are always visible, even when you're not in Gmail.

iGoogle users who have the Tasks gadget installed can use the Maximize button in the upper-right-hand corner of the gadget so it expands to fill the iGoogle page. The solution for this one is really simple: put the most important things at the top of the list. Mouse down on a task's checkbox (or the "grippy" to its left) to "pick up" a task and drag it anywhere on the list. Watch as lesser important tasks move out of the way as you reprioritize your list!

Keyboard users can also use control-up/down (⌘-up/down on a Mac) to move a task through the list. On the bottom of the "details" page for a task, there is a Move to list dropdown that lets you choose which list you would like to move the task to. You can access the details page by any of the following methods:
  • Clicking on the arrow that appears on the far right when you mouse over a task.
  • Pressing shift+enter when a task has keyboard focus.
  • Choosing Edit details from the Actions menu when a task is selected.
From the details page, you can also add notes to a task or assign it a due date. Many of the blog posts about Tasks have touted the feature that lets you add an email as a task. This is not limited to messages in your inbox! For example, if you want to create a task to make sure someone responds to an email you have sent, select the email in Sent Mail and use More actions -> Add to Tasks, just like you would with any other message. Similarly, if you have a task that is based around a chat conversation, you can go to Chats, find the conversation, and create a task from that in the same way. Unfortunately, sometimes Gmail goes down. When that happens, the whole Web is a-twitter (pun intended), but that doesn't mean that Tasks is unavailable! If you already have the iGoogle gadget installed, you will still be able to check Tasks from iGoogle. Similarly, if you have Tasks bookmarked on your mobile phone, you can get to it from there, too.

Don't have Tasks in Gmail yet?

Well what are you waiting for? You can follow these instructions to enable Tasks in Gmail. (Sorry, I couldn't find instructions that included screenshots.)

More information about Tasks: