One Task App to Rule them All!

New job means new systems, which prompted me to reevaluate my task tracking.

State of the Union

For the last, oh, decade or more, I have been using the ClearContext Outlook plugin for task management built into Outlook. And I really like it. I have become proficient with the keyboard shortcuts that let me quickly review, file, and organize my emails. They “Email to Task and Appointment” feature is great to turn emails into tasks, and allows me to quickly follow the “Getting Things Done” methodology by David Allen.

I use Gmail for personal emails, though, and I had no real drive to find a GTD pattern for Gmail. And then I changed jobs.

Why Switch?

I started using Microsoft To Do for personal tasks, displaying them on my office television via MagicMirror. However, as ClearContext was my muscle memory, I never switched over to using To Do for work tasks. So I had two areas where tasks were listed: In Microsoft To Do for personal tasks, and in Outlook for professional ones.

My new company uses Google workplace. This change has driven two changes:

  1. Find a GTD workflow for Gmail to allow me to get to “zero inbox.”
  2. Find a Google Tasks module for Magic Mirror.

Regarding #1, this will be a “trial and error” type of thing. I have started writing some filters and such, which should help with keeping a zero inbox.

As for #2, well, it looks like it is time for some MagicMirror module work.


When I started looking, there were two MMM-GoogleTasks repositories in GitHub, both related to one another. I forked the most recently updated one and began poking around.

This particular implementation allows you to show tasks from only one list in Google, and shows all tasks on that list. Microsoft To Do has the notion of a “planned” view which only shows non-completed Tasks with a due date. I contributed a change to MMM-MicrosoftToDo to allow for this view in that MagicMirror module, so I started down the path of updating MMM-GoogleTasks.

I could not help but start to convert this project to Typescript, which means, most likely, it will never get merged back. However, I appreciate the ability to create Typescript modules and classes, but ultimately have things rollup into three files for the MagicMirror module system.

So I got the planned view added to my fork of MMM-GoogleTasks. Now what? I have two Gmail accounts and my work account, and I would like to see tasks from all three of those accounts on my MagicMirror display. Unfortunately, I do not have a ton of time to refactor for multiple account support right now… so it made the issues list.

First Impressions

It has been about two weeks since I switched over. I am making strides in finding a pattern that works for me to keep me at zero inbox, both in my personal inbox as well as my professional one. I am sure I will run into some hiccups, but, for now, things look good.