Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Use Google Tasks to Stay on top of Google Classroom Notifications in Gmail

 Use Google Tasks to Stay on top of Google Classroom Notifications in Gmail

If you've been using Google Classroom at all, you know how the email notifications you receive when students turn in work late and leave comments can be both useful and aggravating. Focusing on the positive, these email notifications for late work and comments are valuable in helping maintain students' grades as well as providing prompt feedback. 

For teachers, especially now in a distance learning environment, it can be difficult to stay on top of these notifications. Students require prompt feedback more than ever. Feedback on late work and comments about assignments are things needed to be successful. With so many emails flooding our inbox these days, any tip for staying on top of "action item emails" such as late work and student comments is extremely useful.

Within Gmail, after you've opened an email message, at the top toolbar, you'll see a button called Add to Tasks. This button will push that email to Google Tasks located on the right side panel in Gmail. See the image below. 

When you click this button, you'll see the email subject become the title of a task. In addition, you'll see a link below the title of the task that, in one click, brings you back to that email when you are ready to act on it. When you need to find the mail later, you don't need to go fishing in your inbox. Open Tasks on the side panel and click the link on the appropriate task. (You can also add an email to Tasks by dragging it to the side panel.) I like to call these types of emails action items. These are emails that I need to act upon, but want to do it later. See the image below.

If you click the edit button within the task, you can set a time/day reminder. This will put the task on your calendar and you'll receive a notification on your phone. 
As your list of Tasks in the side panel grows longer, be sure to address each task as promptly as possible. When you do, click the little circle button next to each task to "cross it off" your list. There is something quite satisfying in crossing tasks off the list. If you are fortunate to clear your list completely, a little congratulations graphic will appear. 

The "skill" of adding emails to Tasks is something that appears on the Google Certified Level 1 Exam. If you are preparing for it, this is one way to continue to hone your skills. The video below shows you step by step how to do everything above.

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