Back in the days, I was writing down tasks I want to get done in pieces of paper stuffed in my wallet. I know it’s archaic and wasn’t fun but it worked for me. But, with the advent of Google Calendar and other web applications I decided to dump my old system and try something new.
I have played with many solutions both online and offline but they weren’t for me. They were either too complex or I was getting too consumed maintaining the to-do list than getting things done. I have to admit I might not have followed Mr. David Allen’s Getting Things Done mantra, to the word.
Now, I am using Remember the Milk. It is a free web application in public beta created by a small Australian company.
Why I got hooked on to it?
It is simple, intuitive, fast and elegant. All the features that would make a web application a winner. It is not cluttered with useless features. Plus, the availability of a Netvibes module was the last straw that made me switch to it full time even though I have been playing with it for a while. And I find their logo incredibly funny looking!
What can you do with Remember the Milk (RTM)?
For starters, you are gonna find managing your to do list such a breeze once you start using this! I am still learning the ropes here so please feel free to add to this or correct me if I am plain wrong about something. Anyways, it’s time for the quick facts:
- Lists: You can create lists and name them to your desire. Mine are named Bills, Home, Work & Blog. I set up tasks that repeat every month to pay the different bills under Bills. Forgetting to pay bills can be very expensive! This is my foremost in any of my to-do lists. There is also an Inbox and Sent lists which have tasks that were shared with you by someone else and tasks that you shared with your wife or friend. Once you get going, check out their Smart Lists.
- Tags: I love tags and tag clouds as you can see in the side-bar. They offer such a nice visual look at data. At RTM, you can tag your tasks and that breaks you free from looking at tasks within lists. From the tag cloud in the Overview page, you can look at tasks spread across Lists if they share the same tag. For example, you could tag tasks that need you to call as ‘phone’. You could get creative with the use of tags once you get the hang of it. I have found it to be most useful when you use them judiciously. But, I am still learning as I go.
- Locations: This feature is a mash-up with Google Maps. You could add locations to your tasks and you can get a visual look at all the tasks that you need to get done around town in a Map. I am yet to put this feature to its best use.
- Feeds: You can subscribe to Atom/RSS Feeds for any of your lists. I don’t use this since I get a nice subset view of all tasks in the Netvibes RTM module.
- Reminders: You can set up reminders to various tasks and receive by Email, SMS or one of the many popular IM clients like Yahoo, Skype, Jabber, GoogleChat, etc.
- Mobile Friendly: They have a mobile friendly version available as well here if you have a web-enabled phone.
- Google Fan? RTM has nice integration with Google Calendar . And they have a RTM gadget if you use Google’s Personalized Homepage. However, I prefer Netvibes myself if I haven’t said that a hundred times already in this post.
- Quick access: There are add-ons for different browsers to add tasks quickly without going to their website. Also, they have keyboard shortcuts for easy access to most functions.
There are numerous offerings for to-do list applications on the web but I find RTM very refreshing and flexible. And I thought the same about MonkeyGTD a while back. So, check it out for yourself and let us know what you think. Maybe you have found a better alternative that you would like to share with us!
If you are David Allen’s GTD fan, here is an excellent post on how you can make RTM a tool for GTD, though its a little dated.