This one seems kind of obvious, but Google this week updated Google Calendar to support to-dos and reminders for those to-dos.
Coincidentally, someone asked me last week which app I used for to-dos. But I’ve always just put to-do items in my calendar, treating them like any other events, albeit events that are zero minutes in length.
So with this change, Google is essentially supporting this usage explicitly. Though in doing so, it is also refuting the normal way such things typically work in mobile, with a different app for each task.
(Microsoft has a few to-do apps, like Wunderlist, but its Outlook for Android/iOS is an example of a multi-function mobile app that also refutes the one-task/one-app way of doing things.)
Anyway, I obviously think combining to-dos (or “tasks”) with your calendar is the way to go, and now Google is on board too.
“Our calendars should help us make the most of our time — scheduling meetings at work, remembering brunch with friends, and keeping track of all our other commitments,” Google Calendar product manager Vijay Umapathy writes in a new post to the Official Gmail blog. “But often our to-do list is elsewhere, separate from the Calendar that organizes our day, and we end up overcommitted or miss something important because we forgot to check our list. Now there’s a single way to manage your day: starting this week, you can create Reminders in Google Calendar to keep track of your to-dos alongside your scheduled events.”
To-dos aren’t just zero-minute events, however. Because they have associated reminders, to-dos will stick around until you completed them. So each day, unfinished to-dos will continue to appear at the top of your calendar. When you do finally complete that to-do, you can just swipe the Reminder away, Google says.
“Another way Reminders are more useful than events is that Calendar adds things like phone numbers and addresses automatically,” Umapathy adds. “So if you add a Reminder to make a call or run an errand, the number or address will be right there when you need it. Just like Inbox by Gmail, Calendar uses information from your contacts, as well as Google’s knowledge graph to provide this extra bit of help.”
While to-dos and their reminders appear in Google Calendar, you can also create reminders from Inbox (the Gmail alternative), Google Keep (a note-taking mobile app) and Google Now (“Ok Google, remind me to buy flowers for Steph,” or whatever).
Todo and reminder support is rolling out to Google Calendar for Android and iOS this week, Google says. And this functionality will be added to Google Calendar on the web as well, though there’s no hint when that might happen.