I’m the type of person that has to write everything down. If I don’t write it down, it simply doesn’t get done. It’s not necessarily the easiest trait to deal with, but thankfully there are a number of applications that help me remember everything I have to do, everywhere I have to be, and all the other random thoughts that come into my head.
Remember the Milk is my task manager of choice, and is one of the most popular task applications on the Web. It’s powerful, it’s simple to use, and does a great job of taking all my tasks, and showing me the ones I need to see.
My favorite feature, though, and the one that helps with the whole “write it down or die” mantra, is the absurdly large number of places from which you can manage your tasks with RTM (Remember the Milk). You can use a number of different applications or methods to manage your tasks, and it’s accessible to you no matter where you are or what you’re doing.
Here are eight of the best ways to manage your RTM tasks:
1. The Web
This one’s the obvious one, but it’s great. With Remember the Milk’s web interface, you can have lists, tags, due dates, time estimates, high-powered search, and a number of other killer features that make RTM worthwhile. Plus, with the addition of Google Gears, you get all the functionality offline.
RTM can serve as a desktop application for those who want one, a web application, or a hybrid of the two- plus, it’s available from anywhere with a browser (including your phone- but we’ll get there).
2. Your Cell Phone
For any cell phone with a browser (all smartphones, plus a huge number of others), you can access RTM through their mobile interface. It’s somewhat stripped down, but gives easy access to all of your tasks, as well as letting you add and edit tasks.
If you’ve got a Windows Mobile phone or a Blackberry, RTM offers an application called MilkSync that will sync your tasks to the native task application on your phone. That way, you can edit your tasks on the phone, offline, and then sync them back to the Web. It’s free, but requires a Pro account, at $25/year, that gives a huge number of other features as well.
If you’ve got an iPhone or iPod Touch, RTM recently released a native iPhone application that is truly a killer for managing your tasks, offering all the features of the web app, on or offline. It has the same search, editing and adding features that the Web does, and also adds a “Nearby” feature that lets you know what tasks you can do near where you currently are- a great use of the iPhone’s geolocation features.
I use it every day on my iPod Touch, and it’s the primary way I deal with my tasks. They do require a Pro account, after a 15-day trial.
4. Google Desktop
Google Desktop is a desktop and Web search program for your computer, as well as a gadget program similar to Dashboard for Mac OS. RTM doesn’t officially offer a gadget, but there is a Google Desktop Gadget that looks like the mobile interface, and allows you to manage your tasks right from the desktop, with only a mouse click or two Shift clicks to bring it up. It lives in the background until you need it, and then provides all the access you need to your tasks.
RTM’s Twitter bot is one of the features I use the most. Just follow RTM on Twitter, and activate it through your account. Then, you can add or complete tasks through direct messages with RTM.
To add a task, just type “d rtm yourtask.” To complete one, type “d rtm !complete yourtask.” RTM’s smart, which means you can also add due dates, assign tasks to other people, or even request a list of all the tasks you have due today. You can actually manage all your RTM tasks without ever leaving the Twitter window.
6. Email / Gmail
Every RTM account has its own private email address, which you can use to send tasks. When you email RTM, it reads the subject line of the email as the name of the task. Using keywords, you can set due dates, priorities, or almost any other feature to your tasks right in the email. RTM will put the task in your Inbox, where you can process it later.
For Gmail users, there’s also the Gmail Gadget, which allows you to manage all your tasks from the Gmail sidebar (underneath the chat and labels).
For Firefox users, there’s a popular extension called RTM for Gmail that puts a separate sidebar into Firefox with a full-featured task manager, and one that integrates beautifully with your emails.
7. Your Home Page
RTM has modules for both iGoogle (Google’s popular start page), and NetVibes, another popular start page application. They’ve both got all the requisite features- adding, editing, sorting, completing, postponing. With these, you can see and manage your tasks from the minute you open your browser; no remembering to open the page or check your to-do list, as it’s put right in front of you.
You can also use the gadget links on a number of other start pages by manually adding them, though they’re not officially supported by RTM.
8. Adobe AIR
If you’re looking for a pure desktop application from which to manage your tasks, look no further than the Adobe AIR application called Remember the Task. Remember the Task basically puts the mobile interface, the tall rectangle, into a desktop application that you can use just like any other offline app. It’ll have its own window, be easy to find, and be always available to you.
These are only the tip of the iceberg – there are a ton of ways to interact with your Remember the Milk tasks, and it’s a truly ubiquitous way to have a to-do list. It’s also a saving grace for those of us with a lack of remembering skills.
How do you manage your task list, RTM or otherwise?
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