Blaugust Brainstorming – Using Gmail Tasks

It’s brainstorming week at Blaugust – and rather than tackle that big ole topic, I’d like to talk about jotting down ideas as they come to mind. Specifically, a tool I’ve taken to using myself – Tasks within Gmail.

Now, if you already have an app or a program where you drop your to-dos or ideas, great! But if you’re like me, most of these apps didn’t stick. I’d set up an account at something like Evernote, and even download the phone app, but then forget all about it because it’s just not in a place I think to go daily.

However, I’m a Gmail user and it’s pretty typical for me to have my Gmail open on my browser 99.9% of the time I’m on my computer. So when I noticed the little Task button on my Gmail sidebar, I explored it… and found a list-making tool that became pretty effective for me.

It’s not as fancy as some of the other tools out there, but the fact that it exists in a space that I’m looking at several times a day makes it effective. I keep notes about posts I want to come back to read, reminders about various gaming and IRL things, and… when Blaugust rolled around, I made a task to keep up with ideas for blog posts as they came to me.

It’s really simple to create a task with several subtasks, set a date/time, and even have different task lists. Individual subtasks are hidden when you check them off, as is the main task when you finish it. There’s also a mobile app version of the task list, though I’ve never actually messed with it. I tend to be a PC person when working in a browser and in mail.

So, as ideas come to you during this month, be sure to jot them down! If you don’t already use an app for this, and you are a Gmail user like I am, see if the Google Tasks can help you out with it.

Or, well, you could always use a notebook, I suppose. 😉


  1. I love this idea and I’ve never thought about using the tasks area in Gmail before! I do almost all of my writing in Google Docs and have gmail open all the time as well. I’ve run into the same issue, downloading something like Evernote or OneNote in the hopes of using them to get myself together, but then i never use them. I’m definitely going to try this.

  2. I’m old school and have a notebook at my desk to track stuff. I use MS Word to write my posts and will even use Post It notes stuck on my monitor. I’m sure there is probably a better tech solution somewhere within MS Office but if the current process works, why change? But Gmail tasks is certainly a great cost effective solution. It’s not as if it’s an obscure piece of software.

  3. Or you could just remember stuff. Before we had all the tech solutions people would just make a mental note and when the time came they’d remember. Takes practice but the advantage is you’re never without your head!

    For most of my life I’ve relied on remembering appointment times and the like and it’s been very rare for me to forget one, but as I get older I inceasingly make little notes on bits of paper and leave them where I’ll see them.

    One thing I have never been able to remember, though, is ideas. I would strongly advise making a record of any ideas for blog posts or whatever at the time you think of them because ideas seem to be far more ephemeral than dates and times. As far as blogging goes, though, if I have an idea I don’t want to forget I just make a draft post in Blogger and stick it in there. Couldn’t be easier to find.

    1. My life would be in turmoil if I had to try to remember all the things I needed to do. Things would never get done, period. I have Windows Sticky notes all over my computer desktop as well as using Google Tasks! I just have too many things to keep up with between work, creativity, blogging, home, etc.

  4. I tend to just e-mail myself reminders and leave them unread until I complete them, because I’m kind of obsessive about having 0 unread e-mails. XD

    I also have a few dozen e-mail filters & auto-labels… I might just be obsessive about my e-mail in general.

  5. I’ve tossed tasks in my calendar before (mainly, “make this phone call”, “pick up meds” type stuff), but I didn’t know they had it in gmail. While I have a system for blog topics already, I might use this as a reminder for posts I’ve commented on to come back to. 😀

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