When Google launched its standalone Google Tasks app for Android and iOS last week, regular Google Keep users were surprised. They now have two similar apps for the same thing: creating tasks.
Is Google Tasks Really Like Google Keep? Should you switch to Google Tasks from Google Keep? let’s see.
Google has a strange history of releasing two apps that do pretty much the same thing – Gmail/Inbox, Allo/Hangouts, and more.
Google Tasks is nothing new to Google. It’s been a part of Gmail for years. However, it was somewhat buried and only very few people used it. Task revival is made possible by the launch of standalone apps for Google Tasks and a prominent site on the redesigned Gmail.
Google Tasks and Keep are very similar to each other but there are major differences between the two.
While Keep is mainly for creating different types of notes with an add-on for lists, Tasks is a task management app for creating to-do lists with the added functionality of text notes.
Availability on different platforms
Both tools are available on the same number of platforms. You have the Google Keep app for Android and iOS, and a Chrome extension. It does not have a Windows or Mac app but can be accessed via its web version.
Likewise, Google Task does not have a Windows or Mac app. It is available on Android and iOS. It has a web version too, which looks outdated. There is also a Chrome extension. You can access Keep and Tasks within the redesigned web version of Gmail.
Right from the first screen itself, there is a huge difference in the design of both apps. While Google Keep lists both notes and to-do lists in card format on the home screen, Tasks shows tasks in list format. These tasks are sorted in the order in which you created them. You can also sort them by date.
Speaking of sorting, there is no proper way to sort notes/lists in Google Keep. You have to manually rearrange the cards by dragging them.
Moreover, Tasks app uses a mixture of white and blue colors. It also has an upcoming Material Design 2 with navigation and settings icon at the bottom.
On the other hand, Google Keep has a familiar white and mustard interface. In the current version, the navigation and settings drawer is at the top. With the launch of Material Design 2, these too will likely turn down the line.
It is very important that the To-Do app has multiple menus. Google Tasks allows you to create multiple lists and switch between them easily. You can name it also. You can also move tasks between multiple tasks with just one click.
On the other hand, while you can create multiple lists in Keep, switching between them is complicated. You also cannot move individual tasks from one list to another.
Create the task
Similar to other to-do apps, we can create tasks with just one click in the Google Tasks app. All you have to do is click on the Add New Task button at the bottom and enter your task. This is it. Once created, you can easily move tasks between lists.
In Google Keep, we first need to find our list in the messy Google Keep layout. Then we can add new menu items by clicking + menu item label. Basically, Google Keep is about lists, not proper tasks.
Fortunately, Google Tasks supports a hierarchy other than Google Keep. Under each menu, you can create tasks followed by subtasks for each. You can also add notes to subtasks. This is not possible in Google Keep. It does not support subtasks.
In Google Tasks, when the main task is marked as complete, all subtasks will be marked as completed.
Mark task completed
Google Tasks allows you to mark a task as complete in two ways. You can either click the circular icon or swipe up on the task from left to right. In Google Keep, the only way to complete the task is to click on the checkbox. The swipe gesture does not work here.
In both apps, completed tasks or list items are kept at the bottom in a new list.
Tip: Swipe up on notes in Google Keep to archive them.
Labels and color code
Using multiple lists in Google Keep is a major task in itself. However, you can simplify the organizing process by using labels and color coding. These two features are not present in Google Tasks.
Integration with Gmail
To-do tools are always located inside Gmail. However, it was not easy to get it. Fortunately, in the new Gmail design, Google Keep and Tasks get a special place on the right side in the new taskbar.
However, there are some differences. While you can create list items in both of them directly from the web version of Gmail, you can drag and drop email messages to create new to-do items in tasks. This is not possible in Keep.
There is a big, big difference in both apps when it comes to reminders. Google Keep allows you to create reminders for the entire list. You cannot create reminders for individual menu items. It’s just the opposite in Google Tasks. You can only set reminders for individual tasks.
Furthermore, Keep allows you to create time and location-based reminders. It also supports recurring reminders. Unfortunately, Google Tasks currently only supports date-based reminders. You cannot set a specific time for reminders in tasks. You also cannot create location-based or recurring reminders.
Integration with Google Calendar
Google has a separate reminder feature as well. Reminders you create in Google Keep appear under Reminders in Google Calendar. These can also be created from the Google Assistant.
Surprisingly, while reminders created in Google Keep appear in Google Calendar, the same does not happen to Google Tasks. a stranger!
Google Keep allows you to share your notes, including lists, with others. You can then edit or add new items in the lists together in real time. At this time, Google Tasks does not support sharing.
Should you switch to Google Tasks
Google Keep has always been a messy platform to me, even for Notes. While the functionality of Google Keep and Tasks overlap, I like the separate Tasks app. It’s not messy. It allows you to create subtasks and provides great task management features. However, it needs improvement as well. We are sure Google has some great updates sorted for Google Tasks.
If you are looking for a separate and simple task app, Google Tasks is a great choice. Even if you agree with what Google has to offer in Keep when it comes to lists, Google Tasks is worth a shot at least once.