October 21st, 2010

Gqueues: What Google Tasks Should Have Been (+Giveaway!)

I really wanted to love Google Tasks. I really did. Having a task manager built in to Google Apps-which I use near religiously would have been beyond convenient. But Google Tasks…well, let’s call a spade a space-Google Tasks sucks.

Enter Gqueues-a feature-packed task manager that is EXACTLY what Google Tasks should have been.

I’m Incredibly Disappointed By Google Tasks Too, Tell Me More About GQueues

The Gqueues Tag Line is: “Lists. Prioritized. Simple. A Full-Featured Task Manager for Your Google Account and Google Apps Account!”

The main principles of Gqueues are right in the name:

  • G=Google Integration
  • Queues: Ordered task lists.

Digging Deeper: The Components of Gqueues

There are 3 basic components of Gqueues are:

  • Categories: Groups of queues
  • Queues: Prioritized Lists of Tasks
  • Tasks: Well, I think you know what tasks are.

Categories

Categories are groups of queues. Gqueues starts you off with default categories such as “Work” and “Home.” However, you can re-name this Categories to whatever you please. You can also add, delete, and reorder categories. It’s highly customizable-which is excellent-so no matter how your brain groups things you are set.

Queues

Queues are prioritized lists of tasks. Just like with Categories, Gqueues gives you a few defaults that you can easily rename. Also, like categories add, delete, and re-ordering is a snap.

One of my favorite features is the ability to change the color of a queue. I’m in love with color-coding, but few apps seem to share my love. Color-coding enables you to take a quick glance and see what you have to do before you even skim.

A few other nifty queues bonus features include the ability to duplicate queues and adding descriptions.

Smart Queues

Smart Queues filter items based on things like due date or tag. Once again, Gqueues gives you some defaults to get you going, but you can always change them. The default Smart Queues are

  • Inbox
  • Assignments
  • Overdue
  • Due Today
  • Due in a Week
  • All Items

To Add a Smart Queues

  1. Click “Add Smart Queue”
  2. Name the Smart Queue
  3. Select the Criteria You Want to Make Up the Queue

And voila!

There are 2 different kinds of Smart Queues that you can create.

Generic Smart Queues

Generic Smart Queues let you create a Smart Queue based on pretty much whatever criteria you want. Due dates, assigned to yourself or others, from a certain project…you get the idea.

Next Action Smart Queues

For those of you who are more GTD oriented, you can also create a “Next Action Smart Queue” that will include all the top items from every queues, giving you a concrete set of actions to choose from.

You can even sort and group tasks within a smart queues by date, name, or queue order.

The Inbox Queue

The Inbox Queue is essentially a catch-all queue that you can either leave tasks in or  process what’s in it and move it to a more appropriate queue.

By default, any task created through your inbox, Google Calendar, or the Google Reader send-to link shows up here.

Tasks

The most important thing to remember about Gqueues is that your tasks appear in order. The principle behind Gqueues is “The whole concept of a queue is that it is an ordered list, which forces a person to decide the importance of a task compared to the others.” Luckily, Gqueues makes it easy to add and re-order.

Add Tasks

Gqueues allows you to add tasks in a wide variery of ways:

  • Right in Gqueues
  • By forwarding to a designated email address
  • Via Instant Message
  • Via Bookmarklet
  • Via Google Reader Link
  • Via a Google Apps Gmail Contexual Gadget

Re-Ordering Tasks

You can easily move things around in Gqueues through an easy drag-and-drop interface.

You can also re-order tasks quickly by using a designated button and selecting “By Name” or “By Date”

Recurring Tasks

Gqueues allows you to create recurring tasks, however only one instance of a repeating task is in your queue at a time. When you mark a task complete, or delete that instance of the task, the next instance is generated based on the repeating pattern you setup.

Subtasks

Substasks are perfect for when a task has a small number of items that go along with it, but creating a whole seperate queue would be a bit much. Just like with everything else, add, deleting, renaming, and reordering is a cinch. You can even hide sub-tasks so you’re not immediately overwhelmed while doing a quick glance over of your list.

Tagging

You can tag items across multiple queues. Think contexts from GTD, or maybe dividing up by type of task.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Here at SUBERAPPS, we’re really, really, ridiculously big fans of keyboard shortcuts.

And as luck would have it, Gqueues has them!

There’s a complete listing of all shortcuts on the Gqueues site here.

Bookmarket

We’re also big fans of bookmarklets, which Gqueues also offers. Install the bookmarklet, click on it while looking at a web page, and a small Gqueues box pops up that allows you to add a description, any notes, and select a queue.

iGoogle Gadget

Gqueues offers a streamlined iGoogle Gadget that allows you to see overdue and upcoming tasks, along with giving you the ability to quickly check tasks off.

As a bonus, using Gmail and GCal labs, you can add the gadget directly into your Gmail inbox or Google Calendar. We wrote a bit about this yesterday.

Gmail Gadget for Google Apps

If you’re someone who likes to put emails that they have to respond to on a task list, first off-that’s very smart of you. Second off, this gadget can significantly help you streamline that process.

How The Gadget Works

Once you install the gadget, when you open an unread email, there is a button underneath that says Gqueues Create Task.

Once you click the button, a box pops up that lets you choose what Queues the email goes into, the ability to edit the Description (the subject line is the default description),  and you’re even able to add tags, notes, assign it to someone, and/or set a due date. Pretty nifty.

Google Reader Send-To Link

We recently had a post here on SUBERAPPS about “Google Reader’s Send-To Feature: The Underdog of Google gReader Tips”  and then updated it with Gqueues new Send-To-Google Reader Feature.

You can install that Gqueues Gadget for Google Apps here.

Mobile Version

Gqueues offers an iPhone/iPod Touch optimized version instead of a specific app. Just open up Safari, plug Gqueues into the address bar, and you’re good to go. You can also add Gqueues to your homescreen for quick and easy access.

Sign Up

Signing up for Gqueues is as easy as logging into your Google Account. Seriously. That’s it.

If you’re using a Google Apps account you can add Gqueues through the Google Apps Marketplace here. And you can add the Gqueues Google Apps Contextual Email Gadget (well, that’s a mouthful) here.

Pricing

Well, good news and bad news here. Good news is Gqueues IS available for free! YAY! Bad news is most of the features that you would want (think the Google Apps Gmail/Gcal integration and email/text reminders) are paid features. But, good news again! There’s a 30- day free trial to see if you need them. And more good news-it’s a one-time yearly $25 fee. Low enough that you don’t feel horrible shelling out. And for those of us who tend to forget about those pesky $2 charges per month, the ability to just pay a small yearly fee is a nice option.

You can check out a side-by-side comparison of the free vs paid option here.

Overall, if you’re looking for something to replace that sad, sad thing that is Google Tasks that’s incredibly flexible with strong Google Integration-Gqueues is your app.

Other Reviews on Gqueues

GIVEAWAY!

Gqueues was nice enough to offer 2 free paid Gqueues accounts to our readers. We’ll be giving them away. To enter the giveaway, simply RT this post. From there, we’ll be randomly picking a winner next Wednesday, 10/27/2010. Good luck!




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