Inbox by Gmail: Reminders Are Your Tasks

Tasks in Gmail have been a widely used feature. I personally have not taken to Gmail Tasks due to various reasons.  Mostly I have not been a fan of tasks because, really, what good is a task without a reminder?

With the introduction of Inbox by Gmail, there have been a great deal of inquiries, and complaints for that matter, regarding Task implementation in Inbox.  My usual answer to them is, short of migrating existing tasks into Inbox, tasks already exist in Inbox with Reminders.

There are multiple ways of creating reminders in the Google ecosystem. I have covered those intricacies in another post here. This post is essentially meant to show how Reminders are to Inbox what Tasks are to Gmail, and a whole lot more.

Reminders take Tasks to an entire new level by bringing the task back to your attention at either a specific time or location - and it can do this once or on a repeating schedule. Reminders in Inbox take it even one step further by providing suggestions as you enter your reminder. Type in Call Mom, and mom's phone number will be added to the reminder. Type in a reminder to purchase something at a specific store, the open or closed status may appear. And with some more common reminders, Inbox will automatically add an identifying icon such as a phone for calls or a calendar icon for something like paying taxes.

Reminders in Inbox are slowly being integrated in the Google Calendar system. As of this writing, if you have an Android, Inbox reminders will be displayed on your Calendar App.  It has been reported that this feature will be coming to the iOs Google Calendar app as well.. One can only assume that this will eventually make its way into the web Calendar as well.

As I mentioned earlier, other than migrating existing tasks, there is no real need to integrate Gmail Tasks with Inbox by Gmail. Unfortunately other than manual re-entry there does not seem to be a way to get existing Gmail Tasks into Inbox by Gmail.

The implementation of the Reminders in Inbox make staying organized, and getting things done, just that much easier.


  1. Thanks for your article, Scott! I didn't really understand it until I started playing around in the Reminders section. Maybe you could add some screenshots that illustrate it?

  2. Well, I'm of the opposite camp.
    What point are reminders if you can't see them on your desktop in list form, and also where they can be categorised like tasks can.
    With tasks you can have different lists, for example, home DIY stuff, work things, holiday things, stuff to do urgently, and you can move items from list to list as you need.
    With Reminders we get none of that power/organisational ability, not even a place to see what reminders you may have set.
    I see reminders as good for one thing only, to remind you of something, ie with an alarm. 95% of the time I use tasks is when I have a moment to look at my LIST and choose what to do next. Reminders cannot do this.

  3. I have to agree with the April 18th comment. Without being able to view them as a list and categorize them they are more likely to just glom up the inbox. It's not like I have a set day to work on these things.

  4. I agree that it would be nice to categorize Reminders and see them listed as categorized. But as long as Reminders have a Date or Location Snooze, they don't glom up the inbox--they remain hidden until they become active. If a Reminder does not have an associated Snooze, then yes, it will show up in the list, and too many could get unwieldy.

    For me, I'm finding that when I use the power of the Snooze to hide messages and Reminders, I become more productive, because I'm only dealing with things at an appropriate time or place. When Reminders or Snoozed messages appear, I deal with them. Sure I can always Snooze again, but continually Snoozing ultimately defeats the purpose.

    For me, "Tasks" (as Reminders) no longer really become lists, but date and location prompts. It would certainly be nice to be able to have categorized Task lists, but as I follow the workflow, I find that things really do just "get done."

  5. No there are not tasks. they are simple reminders. Task can be recurring also. And this is simply not suported from Google yet and I cannot understand why! You must get a 3rd party task management app that supports it and supports google sync as well. I use one of these and i simply create my daily recurring tasks (checklists) and they are synced with google TASKS (part of the google calendar ecosystem and NOT the google KEEP!) .

    Google should step in and SIMPLY allow for google keep to support RECURRING NOTES and not just repeating REMINDERS to these notes!


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