How to Use Tasks and Reminders in Google Calendar
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How to Use Tasks and Reminders in Google Calendar

(digital whooshing) – [Scott] reminders and
tasks in Google Calendar. what’s the difference and what
should you be using them for? Find out in today’s video. Hello, everyone, Scott
Friesen here at Simpletivity, helping you to get more
done and enjoy less stress. And, up until recently, you had to make a hard choice
between reminders and tasks. Yes, for the longest
time you had to choose, do you want to use reminders
on your Google Calendar or do you want to use
tasks, but unfortunately Google Calendar didn’t
allow you to use both. Well now you can. You can have both reminders
and tasks on your calendar and I’m gonna show you the
difference between the two. But let’s actually add
Events into the mix here just so we are clear on the
differences between these three. So in my example calendar
here I’ve got one event, it’s shaded here in blue, “lunch with Ted.” So I’m gonna receive a reminder
if I have that enabled, here you can see it’s set
for thirty minutes before. Of course, if I select the edit
button I can add a location. Here I got actually an add
on added to my calendar where I can make it a zoom meeting or if you are using some other type of
video conferencing tool. A fair amount of option
within a calendar event, you can add guests of
course to a calendar event. But let’s not spend too much time here, right an event is something
where in most cases you have to be at a physical location or maybe it’s a phone
call, it’s a meeting, it’s some actual event of
activity that you’re engaged with. Now you’ll notice on the previous day I actually have a reminder here, a reminder to, if I
click on it to expand it “Pick up Todd from school”. Maybe there’s an early
dismissal and I need to pick up this child at 1 pm. So what’s the difference from
a reminder than an event? Well, this might not necessarily
have to do with a physical location, maybe I just want to
remind myself to call someone or I wanna remind myself to
send an email somewhere else. Now it’s going to remind
me at a specific time, this one is assigned to 1
pm and I can check it off, so when I complete this task,
I can say “Mark as done” and what’s interesting here
it’s actually put it up here in the Monday you’re probably wondering why has it done that? Well today happens to be Monday so although this was
scheduled for Wednesday and I said I had completed it, that’s where it’s put
it, here in that Monday just to track it if I want to. Now I can go back and
say “Mark as not done” but you see what has happened
there and I want to show this in particular you can see
that it adds it here back to the Monday where it
was last, right we know that it was originally
scheduled for the Wednesday so something to keep in mind
is if you do check it off, it’s going to go and keep track
of it in the particular date that you checked it off
when you checked it off. But if you undo it, it’s not
going to bring it back here or if it was an all day reminder, it’s going to bring it
back where it was last. So another thing that
you’re going to notice here and let’s look at Monday
again as an example, is that I have three all day reminders and then I have two
specific reminders at 8 a.m. One of the things that I don’t
appreciate about reminders and Google Keep is that they
group them all together. If I want to see what
these three reminders are, I need to click on it and now I can see a breakout of those three
reminders, I can tick them off one at a time, or delete or edit them but I don’t actually have
a way to auto expand them at least not in this view. Now if I do change it to, I
believe it’s the Daily view, no it’s still gonna be
there, it’s still going to be all of those grouped
together in that fashion. So that’s one of the things
I don’t like about reminders, that it continues to group them. Here at 8 am I’ve got to do
what, I’ve got to go click on it and now I can find out
what is exactly associated with that time. But you will notice that
tasks behave differently. Here I havea couple of tasks
on the 16th on the Tuesday and although I have multiple tasks, it will not group them together, it’ll actually treat
them as separate items. Now tasks cannot be
placed at a specific time so that’s one of the biggest
difference between reminders. reminders can be either all
day or at a specific time, but tasks will not have a
time associated with that. It’ll have a date associated with it, but not a specific time, if I
wanna change that to the 17th I can add a description, I
can add a little more detail to this but it’s always gonna appear at the top of the calendar,
now for those of you who may have watched some
of my previous videos, here on Simpletivity you
will know that I recommend to a number of my clients to keep their to do list
within their calendar because they’re spending so much time
in their calendar anyhow, this also keeps your
tasks in the forefront. They never go hidden no
matter where I go or scroll as a part of my day,
I’m always going to see those tasks upfront and
of course it’s pretty easy to just drag them to a different date or to drag them back as well. Now you will also notice
that you can view your tasks in a few additional ways. On the right hand side,
in the recently redesigned Google Calendar, we have a tasks widget and if I open that up, you
can see I have these tasks, along with some other tasks
that I have here assigned. The ones down below, here’s a blank one lets get rid of that one. We don’t need the blank test one there. The ones down below you’ll see
don’t have a date assigned. So you can have a number of tasks which are not assigned
to a particular date but the ones above you can see, are the ones we see in
the calendar to the left. They are assigned to a particular date. If I go over here, let’s
check this “email Steve” and I say Mark complete, it is
going to cross it off up here so I can see it on the
date, but you will also know if I expand the completed section it was also crossed it
off down below as well. Sorry this wasn’t the Steve
one this was the Susan one, just for clarification,
this was the Susan email so it’s crossed off that
task below there as well. So you might like to view or
to use this little task window because it can be very helpful
to see all of your tasks in the same place and of course
we don’t always have tasks which are assigned to a
particular date or time. So I’d love to hear from you next, How are you using reminders and/or tasks within Google Calendar? Do you have a preference and
what are some of the rules that you use when selecting the
differences between these three? Be sure to let me know
and share with others in the comments down below. Thank you so much for
watching today’s video. I hope you subscribe
right here to the channel. Give this video a thumbs up
and I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Remember being productive
does not need to be difficult, in fact it’s very simple

