6 methods to trace duties with Google Workspace apps

Picture: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic

Should you use Google Workspace, it’s possible you’ll observe duties in quite a lot of methods. You would possibly add private to dos to Google Duties. You can create lists it’s possible you’ll make personal or share with colleagues in Google Docs, Preserve or Sheets. Or it’s possible you’ll add and assign duties with group members in Google Chat Areas.

However every of those apps gives barely totally different activity administration capabilities. Workforce duties, for instance, would possibly greatest be tracked in Google Areas, whereas a shared listing of routine gadgets to purchase would possibly greatest be managed with Google Preserve. Check in to your Google account, open your browser and discover every of the six alternative ways to trace duties under.

Google Calendar: Duties on dates

Google Calendar helps you to not solely observe occasions that happen on a particular day and time (i.e., conferences, focus time, and many others.), but additionally enter and show tasks (Determine A). Some duties would possibly have to be completed on or earlier than a particular day (e.g., submitting taxes), however others could merely have to be accomplished within the close to future (e.g., studying a report).

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In Google Calendar on the net, choose the checkbox to the left of the Duties calendar (Determine A, decrease left) to show duties with due dates. These seem in a bit of the display screen under the date and above scheduled occasions. To view all obtainable duties—together with duties that lack an assigned date—open the facet panel and choose the duties icon. You might wish to get into the behavior of leaving the Duties facet panel displayed so it’s possible you’ll add, entry and mark duties full once you use Google Calendar on the net.

Determine A

Screenshot of Google Calendar, with box next to both Andy Wolber and Tasks calendars selected. New empty event box displayed, with Task selected (from Event, Out of office, Task, and Appointment slots options).
In Google Calendar on the net, choose +Create | Job (as circled in crimson within the new occasion field) so as to add a brand new personal to do. Within the My calendars space (decrease left), choose the Duties calendar to show duties.

Gmail: Hyperlink a activity to an electronic mail

On the net, the Tasks side panel accessed in Google Calendar can be obtainable in Gmail: It’s the identical set of duties. For that matter, it’s possible you’ll entry the facet panel with Duties from Google Drive on the net, too.

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Gmail consists of an choice to show an electronic mail right into a Job. When you might have an electronic mail open or chosen, click on on (or faucet) the Add to duties icon (Determine B). This opens the facet panel (if it wasn’t already displayed) and provides a brand new activity that features a hyperlink to the e-mail. Click on within the newly created activity if you wish to add particulars or designate a date or time for the duty.

I have a tendency to show an electronic mail right into a activity solely when important work is required earlier than I can reply. For instance, a consumer would possibly search recommendation about software program. Whether it is recommendation I can present promptly, that electronic mail gained’t develop into a activity and shall be written once I put aside time to answer. But when a reply requires me to spend an hour or two of analysis, I’d flip the e-mail right into a activity titled “Analysis software program” created from (and linked to) the e-mail.

Determine B

Screenshot of an email open in Gmail, with the “Add to tasks” button circled, and a line to the right side panel where the new task has been created and linked back to the email.
With an electronic mail open or chosen, the “Add to duties” button helps you to create a brand new activity linked to the e-mail.

Google Chat Areas: Workforce duties

A Google Chat area supplies a persistent place for a group to speak, share recordsdata and track tasks. On the net, go to Google Chat, choose a Area after which the Duties tab (Determine C). After you choose “Add areas activity” it’s possible you’ll enter the duty title, particulars, date/time, simply as you’d with any commonplace Google Job. Nevertheless, you additionally could assign a activity to any member of your Area. Due to this skill to assign and observe duties to individuals, a Google Chat Area with duties is a superb choice for Google Workspace group activity administration.

Determine C

Screenshot of Gmail with an “Example Room” Space active, and the Tasks tab selected. A blank new space task is active, with fields for a title, details, date/time and assignee.
Inside a Area, choose the Duties tab to collaborate on duties with group members.

Google Docs: Checklists with textual content and feedback

Choose the checklist icon then kind in duties inside a Google Doc (Determine D). Press enter to finish the road and add one other activity. Choose the Share button to ask different individuals or teams to collaborate with you in your guidelines in your Doc. End a activity? Click on on a checkbox to mark by the road and take into account the duty full.

