Jeroen Moors

Jeroen Moors

independent operations manager

Managing tasks with Gmail

Nothing worse than forgetting that critical thing you needed to do? Well, even worst is polluting your brainpower by trying to remember it, leaving no power left to mangle about interesting things. Getting task/reminders out of your head is one of the core concepts of David Allen’s “Getting Things Done”[1]. I’m well convinced of the positive benefits of this idea.

I’ve tried different things to get this done. The method I now got stick to for already the last several years is put everything in my mailbox. In this day and age, you can’t get around the importance of email, so why not manage it from there?

I’m using Gmail. With Gmail, Google has set a new standard to how handling email works. I’m a big fan. It is a perfect match for the way my brain works.

Gmail allows for some creative use cases, one of them managing task/reminders. For each task/reminder, I create an email, which I then can mark as unread (todo), read or archive (done) or star (important). Adding a label to all tasks-emails allows them to not mix up too much with your regular mails.

Now the only thing to do when something passes thru my brain is sending an email. Out of my head, into my mailbox. Bye-bye extra todo-app!

Sounds slightly interesting? It only takes three easy steps to set it up.

1. Create a “Task” contact

Create a “Tasks” contact in your address book, with as email address your regular email address suffixed with +task. For me, that would be jeroen.moors+task@fluoline.net

2. Create a short cut on your phone

On your Android phone navigate to apps and search for “email contact”, select the shortcut icon and create a shortcut to the “Task” contact just created.
You could do without, but if it is only a single tap from head to note, you will move more often from head to note.

3. Create a filter rule to add a label

Send yourself a first task-email. Open it and create a filter via the triple dot menu.

Create a filter based on the to address, your firstname.lastname+task@gmail.com alike address.

For this filter, define an “Apply the label” action.

You’re good to go!