Google has spent the final half-decade cruelly teasing me with its to-do listing app. Google Duties first launched as a standalone app in 2018, and Google appeared to have huge plans for its process supervisor software. After which… nothing. Really, worse than nothing: Google launched and developed so many disconnected reminder-setting merchandise that it grew to become almost unimaginable to determine the place your duties had been, what they’re, and the way you had been purported to get something finished.
However within the final couple of months, one thing miraculous occurred: Google truly mounted it. The corporate spent this spring combining all its many Duties and Reminders merchandise right into a single software that’s accessible virtually all over the place and by way of virtually any Google product. There are nonetheless some holes within the system and nonetheless numerous process administration options lacking. However Google Duties additionally has some distinctive upsides, and for the primary time ever, I’m truly utilizing it and having fun with it.
The large change Google made was to funnel all reminders into Google Duties. So now in case you say to Google Assistant, “Remind me to modify the laundry in an hour,” that goes into Google Duties. Add a process out of your Nest Hub Max, and it reveals up in Duties. If somebody assigns you a process in a Google Doc, it’ll seem in your Duties listing with a hyperlink to that doc. Making a process in Google Calendar? It reveals up in Google Duties, too. The place there was a number of back-ends, now there may be solely Google Duties.
That is an unequivocally higher concept than no matter chaos Google had earlier than, to not point out the clearly right reply — it’s virtually weird that it took Google this lengthy to make such a easy change. It by no means made sense that “Remind me to herald the trash bins tonight” would go wherever however Duties. However hey! Now it goes to Duties.
Google Duties isn’t remotely near being a strong mission administration software on par with Todoist or a number of the different apps on the market. Even Apple’s Reminders app can do extra. It’s a lot nearer in spirit to a paper to-do listing — only a bunch of issues written down that it’s good to get finished.
However Google has one essential factor going for it: ubiquity. Not like the piece of paper I scribble my lists on after which lose or the apps I arrange after which overlook to examine for days at a time, Google Duties is successfully unavoidable in case you use Google merchandise. It’s within the sidebar of Gmail, Docs, and different Google merchandise, duties present up proper into Google Calendar, the cellular app is easy however works high quality, and I like having the ability to carry up Google Assistant and simply say, “What are my duties for in the present day?”
Google has one essential factor going for it: ubiquity
That sort of integration helps ensure you don’t miss stuff in your listing, however much more importantly makes it simple to place stuff on the listing. I’m perpetually swinging between ultra-powerful to-do listing apps that grow to be too sophisticated and instruments that don’t do a lot however at the least make it simple so as to add to my listing. Google Duties is all the way in which on the latter finish of that spectrum. Plus, opening Assistant and saying, “Remind me in three days to select up my dry cleansing,” is the most effective seize software I’ve ever discovered. A second later, that process is in my listing and on my calendar and proper there subsequent to my inbox. I’d even keep in mind to do it now.
The one remaining holdout is Google Hold, which continues to be very bizarre: you possibly can add a reminder to a be aware Hold, but it surely doesn’t present up in Duties. This integration may be nice — Duties may even seize all of the guidelines gadgets in your Hold notes, add due dates, and so forth — however I can at the least dwell with the concept I’ve a notes app and a duties app, they usually’re separate issues. Moreover, Hold is on the prime of the listing of “apps I’m not even certain Google remembers it makes,” so I’m not shocked it’s not a part of the brand new setup.
My foremost ongoing gripe is similar one I’ve for almost each different Google product: all the things’s too sophisticated when you have multiple Google account. There’s merely no technique to see all your duties in a single place when you have a number of accounts, which makes it exhausting to handle all the things. Duties actually must have a view akin to the Gmail app’s “All inboxes” characteristic, however all you get on cellular is fast switching between accounts. I’d additionally wish to have a technique to subscribe to Duties, like I subscribe to issues in Google Calendar, which is how I’m at the moment in a position to see my work and private occasions in a single place. However no cube there, both. You’re mainly caught with equivalent however completely separate to-do lists for every of your accounts.
Historical past says that that is the final time Google will care about Duties for some time, not one of the remaining issues will get mounted for one more half-decade, and it’ll by no means change into the true productiveness powerhouse it may very well be. Even when that’s the case, it’s lastly an app value utilizing. It’s not a power-user software, but it surely doesn’t have to be. It simply must be a spot you possibly can dump all the things with out worrying you’ll by no means discover it once more. In some methods, having a bunch of reminder instruments is definitely worse than having none. Google lastly simply has one.
Effectively, two. I don’t suppose I’m ever getting the proper Hold integration I’ve been ready for. However I’ll take what I can get.