GTD & G Suite and the Sidebar

September 4th, 2018

New, well thought-out features now support the users and ensure an improved work workflow.


In the G Suite side panel, you can now quickly access Google Notes, Google Tasks, and Google Calendar from the Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings application. In addition, the Google Calendar page window provides access to Google Notes and to-dos. During work, the new sidebar helps you collect and organize information according to the capture and organize principle “Getting Things Done” by David Allen . David Allen describes the five steps to capture, clarify, organize, reflect and interact – and thanks to the new sidebar in G Suite, anyone can use this methodology to develop a new way of working for themselves.

For all, for the “Getting Things Done” is still unknown – here is a short, English summary of the principle:


Getting things done! with GSuite

Keep, Tasks, and Calendar support the Capture and Organize steps (Capture & Clarify) . Essentially, both tasks and calendars are lists: Google Tasks let you capture and organize individual list items while you organize activities in Google Calendar that you need to complete on a specific date and / or times (Organize) . And with Google Keep, you can capture and store information that you may need later, at a later date, or elsewhere (Reflect) . And with G Suite (Engange) you can work according to your lists & tasks.

The sidebar

The sidebar will be extended to features previously available in the new Gmail interface only. Gmail added full access to the side panel (calendar, google notes, and to-do) for the first time as part of an update in 2018; previously, Google Docs and Slides had supported a Google Keep notepad option. The new page style replaces the Note option in Docs & Slides, but you can still drag-and-drop notes into a document or slide.

Change your work behaviour

If you’re now viewing G Suite in a desktop browser, you’ll see that adding G Suite sidebars also results in a consistent layout:

  • The main section for content such as Google Doc or Email
  • The top right panel with your Google Account and app switcher
  • The upper middle panel with custom App menus and search
  • The left panel with content details
  • The right side panel with the new sidebar

Google’s new sidebar is also a clear sign to the continued importance of the desktop at work and at school. The Sidepanel is a highly desktop-centric feature that reduces the need for users to switch from one tab to another, eliminating the need to effortlessly open separate apps or browser windows side by side. With no more than two clicks (or taps), you can access your calendar, notes, or tasks. On the desktop, when working in Gmail, Google Calendar, Docs, Sheets, Slides, or Drawings, you do not need to open pages or switch to another browser window.

Change your way of working:
Try the new sidebar the next time you write a note, check your colleague’s calendar or change a to-do list.