Google says it’s updating Google Tasks. It’s integrating its reminder system throughout Google Assistant, Calendar, and the rest of the Google suite of products. The changes should make Tasks a better to-do list app and improve Google’s task management tools. Finally.
Google Chores is a centre for all your Google product tasks. You can add any Gmail thread to your to-do list. Google Calendar reminders appear in your schedule and Tasks. Say “hey Google, remind me to take out the trash at 9” to the Assistant on your phone or smart display.
This seems simple, right? Indeed. And long ago. Google’s reminder and task systems were incomprehensibly divided for years; Google Reminders was different from Google Tasks, and a Calendar reminder was different from a Keep reminder, which was different from an Assistant reminder. Only the Google Calendar mobile app showed all your to-dos. Everyone knew it was illogical.
Google hasn’t solved the issue yet. Today’s announcement doesn’t mention Keep, so the app’s reminder system will presumably remain independent. The best form of this functionality would span Google’s ecosystem. It may add a Docs or Sheets assignment to your to-do list.
Microsoft To Do is an excellent example of what Google should aim for: the app consolidates Outlook, Planner, and Teams tasks so you can see everything you’re working on. Microsoft has systemic difficulties (Tasks, To Do, Outlook Tasks), but it’s heading in the right “everything everywhere” direction.
Google’s product isn’t ready for primetime, though. Google claims Tasks will soon integrate Assistant. That might suggest early 2023, however a release this year appears possible. Google will retain it opt-in before pushing existing reminders to Tasks. Once these Tasks-based reminders are ready, the company says you’ll be prompted via Assistant or Calendar.
Google claims Calendar reminders and “Goals” will disappear in November. The two apps will remain distinct for Keep users for the foreseeable future. Google wouldn’t exist without some uncertainty.