Best Back-Up Tips For Your RememberTheMilk Tasks

Angela Randall 17-02-2012

remember the milk backupFor 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.

remember the milk backup


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.

back up remember the milk

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 How to Get Wget for Your Mac Macs are great, with their neat UI and a Unix back-end. Sometimes you get the feeling you can do just about anything with them. Until one day you’re trying to do something simple and you... Read More .

To back up your RTM data with Wget, use this command:

wget -q --http-user="YOUR_USERNAME" --http-password="YOUR_PASSWORD" --no-check-certificate -O rememberthemilk.`date '+%Y-%m-%d'`.ics

remember the milk backup

Use Wget RTM Backup In A Daily Script

Create a batch file How to Create a Batch (BAT) File in Five Simple Steps This article covers how to create a batch file using five simple steps for the Windows operating system. Read More or an automator script 3 Easy-To-Create Simple Automator Workflows for Everyday Use Read More which includes your RTM Wget command. Ensure your script runs daily and you’ll always have the latest data backed up.

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 4 Unique and Cool Ways to Use Dropbox Read More 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

Related topics: Data Backup, Task Management, To-Do List.

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