There are two forms of entries in Google Calendar: You can either create an event or a task. But what’s the difference between them? It may seem quite straightforward in the sense that one is for an appointment and the other is for an action item, but there’s a little more to it. Let’s dive in to each, their intended use case, and the features that come with them.
What’s the Difference Between a Google Event and a Google Task?
Google Events and Google Tasks both live inside Google Calendar. But there’s a difference between them. In a nutshell, a Google Event is intended to be used to schedule appointments like a meeting with a client or even a vacation; whereas Google Tasks serves as a way to book in time to work on a particular item in your to-do list like drafting an email or writing a proposal.
You could always use Google Events to block off time to work on a task on your to-do list, but then you’d be missing out on unique features like using subtasks to break down an overarching task into more bite-sized chunks, which can be spread out over a longer period, and use of the Google Tasks application on Android and iOS to view and edit your list on the move.
Should You Use Google Tasks or Stick to Google Events?
It’s important to block off time to complete work in between meetings, and Google Tasks aims to make that easier by bringing your to-do list into Google Calendar. This has several benefits, with the main being you have an accurate breakdown of how your time needs to be spent on one screen — without having to bounce between a separate to-do list and a calendar.
If you’re using a tool like Google Appointment Schedule, Google Workspace or Calendly, it also stops co-workers and clients (rom scheduling time in windows where you were hoping to crack on with a task, as each of these items is populated in your calendar and will show you as occupied when people are taking a look to see when you’re next available to hop on a call.
There are other benefits included too, like the option to create different lists, create projects with subtasks, create recurring tasks similar to how you would in a project management tool like Asana or Trello, and see and edit your to-do list in a dedicated mobile application (outside of Google Calendar), where you can strike them off as you complete each one.
You don’t need to assign a date and time to an item, either. You can use Google Tasks as a standard to-do list, accessible from a sidebar in Google Calendar or the Google Tasks application for android or iOS, checking off each item as you go, but with the luxury that when you do assign a date and time to something it’ll be automatically added to your calendar.
However, if you’re looking to segment your day, setting aside time to work on specific projects but not specific action items, then you may be better off with Google Events as you wouldn’t be benefitting from the additional features that come with Google Tasks. That is, of course, unless you’d like the option to check off when you completed the focus session.