If keeping Gmail open all the time just wasn't enough, Google gave us one more reason to stay glued to our computer screens. The Labs Team have released yesterday a new feature for Gmail - Tasks - basically a To-Do list manager. But besides the usual task list bonanza, the new feature can also associate emails with tasks and create multiple to-do lists.
To activate Gmail Tasks, you will have to go to Settings/Labs in your Gmail account and right at the top you will find the Tasks module. Just click 'Enable' and then you're ready to go. If you go back to your Inbox now, under the Contacts tab you will find a Tasks link. When you click on this link, a lightweight Tasks module will appear on the bottom right corner of the screen, or pop out in a separate window, just like with Gmail Chat.
From here on, it's pretty straightforward. You can add tasks and reorder them, and of course, cross out the completed ones. But the killer feature is that Gmail Tasks allows you to convert emails into tasks, in a remotely similar way to Apple's Mail app on Mac OSX. In Gmail, you can select one or more messages, then go to More Actions > Add to Tasks and tasks are created out of your emails. For heavyweight users, keyboard shortcuts are also available.
However, Gmail Tasks is not yet a perfect feature. Even though you can add a due date for each task, this date doesn't get automatically added to your Google Calendar and no such option is available. Also, there isn't any option to share or email your tasks lists - like you can do with your calendars.
But if you're into hardcore task lists, and Gmail Tasks is too lightweight for your needs, then you can always check Remember the Milk. This service supports Google Gears (and can work offline) and integrates with your Gmail Inbox via Gadgets, giving you searchable tasks, Google Calendar syncing, to-do tags and even mapping of your next to-do's location. As a bonus, Remember the Milk also has a free application for Apple's iPhone.