Just as in Reclaim's Slack integration, you can use natural language in Google Tasks to create Tasks. In addition to being a fast way to add Tasks to Reclaim, one benefit of using natural language is that you can express options for the Task that are not natively supported by Google Tasks.

Syntax for advanced Task creation

The general syntax for Google Tasks is as follows, and should be entered into the Title field of Google Tasks:

TITLE ([DURATION] [DUE_DATE] [NOT_BEFORE] [TYPE])

Where the TITLE is required and the name of the Task and what you'll see on the calendar as well. The additional text in the parenthesis is optional fine-tuning of the task, as so:

  • DURATION - the number of hours / minutes you need to do the work, such as "for 2 hours" or "for 30m". If not entered, 1 hour is assumed.
  • DUE_DATE - the text "due" plus a date, date + time, or a relative time, such as "due October 30th 10am", "due in 1 week" or "by next Friday". If not entered, Reclaim will make the due date 3 days from now.
  • NOT_BEFORE - can be a date or date + time, expressed as "not before monday 10am" or a relative date/time, expressed as "in 3 days". If not entered, Reclaim will pick a start date based on how far out your due date is.
  • TYPE - either "type personal" or "type work" to indicate what kind of task it is. If not entered, "work" is assumed.

Reclaim will automatically strip out other parameters besides the title, so your calendar events and Google Tasks won't have a lot of extra words on them when they're placed on your calendar.

Examples

  • To create a work task for "Build slide deck" for four hours by next Friday, you would enter Build slide deck (for 4h due next Friday)
  • To create a personal task for "Mow the lawn" for one hour (default) by this Sunday, you would type Mow the lawn (type personal due sunday)
  • To create a work task for "Get back to CEO" for 30m by September 21st, not to be started before September 15th, you would type Get back to CEO (for 30m due sept 21 not before sept 15)

Updating existing Tasks

You can also update existing tasks via Google Task using the same technique. While the title and due date can be directly edited using Google Tasks, you can't control the duration, type, or "not before" date because those concepts don't exist in Google Tasks.

Fortunately, you can just append the parenthesis and add those fields to set new values. So for example, if you decide you need two hours instead of the default one hour for a task, just add (for 2h) to the end of the title. In about a minute, you'll see that text disappear and your schedule adjusted accordingly.

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