Google has finally done it. They have created a task manager for their web suite. While at this point it is only a feature available in Gmail Labs I think it’s a taste of things to come.
Over the past few years while Google has steadily been improving Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Reader and the rest of their suite; one tool in particular has been missing, however, the task manager. For a while I tried to use Remember the Milk, a great little web application, which can loosely tie into Gmail and Google Calendar, but I was never completely satisfied with it. It was a little clunky and required you to log into a separate program.
Gmail Labs’, long-awaited, Tasks is quite simple, and perhaps to its benefit not a very robust program. It does, however, get the job (task) done. I must say, it strikes me a little odd that it is first available for Gmail, and not Google Calendar, but I think that integration will come with time.
Tasks launches like a Chat window within Gmail; and, much like Chat, it allows you to “pop” the window out onto its own tab or browser window. You can have multiple task lists containing multiple tasks complete with due dates and descriptions. There is also the option to attach a related email if you set up your task from within an email, which can be done through the More Actions menu. Within your task list you can drag and drop tasks to create whatever order you like. And, while I haven’t found a use for it yet, there is a really cool option that will allow you to indent tasks in your list
All in all, it’s probably the best thing to come out of Gmail Labs to-date. Once the developers refine it a little more and make it available in Google Calendar it’ll be an amazing tool. I’m already a fan.
For official information on Tasks visit the Gmail Blog.