Getting the Most out of Google Tasks

Sep 6, 2013

More and more teachers are getting into Google, and more and more districts are converting from Outlook to Google. So, let’s talk for a moment about Google Tasks.

I’m not going to lie, Tasks is not my fave Google feature, and I think it actually gets a little buried in Google’s overall interface. In case you’re wondering, here’s where to find Tasks:

Recently, Google has added some features make me more excited to recommend it as a tool for your Upcoming To-Do List.

Refresher: An Upcoming To-Do List is a long-term list of to-do’s, categorized and organized in SOME logical fashion. Our favorite way to organize this list is by start month—allowing you to strategically procrastinate. Yeah, that’s right. Procrastination is okay—as long as it’s intentional.

Strategic procrastination really comes in handy at the start of the school year, when you’re getting lots of inspiration from trainings and PDs but know you won’t be able to build that conferencing binder or peer tutorial system of your dreams until after you’ve completed the basics of back-to-school setup.

Let’s say that in September, you realize you’ll want to create a homework packet for the December holidays (you evil teacher, you!). It doesn’t make sense to do it now, but you also don’t want to forget and be standing over the copier at 7 PM on December 22nd while everyone else is at Happy Hour.

But what you can do is pop the task into your November Upcoming To-Do List. It doesn’t have a specific deadline yet, so we don’t put it on your Comprehensive Calendar.

Here are two options for how Google Tasks can help:

  • Create a Task in Google for each month. In the “Notes” section of the Task, list all of your November undated To-Do’s.

The big advantage here is that you can view your To-Do’s as you wish, one month at a time. The downside is it is pain to move them around per month; it involves a lot of cutting and pasting.

  • Get on the Indented Tasks train. Google now also allows you to nest your Tasks. Returning to our example of wanting to prep a homework packet for December, you would:
    • Enter a Task called “November”
    • Underneath, indent another Task called “Create December holiday packets.”
    • Keep going with “Buy holiday gifts,” “Re-organize classroom library,” and so on.

Check out how Jasmin did this for September, noting that sometime that month, she needed to create a Referrals Report.

Either way works well. Thanks, Google Tasks, for these great updates!

Now, when you create your version of the Weekly Worksheet, you can just review your three-month’s worth of Upcoming To-Do Lists on Google and decide what gets let out of the holding pen and put onto the Weekly Worksheet!

Discussion Question: Anyone else digging on Google Tasks?  What works? What doesn’t?