Productivity Tip: Learn the Keyboard Shortcuts in Google Tasks

Picture 6I really like Google Tasks. It’s free, easy to use, and well integrated with Gmail and Google Calendar, yet it’s flexible enough that it can be adapted for use as part of a Getting Things Done (GTD) system. Unlike many web apps, it has some very handy keyboard shortcuts built in, which can make it much faster to use and give you a real productivity boost. It’s well worth learning these shortcuts, particularly if you use Tasks a lot:

  • Tab: Moves the current task to the right (makes the task a sub-task).
  • Shift+Tab: Moves the task to the left.
  • Ctrl (Win)/Cmd (Mac) + Up/Down: Moves the task up or down the list.
  • Shift + Enter: Edits the current task.
  • Alt + Enter: Marks a task as complete (will also mark a completed task as incomplete).
  • Alt + Shift + Enter: Removes completed task from the list.
  • Esc: Closes Tasks.
  • Shift + Esc: Switches focus from Tasks to Gmail.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a shortcut for moving tasks between lists, which is something that I would find very useful with my GTD system. Tasks has been getting some nice, incremental improvements recently that make it into a very useful task manager (Calendar integration and last week’s addition of the ability to export task lists via email, for example); better keyboard shortcuts would be the icing on the cake.

Bonus tip: While in Gmail hit G then K, which will open Tasks and switch the focus to it. (This will only work if you have keyboard shortcuts enabled — the option is available on the Settings page.) You can also create a task from the current message using Shift + T.

If you’ve found any hidden keyboard shortcuts in Tasks, let us know in the comments.

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