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Collaborating on duties in a Google Doc brings no less than two important advantages. First, you might have loads of area so as to add notes and focus on your duties, both with textual content (in or round your guidelines) or with inserted feedback. Second, you might have the flexibility to evaluate adjustments to the doc over time, because of Google Docs’ File | Model historical past options. (See The best way to handle file variations in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.)

Determine D

Screenshot of a Google Doc, with five items on a checklist, with task 1 and task 4 completed and marked through. The checklist icon (to the left of the bullet point icon) is circled in red.
In a Google Doc, choose the guidelines icon (as proven), then focus on duties in textual content or feedback.

Google Preserve: Easy personal or shared checklists

A personal or shared Google Preserve observe could embody a checklist. While you or your collaborators full an merchandise and test the field to the left of a activity in Preserve, the merchandise will transfer to the underside of the observe and show with a line by it.

In contrast to a guidelines in a Google Doc, when you select “Show checkboxes” in a Google Preserve observe, each line of the observe shall be handled as a checkbox merchandise—there’s no simple solution to maintain a dialogue about gadgets inside a observe. Equally, Google Preserve lacks the model historical past characteristic obtainable in Google Docs. In consequence, a Google Preserve guidelines could also be greatest for duties that don’t require dialogue (e.g., an inventory of things to buy or a set of routine duties).

Importantly, it’s possible you’ll transfer a Preserve observe to a brand new Google Doc with the “Copy to Google Docs” menu choice (Determine E). This helps once you begin an inventory of duties in Google Preserve after which notice the gadgets would possibly profit from the dialogue and commentary options present in a collaborative Google Doc.

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Determine E

Screenshot of a Google Keep note with three checkbox items, and one marked complete. The “more” menu is open, with a red line next two four options: Uncheck all items, Delete checked items, Hide checkboxes, and Copy to Google Docs.
Google Preserve works nicely for duties that want little dialogue, resembling an inventory of things to buy or routine duties. Ought to a Preserve listing advantage dialogue, you would possibly “Copy to Google Docs.”

Google Sheets: Observe structured particulars

A Google Sheet works nicely that can assist you observe duties with structured knowledge, resembling names, contact info, quantities/numbers or dates. As with a Google Doc, your Sheet could also be personal or shared with collaborators. Equally, you additionally achieve the good thing about the flexibility to Insert Remark (for discussions) or Insert Observe (for commentary) together with commonplace entry to an on-going file of adjustments with File | Model historical past.

Google Sheets additionally helps you to add a checkbox in a cell (as proven in Determine F): Place your cursor in a cell, then choose Insert | Checkbox. A newly inserted checkbox is unchecked. While you click on (or faucet) on the checkbox, it fills with a test. (On the identical time, the standing related to the checkbox adjustments from “False,” or incomplete, to “True,” which means full.) You additionally could kind your sheet by the checkbox column with the Information | Kind sheet (or comparable Information | Kind vary) choice to group full (and incomplete) duties.

Determine F

Screenshot of a Google Sheet with several tasks listed in rows 2 through 11. Checkboxes are in column A, with boxes in row 3, 6 and 10 checked. Column headings (A-E): Checkbox, Task, Date, Amount, Notes.
Use checkboxes in Google Sheet cells to trace the standing of listing gadgets with structured knowledge, resembling names, contact info, quantities/numbers or extra.

What’s your expertise managing duties?

Should you want extra intensive activity administration capabilities than those listed above, you would possibly discover the Task management category within the Google Workspace Market. There you’ll discover apps resembling Asana, MeisterTask, Smartsheet, Todoist and Trello, every of which supply capabilities that complement and broaden on the duty administration options present in Google Workspace apps.

How do you usually observe duties in Google Workspace? Have you ever tried Google Chat Areas duties along with your group? Do you usually use Google Duties, Preserve, Docs or Sheets to trace actions? Or have you ever discovered one other device that meets your activity monitoring wants nicely? Let me know the way you observe duties, both with a remark under or on Twitter (@awolber).

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