How to Assign Action Items in Google Docs

432050 How to Assign Action Items in Google Docs

Google Docs allows users to collaborate on documents and assign action items or tasks to others. This helps teams stay organized, track progress, and ensure work gets completed.

There are a few ways to assign tasks directly within a Google Doc:

Use the “@” Symbol

The easiest way is to simply type the @ symbol followed by the person’s email address and task description.

For example:

@[email protected] update pricing sheet with latest rates

When you finish typing and hit enter, Google Docs will prompt you to assign the action. Confirm the assignment and the person will receive an email notification with a link to the document and instructions.


  • Very fast and simple
  • Email notification sent automatically


  • Only works if collaborators have edit access
  • No due dates

Use Comment Action Items

Another method is to highlight some text and add a comment. Within the comment, type the + or @ symbol followed by the assignee’s email and task.

For example:

[email protected] confirm these numbers are accurate

When done, check the box next to “Assign to [person]” and they will get an email notification.


  • Allows assigning tasks without giving full edit access
  • Email notification sent automatically


  • Slightly more time consuming
  • No due dates

Create Checklist Items

You can break down tasks into checklist items within a Google Doc. Just highlight some text, go to Insert > Checklist and create items. Then click “Assign” next to each one to notify a person.


  • Very clear tasks
  • Shows progress at a glance
  • Allows due dates


  • Most time intensive
  • Only works if collaborators have edit access

View Assigned Tasks

To quickly see all action items assigned to you in a document, click on the number that appears next to the document name on Google Drive. This will show a list of all outstanding tasks.

You can also click “Open in Tasks” to view assigned checklist items in Google Tasks where you can mark them complete.

Best Practices

When assigning action items in Google Docs, follow these best practices:

  • Clearly describe the task needed in detail
  • Set due dates for time-sensitive items
  • At the start of meetings, review new action items
  • Follow up if items are not marked complete after the due date
  • Thank teammates when they complete assignments


Assigning action items directly within Google Docs makes team collaboration smooth and organized. With a few clicks, you can notify colleagues of tasks, track progress, and ensure work gets done on time.

By following best practices around communication and follow-up, you’ll get the most out of this helpful Google Docs feature.

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