95 thoughts on “How to Use Tasks and Reminders in Google Calendar

  1. Do you know of a way to show tasks in the mobile calendar version? I see reminders is available in mobile but I have to use the separate tasks app to see the tasks on mobile.

  2. actually I am using neither tasks nor reminders. I never did, because in the android app for google calendar there are nothing of those available so I would be missing part of my planner when I am on the go. But I dont miss anything. I add my tasks in my daily schedule as if they were appointments and it works pretty well this way. To Dos for later, which I cant schedule at all at the moment, I write down on a google keep list.

  3. Thanks for the video, always enjoy them. I liked reminders because you could set them as recurring, where you cannot with tasks. I never cared for the collapsing of the reminders though. Tasks is not great, but because they stack at the top of the calendar, along with a side panel for managing, I'm using them more. I no longer use Reminders but use Events instead. If it is a task oriented event (like take out the garbage) I change the color of the event to the same color as the tasks so visually they look like a task and these can be setup recurring. "True" Calendar appointments which require me to be somewhere at a specific date/time are color coded as the default calendar color. If Google could add recurring to the Tasks application, that would be very helpful (along with labels and and Android widget) Thanks again.

  4. what's also really annoying about the reminder grouping thing is that once they're grouped u can't drag and move them around anymore, which i like to do in the mobile app as well as on the desktop for easy rescheduling.
    an issue i have with tasks in the calendar view is that they're just sorted alphabetically. i can reorder them in the side panel (or the mobile tasks app) but that doesn't change anything in the calendar view. but i guess since tasks don't show up in the mobile calendar app anyway, it's not really a big deal. but the fact that they don't show up in the mobile google calendar app is quite an issue for me actually. i really want to be able to look at one app (google calendar) and see everything i have planned for a specific day, so i can make an appointment with someone, and don't have to also check my task app as well.
    i kinda feel google should get rid of reminders induvidually and merge them with tasks somehow… tho of course if u just want to be reminded to not do a certain thing that would not really classify as a task i guess lol… hmm
    anyhow, for repeating tasks i still have to keep using reminders for now which is kinda confusing :/

  5. I use tasks as Ultimate to do list you described in trello video..

    Reminders for time specific tasks like call, message etc..

    Thanks for your ideas. I am very much relaxed while handling difficult projects..

