For many of us who work in the cloud, we’ve come to rely on our favourite services quite heavily. We also sometimes love and trust them perhaps a little more than we should at times, leaving ourselves open to losing everything we have built with the service so far.
It recently occurred to me that I had invested a lot of time into my RememberTheMilk tasks, yet had no way of accessing these tasks if the RTM site was down or my account had troubles. I’m certain I’m not the only person in this position, so I put a bit of thought into the best ways to back up RTM tasks so they’ll always be protected and available.
Use A Local Task Manager Which Syncs To RTM
There are a great number of local task manager programs for all operating systems, many of which will offer a two-way sync to RTM, such as Outlook and MilkSync. This is ideal if you enjoy working locally or are offline on occasion, but requires a Pro RememberTheMilk membership.
Remember to keep the program in sync with RTM if this is your back-up solution. You could do this by ensuring the program opens regularly, either by making it open on start-up or by writing a script to open it regularly.
Use Manual RTM Exports And A Local Task Manager
If you’re not very technical and just want to be able to read a back-up of your tasks, this is a good option. Get your favourite local task manager and regularly go through these steps to export your RTM data and then import it into your chosen program.
While logged into RTM, go to Settings > Info and note the link below “iCalendar Service (All Lists)”. Copy the link and paste it into the URL bar of your browser, then change the “webcal://” section or the URL to “https://”. Press enter and it will download a backup of your tasks as an .ics file.
Use Wget To Get A Back-Up
Wget is a neat command-line tool for getting the contents of a web document. It’s ready to use on Windows or UNIX, but for Mac users there’s a slightly more involved process to get it installed, which is detailed here.
To back up your RTM data with Wget, use this command:
wget -q --http-user="YOUR_USERNAME" --http-password="YOUR_PASSWORD" --no-check-certificate https://www.rememberthemilk.com/icalendar/YOUR_USERNAME/ -O rememberthemilk.`date '+%Y-%m-%d'`.ics
Use Wget RTM Backup In A Daily Script
Neat Hacks For Better Protection
Here’s a few more ideas for making your RTM backup even more protected:
- Use email, Twitter or Evernote to add tasks to RTM, so you’ve always got a back-up of what was entered.
- Use Dropbox or another online back-up tool to back up the RTM back-up you got with Wget or a manual export.
- Go one step further with your batch file or automator script and make sure it copies your RTM back-up file to your Dropbox automatically.
Backup For Other Task Managers
Most of the above methods would work equally well for backing up other web-based tasks. Just search for their export tool and use these ideas.
Best Task Backup Combinations
Obviously, a daily backup script using Wget is the easiest way to ensure you have the latest tasks on your desktop. However, you’ll probably still want a local task manager in order to read your tasks from this back-up file or to check your tasks while offline. Some people will prefer to use a local client which can sync, but this will only be effective if you open the program and sync it regularly.
How do you back up your to-do list? What are your best tips for managing your RTM back-ups?
Image Credit: Moutzouris
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