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July 11, 2018

How to make a to-do list with Google Home

by John_A

While Google Home can do a lot of cool things, including understanding three different commands at once, it lacks the ability to create a full to-do list. Sure, you can schedule events for your calendar or create a basic shopping list, but it isn’t the same thing. And while Google has released the Google Tasks list management app, it currently has no integration for Google Home.

So, what’s a productive voice assistant user to do? Fortunately, you can create lists with basic Google Home commands – you just have to set up the right apps to do it. We’ll show you all the necessary steps in the process so you can make full lists with Home in no time.

Step 1: Sign up for IFTTT and connect to Google Assistant

IFTTT (If This Then That) is a basic, consumer-friendly system to create customized commands that work with a variety of services and smart devices. You can use IFTTT to create all sorts of rules, but here we’re going to recruit the service to create a to-do list through Google Assistant. Since Google Home’s main feature is Google Assistant in a speaker box, these rules will also work with Google Home or your Android phone.

Start by heading over to IFTTT and signing up for the service, which means creating a free account and password. Then go to the Google Assistant IFTTT page and make sure your IFTTT account is connected to Google Assistant by selecting Connect. This will confirm your Google account, so make sure it’s the account you use with Google Home.

Step 2: Download Todoist

The next step is to find a to-do list app that you like using. This will be the app where your voice command to-dos are added and organized, so it should be an app that you like to use and don’t mind having on your phone.

We suggest signing up for Todoist. It’s a free service that’s easy to use, offers great task management options, and works smoothly with both IFTTT and Google Assistant. Just add a login name, email, and password to start your Todoist account. Make sure you download and open the app on the mobile devices you use to keep track of your lists. You may want to play around a little bit to see how to Todoist works.

When you’re finished with that, head over to the Todoist page on IFTTT, and select the big Connect button here as well so that both services are connected to your IFTTT account.

If you really don’t want to use Todoist, then check the Google Assistant rules for other compatible services, like iPhone Reminders, DayOne, or Wunderlist.

Step 3: Find the right IFTTT template and activate it

You can absolutely create your own IFTTT rules (known on the platform as applets) for Google Assistant (which, again, will work via Google Home), but for newcomers it’s much easier to just find an applet that someone else has already created.

If you are on a browser, you can do this by heading to the page for Add a task to Todoist under the Google Assistant category. If you are searching another way or can’t follow the link right away, the applet ID for this rule is 478848.

With everything connected, you should see an option on this rule that says “Turn on.” Select it, and wait for the rule to activate. If you skipped any of the previous steps, IFTTT may prompt you to complete them at this time.

Step 4: Start creating your lists

Turn Google Home and your mobile device off and back on again, a little soft reboot to make sure everything has taken effect. Now you are ready to test out the list making.

The command phase for this rule is “OK/Hey Google, add a task” and then you fill in the rest with the activity that you want.

For example, you might say, “OK Google, add a task: Buy milk tomorrow,” or, “Hey Google, add a task: Update history thesis Thursday,” and IFTTT will automatically add the task to Todoist. Try this out a few times, then open up your Todoist app and see if a list has been created.

If the process doesn’t work, check to make sure that all your services are properly connected, and that you are using the right voice command phrase.

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