  6. The concept is a good one for Reminders and Tasks but without mobile integration, they are kinda useless since I'm not at a desktop for large parts of my day. If I have to get something done, I set it as an event using categories, "@ Work to Do" for example.

  7. I can't visualize the TASKS on my Google Calendar Widget (I have a One Plus 6). Is it a bug or I am missing something?

  8. As a student I use reminders for deadlines as these are time sensitive, I use tasks for my planning. So if I have an assignment I will have it as a task on the day I am planning to work on it (possibly broken down into subtasks for bigger assignments) and I will have the actual deadline as a reminder.

  9. I use reminders when I'm trying to build a habit, ie log my calories, drink more water, read before bed. Tasks are where I set my goals and subgoals.

    Google tasks is the greatest goal setting tool I've ever used. My goal setting goes like this:

    1. Set a goal
    2. Write it on paper
    3. Make a list of action items
    4. Type the goal and action items into Google tasks

    I make sure that I schedule at least one task everyday to guarantee I am working my top goals daily.

  10. Another difference : you can add a reminder with google assistant (remind me to do this stuff on this date and time), but unfortunately, there’s no way to do so with tasks. I miss it a lot since I use tasks as a todo lists :shopping list, check list before going on a trip. And no integration neither with IFTTT to make it possible.

  11. Another feature I like about the reminder option (at least for the all day reminders), is that if it doesn't get marked as done, it gets carried over to the next day automatically. I find this extremely handy. I don't have to remember to copy or move items that didn't get completed but the next day, the reminder is there for me!

  12. Yeah screw using tasks in any calendar. I just use onenote. I have been an IT admin and saw enough calendar items just disappear or become corrupt.

  13. Sorry, but without explaining the target situations for these 3 alternatives, this video is a waste of time instead of adding to my productivity.

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    She heard enough and was hurt…she walked away with tears in her eyes

    The boy grabber her arm

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    Boy: whispers please… stay with me…
    Girl: i will

    Tonight at midnight, your true love will realise they love you something good will happen to you between 1-4pm tomorrow it could be anywhere. Get ready for the shock of your life. If you dont post this to five other videos… you will have bad luck in relationships for the nexy ten years

  15. I wanted to use tasks. But i didn't get notifications, what was really annoying… I also would like to see my tasks on my phone calendar…

  16. You cannot get notifications for tasks is annoying but I guess I just need to use reminders. I feel that tasks and reminders are redundant.

  17. I have recently started incorporating this into my workflow. I didn't realize until today that tasks integrates with GCalendar. The big drawbacks for me for tasks are: 1) you can't have recurring tasks (even though you can have recurring reminders). 2) you can't share a task list (would be a great simple project manager if it did that). 3) You can't duplicate a task list for reusing (either in lieu for recurring tasks or as a project manager for recurring events or projects).

  18. i usually use the tasks to make "what things to do/to be done" in larger timeframe (e.g weekly or monthly). and then i'll generate "today todo list" with specific time (hourly) with reminder feature

  19. Just thought of a simple system here:
    Events – things that will happen, no matter what you do, even if you don't go to the place
    Tasks – things that you must do to happen
    Reminders – like some kind of note that was important that day, for future reference, instead of using it for planning ahead.

  20. Hello, Thanks for the video. I'm still confused about the difference other than their location on the calendar. They still seem very much the same. Also there are two other dimensions you have to cover too now. 😀 Can you add Tasks using voice? Can you view them on the Smart Display? Are there sub tasks? Thanks!

  21. Before the change, I could USE both … I just couldn't SEE both at the same time. I had to toggle between the two. Any clue when they might start allowing repeating tasks? I can't tell you how many times I've contacted them to make that request. They're just not listening!

  22. I wish tasks were implemented like goals (goals should be in the desktop as well). So if you have a task and know how long it would take and when it is due, your calendar can set aside a block of time for you to fulfill your task and adjust if necessary.

