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Improving Google Tasks

I’m kind of in love with Todo lists, which is a bit sad really. I make lists all the time and love ticking things off. Sometimes I write things that I’ve already done, just to put a line through it.

 Write a blog post (completed)

I’ve tried most of the popular todo list apps out there and the one I keep coming back to is Google Tasks. It’s simple, free, saves to my Gmail account so I don’t need to log into anything else, and it works with loads of different mobile apps, meaning my tasks are everywhere and always synced.

The trouble is, there’s no decent looking way of using Google Tasks in a desktop browser. This is their curent design:

 The current Google Tasks

Google stopped developing their tasks browser app a few years ago and it looks pretty dated now. Not a great thing to look at for long periods of time (which I do as I use it for work).

I decided to add my own styles on top of Google Tasks, just for me really. I wanted to make a thing I stare at every day better and easier to use. I took away some of the noise, made certain things more clear and legible and generally made it more satisfying to check off tasks.

Better Google Tasks

I've had a few iterations of the design. The earlier versions looked a lot more impressive, but then I realised that I needed to make something that I didn't notice. This isn't a site homepage, it's a tool, and the important thing is that I can clearly see what I need to do and when I need to do it.

Better Google Tasks

I probably spent most time styling the completed tasks. I wanted to make it feel satisfying and instant to check stuff off, so I removed images that might take some time to load and made CSS checkboxes (which look much sharper on retina screens too).

 The current Google Tasks
Better Google Tasks

It’s still a work in progress, the code is pretty horrible and there are loads of things I’d like to improve, but it’s a bit better.

My friend Matt turned my styles into a browser extension, which was very kind of him. If you use Google Chrome you can have it for free here:

Download Better Google Tasks

Want to find out more about this project? Here's a little brochure/help site.