Friday, January 29, 2010

How I manage to "Remember the Milk"

I honestly am not sure how to even start this post. All I can say is that I have stumbled across something that has revolutionized my to-do list. I'm all for Excel spread sheets, organized lists, probably over-organized systems to keep track of my household duties as well as all the other livestock, extracurricular, and community activities I find myself involved in. However, they all had one thing in common...they worked for awhile and then became a burden in themselves.

That all changed upon discovering There's no better way to describe it than straight from the horses mouth, or in this case, their website:

"Managing tasks is generally not a fun way to spend your time. We created Remember The Milk so that you no longer have to write your to-do lists on sticky notes, whiteboards, random scraps of paper, or the back of your hand. Remember The Milk makes managing tasks an enjoyable experience.

We began work on Remember The Milk in August 2004. What started as a simple idea soon became a huge web application with every feature imaginable (there's a reason why this took more than a year to finish!). We launched in October 2005. Remember The Milk now has more than 1.75 million registered users."

Here's how I have set up Remember the Milk to work for me. You are able to create separate lists by category. I have Animals, Desk Work, Kitchen, Household Chores, Kids, Personal, Outside, Employment, and a few others for organizations I'm involved with. Imagine that under each list are all of the possible tasks for that category. Each one gets to be assigned a priority, a next due date, and a frequency. Beyond that they can be assigned tags, the ever-popular method of marking something so that it can be searched as a group, for the items that I normally tackle during the morning, afternoon, or evening. It's also in the works for me to tag them with the name of a family member who could also handle this task on their own. Can you just see the possibilities here?

So on a typical morning, I log into RememberTheMilk and take a look at the entire list of tasks due that day. I then click on the tag for 'morning' which searches through all the different lists for just those tasks tagged 'morning'. Voila...there's my list to work from. It can be printed to hard copy, or as I've now moved my laptop to a central location, I just work from it online. Come afternoon, I pull up that list and so on. For those items I don't get to, I can choose to postpone them to a later date...a very tempting option quite too often...or they will simply reappear the next day. I tell you, I just can't say enough about how tremendously easy it is to use as a guide throughout the day. My next project to incorporate will be homeschool assignments for each child, but I need to decide how I want to set that up first.

Not only can you log in to view your tasks through your computer, there are many apps that have been developed to work with smart phones as well as even Twitter. I use the Twitter app so that I can text a list item through my cellphone that will show up in my RememberTheMilk inbox where I can import it into my routine later. How cool is that? The site is free but you can upgrade to a Pro version for $25 a year, but I do not see a need for this unless you want one of the newer specialized apps.

Trust me on this, and visit their website. I know I sound like I work for them, but this secret is just too good to not share with those who are obsessively organized but just need a working platform to accomplish that or those who run around looking for lost notes written on who knows what. And come back, and let me know how you can manage to "Remember the Milk".

1 comments - click here to leave your comments:

Anonymous said...

I've been battling between RTM and Todoist. I think RTM has more features Todoist, but I just dont like its interface. Whereas Todoist has a much clutter-less interface and divides the tasks by day: Today, Tomorrow, etc. I think there is far more emphasis on the tasks in Todoist, and in RTM its information overload, with the tasks less prominent. I dont want tasks in different Tabs because I have to keep moving through the Tabs. I want to know what I am working on Today, categorised by priority with nice colour codings and thats it.
Its all personal preference though!

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