How to Assign Tasks in Google Docs in 2 Different Ways

77680 How to Assign Tasks in Google Docs in 2 Different Ways

Google Docs is a versatile online document editing tool that enables real-time collaboration. One of its most useful features for teamwork is the ability to assign tasks directly within documents. This keeps all project information together in one place and eliminates the need to use separate task management apps.

There are two main methods for assigning tasks in Google Docs:

Method 1: Using Comments

  1. Open the Google Doc and highlight the relevant text where you want to assign a task.
  2. Click “Add comment” in the toolbar at the top.
  3. In the comment box that appears, start your task by typing “TODO:” or “Action item:”.
  4. After the colon, specify the username of the person you are assigning the task to in brackets (e.g. TODO: [John] to add statistics to section 3).
  5. Click ‘Comment’ or ‘Assign’ to post the comment. This will notify the user by email.

Tips for using comments:

  • Check the “Assign to” box to assign the task directly to that user.
  • Add due dates, status labels, priority levels etc to make tasks clearer.
  • Thread replies under the original comment to discuss tasks.

Method 2: Using Tasks Sidebar

  1. Highlight text and click the “Add to tasks” icon in the toolbar (next to comments).
  2. In the Tasks sidebar that appears, fill in details like title, assignee, due date etc.
  3. Click “Add” to create the task.

Tips for using Tasks sidebar:

  • Tasks can be marked as complete within the doc.
  • Click a task title in the sidebar to jump to the corresponding text.
  • Tasks sync automatically to the user’s personal task list.

Key Benefits

Assigning tasks in Google Docs:

  • Keeps all information in one centralized document.
  • Eliminates switching between apps.
  • Enables seamless communication and updates.
  • Improves clarity on who is responsible for what.
  • Syncs automatically with users’ personal task lists.
  • Works great for real-time collaboration.

Formatting Tips

When assigning tasks in Google Docs, use these formatting tips:

For task titles:

  • Start with a verb to denote action (e.g. “Add”, “Compile”, “Verify”).
  • Keep titles short but descriptive.
  • Use consistent title formats for clarity.

For assignees:

  • Use full names to avoid confusion.
  • Notify multiple people using @name1 @name2.

For due dates:

  • Set dates or times for accountability.
  • Use date formats like DD/MM/YYYY for clarity.
  • Include timezones if working across regions.

Real-World Applications

Assigning action items in Google Docs is useful in:

Project Management

  • Maintain project plans and track progress in shared docs.

Event Planning

  • Delegate tasks for events in living documents.

Team Meetings

  • Create notes and assign follow ups in real-time.

Remote Work

  • Manage asynchronous collaborations.


  • Teachers can assign individual/group tasks to students.

And More…

The flexibility of Google Docs combined with the assign tasks features creates diverse real-world applications across teams, projects and workflows.


Assigning tasks seamlessly within Google Docs eliminates the need for separate apps without compromising teamwork and collaboration. This simple but powerful feature helps organize projects, clarify responsibilities, enhance communication and keep stakeholders aligned within a single source of truth. Using comments or the Tasks sidebar provides flexibility to assign action items in just a few clicks.

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