Google is rolling Assistant, Calendar and Tasks reminders into one

Google is unifying some of the features offered by its sprawling catalogue of apps.

The firm announced this week it plans to centralise reminders from various different apps into a single to-do platform: Tasks.

At the moment, you can create various types ‘reminders’ in the Assistant, Calendar and Tasks apps. But they aren’t accessed in the same way from every app or stored across all three.

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

But many users won’t know the difference — or see the point of using both.

Soon, they’ll all be rolled into one, cohesive system. Instead of setting separate ‘reminders’ across each app, the same prompts will be stored across them all. And if a reminder is associated with a date or time, you’ll still get a notification.

Over the next few months, Google will ask users if they want to ‘try the new Tasks experience.’

Tapping on this notification will allow a user to shift their existing reminders into the Tasks app, as you can see in the graphic below.

It will also mean new reminders are stored across all three apps.

Google says rationalising the currently mismatched reminder features will make it easier for users to stay organised.

In a blog post, product manager Ilya Brown wrote: ‘We are continuing to invest in Google Tasks and expand its capabilities to help you capture, organize and accomplish all you have to get done.

‘Moving reminders into Google Tasks is one step closer to helping people effortlessly get things done, and we are so excited to bring it to you.’

What is Google Tasks?

Before today, you might not even have heard of Tasks, let alone used the app. But it will soon be home to all your Google reminders.

So what is it and how does it work?

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

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

On a desktop, this brings up a sidebar where you can fill in details like a task name, time and date. When you press ‘save’, this generates a new task on your task list.

On a mobile, this will prompt you to download the Tasks app, if you don’t already have it. Once you have, you’ll be able to create new tasks in roughly the same way.

The task list itself can be accessed via the same app, or via a sidebar within Gmail and other Workspace apps on a desktop.

At the moment, if you specify a date or a time, your task will also appear in your Google Calendar.

Once the new system rolls out, you’ll also be able ask Google Assistant to create tasks on your behalf.

Every user starts out with one task list by default, but you can create more if you find them helpful.

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