Google combines assistant, calendar and task reminders

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Tasks is Google’s version of a to-do app (Credit: Getty)

Google is unifying some of the features offered by its extensive catalog of apps.

The company announced this week that it plans to centralize reminders from different apps into a single to-do platform: Tasks.

Right now, you can create different types of “Reminders” in the Assistant, Calendar, and Tasks apps. However, they are not accessed or stored in all three in the same way by every app.

Ask the Google Assistant on your phone to set a reminder and it will appear in your calendar but not in tasks. In the calendar, on the other hand, you can choose whether you want to create a reminder or a task.

But many users won’t know the difference – or see the point in using both.

Soon they will all be merged into one cohesive system. Instead of setting separate “reminders” for each app, the same prompts are saved for all. And if a reminder is linked to a date or time, you’ll still get a notification.

Over the next few months, Google will ask users if they would like to “try the new Tasks experience.”

Google Tasks reminder assistant

Reminders you set in Assistant also show up in Tasks (Image credit: Google)

Tapping this notification allows users to move their existing reminders to the Tasks app, as you can see in the graphic below.

It also means new reminders will be saved across all three apps.

Google says streamlining its currently mismatched reminders features will make it easier for users to stay organized.

In a blog post, product manager Ilya Brown wrote: “We continue to invest in Google Tasks and expand its capabilities to help you capture, organize and get everything done that you need to get done.

“Pushing reminders in Google Tasks is one step closer to helping people get things done with ease, and we’re really excited to bring this feature to you.”

What is Google Tasks?

To date, you may not even have heard of Tasks, let alone used the app. But it will soon be home to all your Google memories.

Mountain View, California, USA - March 28, 2018: Google sign at Google's headquarters in Silicon Valley. Google is an American technology company. 10777365

Google is trying to make things easier for all of us (Credits: Getty Images)

So what is it and how does it work?

You can already use Tasks to create a central to-do list while using certain other Google apps.

If you’re in Gmail, Calendar, or an app like Sheets, you can create a “task” by clicking a circled check mark logo.

A sidebar appears on a desktop where you can enter details such as task name, time, and date. When you click save, a new task will be created in your task list.

On a mobile, this will prompt you to download the Tasks app if you don’t already have it. Once you’ve done that, you can create new tasks in much the same way.

Google Tasks adds reminder to Gmail

You can create new tasks from several other Google products (Source: Google)

The task list itself can be accessed from the same app or from a sidebar in Gmail and other workspace apps on a desktop.

If you currently provide a date or time, your task will also appear on your Google calendar.

Google Assistant creates a task

Creating a “Task” with Google Assistant (Source: Google)

Once the new system is in place, you can also ask the Google Assistant to create tasks on your behalf.

By default, each user starts with a to-do list, but you can create more if you find them helpful.

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Justin Scacco

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