What software tools do you use to keep track of your to-do lists? If you answered “Google Sheets,” it might be time to move to something new.
Because task lists aren’t what Google Sheets was designed for. Spreadsheets’ primary purpose is to help you organize, visualize, and analyze data—not for managing your tasks. Now don’t get us wrong, they can certainly help in a pinch. And if you only have basic task management needs, they’ll get the job done. But if you’ve been using Google Sheets for a while and your task lists are growing in complexity, you’ve probably started to run into some roadblocks. Here’s why it might be time for you to move to a dedicated task manager.
If you have a big task you need to break down into several steps, it’s not intuitive how to do that in Google Sheets. Especially if you want to make sure those steps are all tied to the larger task and don’t get separated when you sort by a different attribute like due date or assignee.
If you just need to re-sort by due date, that’s simple enough. But if you need to manually move tasks around to reflect the order they need to get done, it’s kind of a pain.
You might have some tasks that can get done whenever. But for the ones that need to be done by a specific date, you need reminders! Even if you diligently review every single task on your list to check which ones need to get done every day, you still might miss them. But that takes up way too much time. And it could easily stress you out along the way since all the other stuff you’re not doing is constantly right in your face.
There are lots of things on your to-do list that you might only need to do once. But we all have ongoing work that needs to be repeated. In Google Sheets, you need to manually create each instance of tasks that you need to do over and over. Or you can calculate and change the date on the task, but miss out on that sweet dopamine from checking the box!
Sometimes a straightforward list is all you need. But if you want to actually block out time to do your work, it’s helpful to be able to see it on your calendar and visualize how it will fit into your day. Google Sheets doesn’t offer that option.
When you’re planning out your work, it’s helpful to include links to relevant web pages and attach any files that you’ll need in order to get it done. Some of this is possible (though messy) in Google Sheets. But attaching a PDF from your computer to a specific task just isn’t available.
It’s one thing if you’re managing a small list of tasks for your personal life. But when you’re working with others, it’s helpful to know how your teammates are progressing. If you need a coworker to complete their share before you can start on your work, getting an alert when their task is complete is super helpful. Alas, Google Sheets isn’t set up for this.
If you’re sharing a task list with others, any kind of filter you put in place will be implemented for your teammates as well. If you want to filter for tasks that are assigned to you, and your coworker is looking at it at the same time trying only to see tasks assigned to her, you’re going to have a problem.
You can share a Sheet with someone as a viewer, commenter, or editor. That means even if you just need a teammate to do a couple tasks within the context of a bigger project, you need to give them full edit access for everything on that sheet! That opens the door for way more confusion and opens the door for more folks to accidentally mess up your organizational system.
Google Sheets might be a workable task management tool when you have small, simple lists of things to get done. But if you’re dealing with even moderately complex projects or sharing lists with others, it comes up short.
For all of the ways Google Sheets falls short, dedicated task management apps have a solution! Helping you stay on top of your work is their whole purpose. If you like using Google products, we particularly recommend GQueues, since it’s specifically designed for Google users—it’s intuitive and easy to integrate into the other tools you’re already using 🥳
With subtasks, it’s simple to separate a more complex task into manageable chunks. And if you need to reorganize your task order, they’ll still stay connected to their parent task so you retain the context of the broader goal.
You can still reorder your task lists based on due date, tags, or alphabetical order. But you can also simply drag a task to a new location. No cutting and pasting, just drag and drop! Prioritizing your work has never been easier.
You don’t need to worry about missing deadlines. When you set reminders, you’ll automatically be notified when you have a due date coming up so you don’t need to stress about it!
Need to send out agenda items on a weekly basis? Don’t recreate that task each time. Just set up a recurring task and let GQueues do the rest.
When you activate calendar syncing in GQueues, any of your dated tasks will automatically show up in Google Calendar. No need to follow complicated steps to reformat the data in Google Sheets. Just simple, immediate, 2-way syncing for an easy way to see your tasks on your calendar.
When you need to reference a PDF, spreadsheet, and an email thread to have all the info you need to get a task done, it’s a major efficiency boost to have all of those files connected to the task. With attachments in GQueues, everything you need is at your fingertips.
When you need to be in the loop about what direct reports are up to, or how an overall project is progressing, set notifications to be alerted about teammate activity. Whether you need to know when tasks are completed so you can get started on the next one, or you want to be notified when a new project is shared with you, notifications make sure the important stuff doesn’t slip through the cracks.
When you need to see all tasks you’re in charge of, or tasks coming up in the next week, you can search across multiple projects and filter for the work that’s specifically relevant to you with Smart Queues. You set the criteria and get the results that match. And you won’t be messing with the view for your teammates!
When you create Teams in GQueues, you get six member roles to choose from. Now if you need folks to be able to complete tasks, but not make any other changes, you can! No more all-or-nothing access.
Google Sheets is great at what it does, but that’s not task management. Get the system that was specifically built for Google users looking for a better way to manage their work! Start your free trial of GQueues today.
I love chatting with our users! When I'm not answering questions about GQueues, I keep our Help Center up-to-date, make tutorial videos, and write our newsletter. My favorite dogs are basset hounds.