How to Quickly Create a Google Task from an Email in Gmail

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Person writing notes with laptop open

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Almost every day, I’ll get an email (or three) that I must remember to take care of, but that I can’t deal with at the moment. Given how frantically I work during my writing, my brain isn’t always able to clock those memories, so I might miss something.

Sometimes, I’ll snooze an email until a certain time. But those emails won’t work when hitting the metaphorical snooze bar, what do I do? The answer is to go to another Gmail feature: Tasks.

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Gmail’s Tasks feature turns an email into a task, without deleting or otherwise changing the original email. With this feature, you can categorize a task, give it a specific date/time, add details and add subtasks.

I’ll even add a task from an email sometimes. I then snooze the email to remind myself to reply to let the sender know I received it and address the contents as soon as possible. This is a system that has worked for me for some time.

You probably already know how to snooze an email, so let me show you how to create a task from one.

How to create a task from an email

What you will need: All you need for this feature is a valid Gmail account and an email from which to create a task You can work from mobile or the web version of Gmail. I’m going to demonstrate from the web version because that’s where I spend most of my time in Gmail. The steps are similar for the mobile version, but you can access the feature from the Email three-button menu.

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Now, open your web browser of choice, and let’s get to work.

The first thing to do is make sure you are logged into your Gmail account.

Next, scroll through your huge list of emails to find one that needs to be turned into a task. Once you have identified one, select it.

Once you’ve selected the email, click the toolbar icon that looks like a checkmark in a circle. This action will create a task from the email and open the task sidebar in Gmail.

Gmail toolbar containing task icons.

The task icon is highlighted in gray.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZdNet

From the Tasks sidebar, hover over the task and click the three-dot menu button, where you’ll see a popup menu that includes the lists you’ve already created in the task. If you need to create a new list to hold tasks, click New List and type a name for the list.

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Once you create a new list, the task will be added automatically. You can then go to the new list by clicking the dropdown in the upper left corner of the task sidebar.

Task pop-up menu.

You can move a task to the top, add a subtask, assign a task, and delete a task from this menu.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZdNet

When the task is visible, click on it and then you can configure it (adding subtasks, giving it a date, adding details, etc.).

A task created from an email in Gmail

Here you can configure a task to your specifications.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZdNet

Once you’ve taken care of those configurations, you’re done. You can always reopen the task sidebar by clicking the blue check/circle on the right side of Gmail in your browser.

And how easy it is to create a task from an email in Gmail. I’ve been using the feature for a while now and it never fails to help me stay on top of emails that I don’t have time to deal with at the moment.

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