Free Google Tasks Competes with Paid App on iPhone

gmail-tasksLess than two months ago, Google added a lightweight Tasks feature to Gmail through the experimental Labs. The service just became available for mobile handsets, working on the iPhone and Android platforms, as well as any xhtml-enabled phone. It’s still bare-bones, but offers the basics if you’re looking to go simple: task lists, tasks, due dates and notes. You can also choose any e-mail in Gmail and add it to your Task list. Simply select the mail item and look for the “Add to Tasks” option in the More Actions drop-down.

A very basic “Getting Things Done” approach could work with this approach; you could set up four task lists for Next Actions, Projects, Waiting For, and Someday / Maybe. I’d say it’s barely workable in that context, but it could be done. At the moment, I’m testing out Things for my iPhone, which is far more robust but costs $9.99.

Of course, the advantage of Tasks in Gmail is the ability to use it from any browser or your phone. Things isn’t web-based, so I don’t have that flexibility. Adding lists or to-dos in my Gmail Tasks causes them to quickly appear on my iPhone and of course, the same works in reverse. Getting Tasks enabled in Gmail is easy: just click the Labs button in Gmail and enable Tasks. If you did this back in December when Google rolled Tasks out originally, there’s no need to take any action. Just point your handset at for your next to-do.

Another popular cloud-based Task management service is Remember the The Milk, which I’ve also found to be great. The Pro version offers a free iPhone application, task synchronization, offline access (using Google’s own Gears product) and more but costs $25 a year.


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