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Google’s Broken Tasks Promise

I am a dedicated Google user. From Gmail to Google Calendar to Google Search, I like the ease of use of most Google products. (Yes, they have too much information on me.)

Google Calendar is the Google feature I most next to Gmail. After Google Calendar, the feature I use most (or would use more often) is Google Tasks.

Let’s talk about Google Tasks.

Last year about this time, David Tattersall, Associate Product Manager, asked Tasks users to help improve the product by offering feedback
. I didn’t know about the Gmail blog until after the poll so I missed out on offering my opinion. However in January 2011, Tattersall provides on update on the Tasks poll, which apparently was so popular that 17,000 people participated and 185,000 votes were received. Here are the features that were most requested:

  • Ability to create repeating tasks
  • Reminders and notifications
  • Sharable task lists
  • Tasks API and synchronization
  • Visual distinction for overdue tasks

I agree with the feedback on all of these ideas. Tattersall encourages Gmail blog readers to “stay tuned for changes to Tasks throughout the year.” Unfortunately, it’s October 2, 2011, and I have yet to see a single change to Tasks. With killing Google Buzz, introducing Google Plus, and overhauling the design of all the Google-branded websites, perhaps Google hasn’t had a chance to tackle the obviously popular Tasks feature.

There has been no update on Tasks improvements since Tattersall’s January 2011 post, I’m still dealing with clunky, basic functionality, and relying on another source to manage my primary tasks that need advanced features as those detailed in the bullet points above. A Google Tasks mobile app doesn’t even exist; users must add the Google Tasks home page to their mobile desktop so forget about even accessing Tasks offline. There’s still a little less than three months to go in 2011 so maybe Google will surprise me by Christmas with a “BLADOW! IN YOUR FACE!” Tasks overhaul. I’d be overjoyed.

But I’m not holding my breath. I’m afraid December 2011 will come and go, and Google will have forgotten its promise to add these feature requests to Tasks in favor of things that weren’t necessary (Google’s attempt at yet ANOTHER social network and Google’s brand redesign). Perhaps Google is hoping to kill Tasks off which, considering the overwhelming response to the Tasks poll, would be a shame.

But I’d be more than happy to be wrong.

  1. minimoe
    October 5, 2011 at 9:04 AM
    • Kassi
      October 5, 2011 at 9:30 AM

      Ehrm, what? Was this publicized? What about the other changes?

  2. gavin
    February 2, 2012 at 1:47 AM

    What url do you prefer to use in order to view & edit Google Tasks? Do you do it in a corner popup inside Gmail? Or do you use this?: https://mail.google.com/tasks/canvas

  3. Dave
    February 23, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    I whole heartedly agree. A huge disappointment and a trick missed for Google.

    I have been using Astrid which has a good app and syncs with itself and google tasks however google tasks is so basic I do everything through astrid now.

    Astrid have also just launched a new feature which is straight out of the Google book of tricks. When you enter a task it now has an ideas tab which links you to purchases that can be made according to the task. I would assume they then earn from the click through. This is the kind of thing that google was built upon. I’m amazed they’ve missed this trick.

    I think they have been left behind now by RTM and Astrid is fast becoming almost as good and free. If they do end up with decent tasks they may find it too late and lose a revenue stream. Just look how they are desperate to get into the social meda arena (Buzz, Wave, Plus etc) they are finding it’s harder to come to the party late.

    In my view RTM and the others should have been playing catch up with Google not what we have now which is very much the other way around.

  4. Athena
    September 5, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    has there been any update since?

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