  23. The problem is that Tasks don’t sync to the google calendar on iPhone/iPad. This makes it a deal breaker for me as I use my laptop at the office but my iPhone or iPad when I’m out in the field. I’m a real estate broker who also runs an office so I need seamless syncing between all my devices. Any thoughts on which app is best for that? I am aware of the google task app but using two separate apps to track tasks, events and reminders is silly. It all needs to be on one screen. Help!

  24. In Google Calendar, I use the Tasks and Reminders almost for everything. Because Tasks does not have a reminder feature within Tasks, I make my task and then I also set a reminder as well. Now I use both the Tasks and Reminders everyday and I because I got used to it, I'm loving both Tasks and Reminders.

  25. Great video again. I am a GSuite and Google Home user. I use Google Calendar for my Events but am frustrated that Google Home can't access my Events. It can, however, access Reminders so for that reason I use Reminders over Tasks. I prefer Tasks for the reasons you give in your video, and I love the Tasks app on my phone, but it's annoying Google Home can't access Tasks. In fact, neither can Google Calendar on my Google Pixel phone which is just weird. So for now, Reminders suits me better. I can access Reminders on my phone and laptop calendars, and access them from Google Home too. I've even considered using Reminders to replace Events so I can access them via Google Home, but the grouping issue you mention makes that unrealistic. Crazy thing is, Alexa can access Events from GSuite Calendar, something Google Home can't. I think Google needs to simplify things. Merge Reminders and Tasks into one app, and make them accessible on phone and laptop Calendars alike, and via Google Home.

  26. Great video, but what a mess ! Why can't google make a "universal task" which can be a reminder or an event, just depending on what fields you choose to fill-in ?

  27. One day I checked done a task by mistake on my mobile then yesterday, I tried to do that on a web version and figured out that these are calendars, my brain just ignored the task icon on the vertical side panel off frustration haha
    Question: How do you add that zoom meeting on your events?

  28. What bothers me with Google Calendar is when you put the view on 'week' it shows just the current day and the next one and more of the previous days, there is no option to scrawl forward (horizontally), I find the 4 days view better.
    One more disappointment is that when you add an event from Eventbrite, it appears only on the mobile version of Google Calendar.

  29. So….. tasks are basically "All day reminders" in your calendar… right? I'm confused on why both tools exist together because at some point they do the same….

  30. I use the Tasks to track a few different things. First, I use it with dates to track my volunteer hours. It's helpful for me to be able to click on the widget and see what I did and when.

    Second, I use the tasks to list out my monthly bills. I have calendar in GCal specifically for bill pay. I use the tasks widget to keep a running list of what bills I pay on a regular basis. So, each month when I'm updating my bills, I click open that list, move all the bills from the completed section back to the uncompleted section, and check them off one by one as I get them added to my calendar. This was more compact before the GCal upgrade (I'm not a fan of how big each task is on the list now) but it still works just fine.

    I use the reminders for to-dos as I don't mind clicking on the reminder to see my list. I don't like having a bunch of separate items at the top of my calendar each day. My GCal is full enough as it is.

  31. Nice video. Few things to think about when choosing between Reminders & Tasks that were note mentioned in the video. Reminders that are not completed will go to the next day as an all day reminder. Tasks will remain at its original date, which could easily cause for a missed task. Reminders can be scheduled & seen within the google calendar app. Tasks do not appear in the google calendar app. You will have to manage tasks in a stand alone application, which goes against the suggestion of keeping all to do lists in your calendar. In terms of work flow reminders is much more functional and helpful. I sometimes will paste a google doc link or attach an email in my reminder. I know it will follow me each day as an all day remainder. Easily accessible from both my laptop browser and google calendar app.

  32. My productivity hierarchy:
    1. Goals

    (a) Stretch goals ("The one thing")

    (b) Time-based:

    – long-term ( 3+ mo.)

    – short-term ( < 3 mo. )

    (c) Contextual:
    home, work, social, etc.

    2. Projects

    * big to-do's involving many tasks/sub-tasks.

