Today is indeed a joyous day. Google has once again sent something to the Google Graveyard, but this time it is something that deserves to be there.
You see, Google has an incredible suite of productivity tools. Gmail, Calendar, Keep, and Tasks are all very solid apps that can help you organize your day, but they’re not perfect.
I get it, nothing is truly perfect, but Google had a glaring problem that just didn’t make sense with these stellar apps. The problem was reminders.
A Brief History of Reminders
Reminders were a good idea. They pre-dated Google Tasks, and were a way to help you keep track of things you needed to do.
Reminders could be added directly to Google Calendar. However, reminders were also created when you added a due date on a note in Keep, or when you asked the Google Assistant to remind you about something.
There was a separate calendar for your reminders, and although hardly any people knew about it, you could also view your reminders by visiting reminders.google.com.
Why Reminders Suck
So, why did Google kill reminders? The short answer is duplication.
Reminders are just a task with a due date. And you know what? Google has a task manager app called Google Tasks that is perfectly equipped to deal with tasks that have a due date.
Having reminders and tasks in the same ecosystem was just confusing, and it ruined the seamless integration that Google is so famous for. Was there really any difference between a task and a reminder? Nobody knew.
When it first came out, Google Tasks was pretty basic. Today, that’s no longer an issue. Tasks is a robust task manager that can hold its own against many of the alternatives.
That robustness meant that reminders were basically redundant. Yes, they had their fans, (my wife was one of them), but tasks were always going to be the winner in this battle. It just took longer than most people thought.
Why Tasks Are a Better Solution
Reminders are private and cannot be shared with others. In Google Workspace, tasks can be assigned in Docs, Sheets, Slides and Chat. They can also be organized into lists inside the Google Tasks app.
Tasks can be created in Calendar, Chat, and in the Tasks app. You can also create a task from an email or from a checklist in Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
Need more details? Tasks can have descriptions for more information, and sub-tasks if there are related actions that need to be done.
All of this makes tasks infinitely more flexible than reminders. And if you want to use a task like a reminder, you still can.
What Happens to Existing Reminders?
If you have been using reminders, you will already have had several notifications from Google about their impending demise.
You have the option to manually convert your existing reminders to tasks, or wait for Google to automatically convert them for you. Most people will do the latter, and will find all their reminders in the Google Tasks mobile app or in the sidebar.
Once your reminders are converted to tasks, they will appear on the Tasks calendar in Google Calendar. You can also ask the Google Assistant to show your tasks on a mobile device.
It’s unclear if tasks were always the end game for Google, but now that we have them, reminders are clearly no longer necessary. They muddied the water and made it more confusing to get things done with Google apps.
Tasks are the future, and now that reminders are gone, Google can continue to look for ways to integrate them into different parts of the Google ecosystem.