Blog Post

Will Google Launch a Task Manager?

When I saw the headline on TechCrunch, “Google Launching ToDo List Product?” my heart skipped a happy beat. Finally! But no. It’s likely that TechCrunch only exposed a Google employee who hit the wrong button and accidentally posted a private blog entry or email containing his personal weekend task list. False alarm.

Google attempts to compete almost point-for-point against major Microsoft Office features on nearly every note except for task and project management. What are they waiting for? It’s wonderful that we have so many on and offline ways of managing personal and group tasks whether they are directly tied to projects or not. Yet we’re still sorely missing tight integration between email, documents and tasks for those of us who use Google tools in our businesses. The inability to assign and track simple tasks and lists through Google Apps is a glaring omission that may very well be the reason some small businesses and groups are hesitant to give up their Outlook-based workflows with its handy task pane.

Clearly, we’re ready for Google to make some sort of announcement in this area, aren’t we? Should Google take the GrandCentral/Jot route and acquire a company like Remember the Milk, which already does an outstanding job of integrating tasks with Gmail, or should they develop something from scratch once and for all?

How do you think Google should respond to those of us who are clammoring for to-do/task management baked into their products?

21 Responses to “Will Google Launch a Task Manager?”

  1. Papageno801

    I used to think that Google was beyond awesome and have enjoyed all the innovations in Gmail. But, I have been very frustrated in Google’s lack of attention to GrandCentral; once they acquired it, they abandoned it. It makes Google Contacts look like Windows 3.1. Remember the Milk is awesome, I just wish you did not have to pay to have it sync with anything.

  2. RTM does not rock. It is yet another web app that doesn’t sync with anything*.

    Gmail syncs everywhere via IMAP. Google calendar has addons to sync to devices, and googles own outlook sync.

    I would love to hook web based tasks onto my toolchain, but I don’t want to break my existing setup.

    (*) Oh, forgot about burberry and windows snowpile. Sorry. So, I add a task in my desktop app and then get out my mobile to sync from my desktop app and then sync to RTM? And vice versa, of course. Very smooth. Applause to RTM. Great user experience.

  3. Hardy Dillard

    I am a total convert. I can’t wait to junk Outlook and move to a complete Google suite of Time Managment Products. Outlook becomes unstable and crashes if more than 1.4 GB of information is being activiely used. This is just one issue in a sea of other issues. Get your act together Google and release these products!!!

  4. “RTM ROCKS!”
    A Google acquisition or rememberthemilk seems like an INCREDIBLY good thing at first glance. However, .. … … … .. why?

    Everybody in concert singing “RTM ROCKS!” and integrating it into their Google portfolio already shows that Google doesn’t really need to acquire the service… it’s already been integrated into their offering, by the brilliant team already there at RTM.


  5. Not necessarily a false alarm, despite the office denial from Google. This post from the Techcrunch article pastes an earlier announcement from Google to the Google Calendar Group.

    A task manager is too basic a feature for Google not to integrate with Gmail and GCal indefinitely.

  6. Todd Lohenry

    I can’t believe that Google hasn’t already acquired RememberTheMilk. I favor the Grand Central acquisition route and let them improve RTM in the same way they did JotSpot…

  7. GMail needs better contacts management, and I would like to see GrandCentral built in to the GMail interface. I would also like to see an a la carte version of GTalk, that allows you to add the features that you want selectively, rather than have the labs version, the gadget version, the desktop edition, and the gmail edition.

  8. I would love Google to come out with something in the task/project arena. I don’t want them to buy something already out there; they’re all lacking something. The big complaints I have with online apps are:
    1) No projects or hierarchical system.
    2) Poor handling of notes. I want with “clipping” ability like OneNote or Evernote fully integrated.
    3) No way to assign a task to someone else and track it.
    4) No linking of files.
    5) Needs tight email integration.

  9. Perhaps now with the release of their app engine, they’ll wait for others to build upon the Google Apps platform and then they’ll grab the most promising ones.

    That’s what I’d do anyway.

  10. I currently use RTM with Google Calendar. And I sync my G-calendar with my iPhone, via iCal and spanning sync. And RTM has a great iPhone web app too.

    The idea of linking everything needed for an appointment with G-docs and G-calendar would be outstanding.

  11. Google should work not only at incorporating a To-Do list but should have ‘linking’ enabled such that any Google item can be connected to any other Google item.

    When I am planning a meeting in Calendar I should be able to designate documents that are important to that meeting.

    I should be able to associate milestones (to-dos) with scheduled events.

    I should be able to ‘cross-link’ documents with contacts.

    +/- $.02