    3. Tasks & Sub-Tasks

    * actionable to-do's.

    4. Events & Reminders (Date and/or Time specific)

    (a) Actionable type

    (b) Non-actionable type / Reference purposes

  33. Hi there,

    I am just wondering why my 'tasks' and 'reminder' calendars aren't working. They don't show up as a calendar option when I 'create' an event only the other calendars i have previously created.

    I also cant delete them from my calendar menu on the left hand side. When I click on the 3 dots next to 'tasks' or reminder,' there is no 'setting and sharing' option, only "display this only' and a colour palette to choose from.

    Please help!

  34. In "Task" you can create "Lists", is there a way to sort those list? Doesn't appear to be able to sort by alphabetical or rearrange in a manner which I would prefer.

  35. The only reason I don't use Google task is because it doesn't have a widget that I can use to quickly see my tasks right after my home screen

  36. I am a travel agent and somehow Google has added all of my clients travel dates in my calendar but it only says where they’re staying and the dates. It doesn’t say the client’s name and it won’t let me add it. It’s very annoying. Is there a way to remove all of these and stop it from pulling them in?

  37. Not sure if Google is akin to old Microsoft with corporate hustlers hijacking a product and pushing it forward. No real design justification to have Tasks and Reminders separate. We have things to do (i.e. tasks), and sometimes they are important but will be done some day, and we have others that are urgent and need reminders. So a Task product/service that has reminder and priority options. Reminders based on time and location etc. Oh that sounds like Apple Reminders…I'm here because my new notes app (MS OneNote), doesn't have a reminder/alarm feature like Google Keep or Evernote. And Apple Reminders isn't cross platform. So have to revisit Google T

  38. Reading the comments, and reminds me of initial brainstorming of a design meeting. We have a Tasks object, or maybe a Reminders object. No a Task object with a date and time attribute (reminder), and location attribute. How you use that Task object is then up to the user's workflow and requirements.

  39. So to add to my comment. I think we have a TASK object that persists over definite/indefinite time. TASK objects have a Date attributes with Reminder functions. Since TASK objects can persist over indefinite periods, i.e. "Todo someday" a Day view is not necessary. What is preferable is to see a calendar with those TASKs with associated dates (e.g. Google's implementation).

  40. How do I add the task into my Google calendar app on my phone. It is showing on the desktop calendar but not on my phone. Other events are showing but not tasks. There isnt an option either to add tasks (I have android phone)

  41. Great video! I'd LOVE to find a way to have action plans that I can launch, wherein a single task list is duplicated with auto dates applied (ie. 2 days after creation of the task list). Any suggestions?

  42. I want to know how to do this on GOogle CAlendar on my I-Phone. I can't find where I set and create to dos or tasks..anyone?

  43. Thank you so much for this information! Now I can take all of my "to-do" lists that are floating around my house on notebook paper, sticky notes, and scraps and put them all on the Tasks sidebar in my calendar. I'm so excited!

  44. Reminder is for important task/event not to miss. Task is a basic to do list. Event is the event that is relevant to me and it will happen, but I may or may not join.

  45. reminders are something I have to be reminded to so that a certain process can progress; I have to remind myself until a certain date (and time) so that this can proceed; if I finisch my reminder before the final date to it is fine and the reminder is finished

    task and events should be clear

  46. I guess they listened to you, tasks can have a set time now and show up at their time on the calendar like reminders, as well as make them repeating.

