Prioritize tasks across your account with Smart Queues

What are Smart Queues, how to view and edit tasks in Smart Queues, and how to use them to maximize your productivity

Emily Jones avatar
Written by Emily Jones
Updated over a week ago

It’s easy to see what tasks are top priority within a single queue. All you have to do is look at what’s at the top. But what happens when you’re trying to balance the number one priorities across all your queues? That’s where Smart Queues come in. 🤓

What are Smart Queues?

Smart Queues allow you to filter tasks from your whole account based on criteria you set, such as dates or tags. They’re essentially search results that give you an opportunity to see tasks from different queues side by side so you can prioritize your work correctly.

And they help you focus on specific information. So you’ll see tasks from all your queues that fit that specification at once, and you’ll only see tasks that fit that specification.

Smart Queues let you:

  • Prioritize tasks even when they live in different queues

  • Use search criteria to identify high-priority projects that might have slipped out of your awareness

  • Focus on work that meets your immediate priorities, without getting distracted by other tasks in your queues

Default Smart Queues

When you first sign in to your GQueues account, you’ll see the Smart Queues block in the left hand panel. It has four Smart Queues to get you started:

  • Overdue - All tasks with a date before today

  • Due Today + Overdue - All tasks dated for today or in the past

  • Due this Week - All tasks due by the end of this week

  • Next Actions - Next 2 tasks from every queue in your account

Default Smart Queues in the lefthand panel

👉 Pro Tip: These default Smart Queues are super useful to get a snapshot of everything on your plate and make sure you haven't forgotten anything important. Get in the habit of checking them daily to see what's on your schedule and plan out your day!

View tasks in Smart Queues

Just like in other queues, tasks in Smart Queues are separated between Active and Archived tasks. But since Smart Queues are often bringing tasks together from multiple queues in your account, there are a few key differences in how tasks are displayed.

Tasks don’t have numbers

Tasks never actually live in a Smart Queue, and Smart Queues are often bringing tasks from multiple queues together. This means tasks don’t have numbers denoting their priority level when shown in a Smart Queue. And it’s not possible to drag and drop tasks to reorder them within a Smart Queue.

Tasks in Smart Queues are displayed without numbers

If you have tasks that have been assigned to you where you are not also shared on the queue where the task lives, they will be shown with an arrow symbol → where the task number would be.

If you don’t have permission to complete a task, there will be a lock where the checkbox normally is.

👉 Pro Tip: Group and sort your tasks in Smart Queues to reorder tasks within the Smart Queue and organize them based on the information that is most relevant to your current needs.

Subtasks display on their own

Smart Queues consider each subtask its own task, and search your account accordingly.

If a parent task matches the Smart Queue criteria, it will have an arrow next to it, indicating it has subtasks. Clicking that arrow will open the task overview and view subtasks. You can also double-click the colored circle to open the task overview.

Task in Smart Queue with indicator it has subtasks

If a subtask matches the search criteria, the parent task will be noted beneath the task name.

Task in Smart Queue that indicates it has a parent task

Queue name doesn’t display number of tasks

Because Smart Queues work by searching your account for tasks that meet certain conditions, and the tasks don’t actually live in that queue, they don’t display the task number next to the queue name like in other queues.

Smart Queues don't display number of tasks from the lefthand panel

Edit tasks in Smart Queues

Editing permissions

Depending on what tasks match your search criteria for the Smart Queue, you may have different editing permissions for some tasks than for others. The key thing to remember is if you can’t edit the task where it lives, you won’t be able to edit it in the Smart Queue either.

So if you are a view only member of a team, you won’t be able to comment on tasks from that team in the Smart Queue. But you will be able to comment on tasks that you own, or where you are a commenter or above. If you do not have permission to take certain actions on a task, the corresponding icons will not show up.

Editing options in Smart Queues, based on permissions in the queues where the tasks live

Since tasks don’t actually live in Smart Queues, it is not possible to add subtasks or duplicate tasks when viewing them in a Smart Queue, regardless of what your permissions are for the task. To add subtasks, you can double click the task’s colored circle to open the Task Overview. To duplicate the task, you’ll need to use the copy to queue function or go to the queue where the task actually lives.

👉 Pro Tip: To view the queue where a task lives, group your tasks by queue and click the queue name.

Tasks grouped by Queue with link to take you to the original queue

Drag tasks to new queues

As long as you own the task or are a collaborator or above, you can drag and drop tasks to new queues. The tasks will still show up in the Smart Queue as long as they continue to meet all conditions, but the queue where the task lives will have changed.

Change queue where task lives in a Smart Queue

👉 Pro Tip: You can also use the copy to queue function to drag copies of tasks in Smart Queues to new queues in one step, without needing to duplicate the task first.

Add tasks in Smart Queues

Smart Queues do not have the Add task button at the top of the queue. When you click that button, it creates a new task in the queue you’re currently viewing. Because tasks can’t live in Smart Queues, you can’t create new tasks in them.

👉 Pro Tip: If you want to add a task to another queue while viewing a Smart Queue, use the Chrome Extension to add the task without leaving the Smart Queue!

When you’re managing multiple projects at once, it can be tricky to make sure you’re balancing the needs of all of them well. But with Smart Queues, you get a built-in method to double-check you haven’t forgotten anything, and keep an eye on what’s ahead, no matter how that work is organized.

What’s Next?

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