Get Gmail Tasks on your Desktop with Google Chrome

Gmail Labs Beaker I love Gmail Tasks. It’s my to-do list of choice for its simplicity, portability, and (of course) integration with Gmail. If you’re a fan of Google Chrome, you can also easily add Tasks as an application directly on your desktop.

Enable Gmail Tasks

First things first, if you have not already enabled Tasks in Gmail, it’s time to do so. Within Gmail, go to Settings –> Labs. Scroll down until you find Tasks, and switch it to Enable.

Gmail Tasks - Enable

You will now find a Tasks link near your Contacts. This is all fine and dandy, but now let’s see how you can quickly make it a stand-alone application.

Integration with Google Chrome

Google Chrome has the slick ability to turn any page or site into its own application, similar to Fluid on Mac OS X. With Chrome, we can turn Tasks into a standalone app with just a few clicks. I find it handy to have my to-do list separate so I don’t get distracted with e-mail or Google Chat while I’m working.

Here’s how to do it: Launch Chrome and go to If it asks for a username and password, check the box to remember it. You should now see a full-browser version of your Tasks, but we’re not finished yet!

Go to the Page Dropdown Menu and click Create application shortcuts.

Chrome - Create Application Shortcuts

A Google Gears window will spawn. Tell it where you would like the shortcuts placed, and hit OK.

Google Gears - Tasks

That’s it! Whenever you open your Tasks shortcut, it will take you directly to your to-do list, no distractions needed. I do suggest resizing the window to something more manageable.

Chrom - Brian Tasks

More about Gmail Tasks.

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5 thoughts on “Get Gmail Tasks on your Desktop with Google Chrome

  1. I found a better way to do this, without needing google Chrome installed.

    What I did was right click on my windows taskbar and go to the Toolbars> submenu, click on the “New Toolbar…” button.

    In the field for the location, just past the link:

    And press Enter.

    Then you will see a new toolbar on your windows taskbar (it may be collapsed). Now take that toolbar and drag it to your desktop. It will create a window on your desktop.

    This window will always load with windows, and if you logged in with internet explorer and saved your passwords and username for your gmail account, then it will log in automatically.

    What’s nice is it sits on your computer and loads up to remind you what to do and I believe there’s an option to even make it sit on top of all windows if you like.

    // mike

    1. Nice, Mike. Thanks to Brian also for the excellent tip. Nice site.

      Here’s the “canvas” version of Tasks, a bit of an improvement over the gadget version in fullscreen:

      Also, I’m looking at keyboard shortcuts. I’ve found these:

      Tab / Shift+Tab — Moves right/left (“subtasks”)
      Ctrl + Up/Down — Moves up/down
      Shift + Enter — Edit task details
      Alt + Enter — Marks task as complete
      In Gmail only:
      G, K — Open Tasks, or shift cursor from Gmail to Tasks
      Shift + T — Create task from open message
      Shift + Esc — Shift the cursor from Tasks to Gmail
      Esc — Close Tasks

      Are there others? I haven’t found any.

      I also put Tasks in my sidebar (Firefox) — see Lifehacker if you don’t know how (very easy). This way I can have one Task list open in the bowser window using , and a second list in the sidebar. Is this possible to do in Chrome? (I don’t think so.)

      I find I keep 5-6 lists going. Would be very nice to have a keyboard shortcut to switch between them.

      Anyone else with Tasks tips/tricks? I sure hope Google is still developing Tasks, inc. shortcuts. “Remember the Milk” was just too complex, and ugly to boot. And you know Tasks will always be tightly integrated with Google stuff.

      Thoughts, anyone?

      Brian, is there a way to get email responses to comments at this site? I see the Comment RSS, but I don’t want to read all comments from all posts, you know? ty

    2. Brian — I just realized I have an RSS extension for Chrome that gives the option of just subscribing to the comments in this post — voila.

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