  47. Great ideas but unfortunately tasks and reminders don’t show up on the top of IOS calendars like all day events. I started using your other tips to use calendar for to do and discovered this restriction. I like the idea of 1 place for all your work but the reality is that most people use a mobile device with multiple email/calendar accounts (e.g. work). So using the built in android and iOS productivity apps is almost mandatory. Otherwise I’m going against your principle and switching between an app like google calendar and IOS calendar for example and we are moving around a lot so being at a desk computer is challenging. Thank you for your tips though, really good starts! Luis

  48. 2 big reasons I prefer Reminders over Tasks:

    1) While Tasks are visible in the online calendar, they do not show up on the Google Calendar app for iOS, so you miss out on the consolidated view on a mobile device. Reminders DO show up in the Google Calendar app. Using Tasks on an iPhone requires download of a separate app, which is no better than simply using the iOS Calendar + Reminders apps. It is also worth noting that neither Reminders or Tasks appear in the iOS Calendar app.
    2) Can't set up Tasks to repeat! There are a lot of things I need to remember to do on a monthly or quarterly basis, and since they're not daily/weekly things it's easy for me to forget when I'm supposed to do it.

  49. I have an app on my iPhone and iPad called GoTasks that syncs with Google Tasks. I don't know if it is still available, but I'm sure there are similar apps. The beauty of GoTasks is that it allows you to take a lot more control over your tasks. You could add times to tasks long before it appeared on Google Calendar. It also has repeats that you can set up for recurring tasks. I use these with most of my monthly bills and payments. It also gives a little more control over your different task lists. I set up lists for home improvement projects, books to read, shopping lists for various stores, phone calls, etc. Best of all, the app syncs beautifully with Google Calendar/Tasks.

  50. Google should really get their things together. Google tasks has potential but currently it's obviously the worst task manager on the market. And, although it's a Google service, tasks is not support from Google Home whereas reminders are.

    As much as I love Google – but product development is not their strength. I wonder if the developers from Google tasks use the app themselves?! As a consequence I use Todoist as my task manager.

  51. Within my business Google Calendar I have multiple calendars each of my clients. Sometimes I need reminders for client A, but not the rest. For example, after I return from vacation, I need to check in with my HR coaches to see if they have the documents I need. How can I do this without it being in my REMINDERS calendar?

  52. how can i imports reminders from google calendar? (for events i'm importing events usign calendar service ..api v3)

  53. Now you can set a time for a task. I think tasks is the things we want to get done and events are our routines. reminders for me is just quick reminders like take your pills or get out of you chair or call your mother and stuff like that.
    Tasks is not sync with google calendar in mobile phone which is a really big issue for me.

  54. So Google Tasks is a standalone app and your tasks will show up on your Google Calendar when accessed via a browser, but for some reason they don't show up in the Calendar app on phones or watches. Google Tasks has zero integration with Google Assistant. If I tell my Google Home to add a task, it adds it to some random Note taking app built into Google Assistant. None of this makes any sort of sense, but is somehow totally in line with what I'd expect from Google. I don't know why, but they've never been able to grasp the concept of creating one cohesive ecosystem in which everything talks to everything else.

  55. Event = something that will happen even without you

    Task = something that will happen that needs you

    Reminder = something that you need to happen

  56. hello! I am new to digital calendar, but I find it very useful. Can we add another tasks or reminders on the additional calendar? Say for example, I have two calendars, one for work and personal. Then I would like to add a task under work calendar. How would I do that? Would appreciate your response. thank you.

  57. Unless I missed it, any idea if Google plans on giving us the ability to duplicate a task list? I use the same 3 task lists for my work projects, and they are pretty extensive, so typing them out every time would be extremely inefficient not to mention a huge time suck. I am desperately trying to find a solution for my task management. 1. You can't assign due dates to subtasks in Trello. 2. You can assign a due date to subtasks in Asana, they just won't populate a google calendar. 3. Now I find Tasks in Google Calendar with will populate subtasks just to realize there doesn't seem to be a way of copying/duplicating a task list. So disappointed. Can you tell me the best way to notify Google, or request this? Surely if enough people ask, maybe they will listen.

  58. How do you add Reminders to the Task sidebar? There was a popup that asked if I wanted to import Reminders into sidebar and it did, but if it doesn't ask I don't know how to do it otherwise.

  59. I was looking to use repeating tasks in Tasks instead of in Calendars….. Can one set weekly / monthly repeats/reminders in Tasks? thank you.

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