Fridays are tip days at SimpleProductivity blog.
One of the major things I do every day is DOING things. I have a to-do list, and it keeps me focused and makes sure that I am reminded to do the things I need to. It is critical to my productivity level, and probably the most important consideration of any method of productivity for me.
When it came time to replace my PDA, I was scared. I had been running my to-do list out of a combination of Bonsai (my project tracker) and the Agendus overlay to the Palm tasks. I also used Redo to put repeating tasks into the Agendus database on a daily basis so that the task lists didn’t seem overwhelming with future to-dos.
(Re)Enter Remember The Milk
Back when Remember The Milk (RTM) came out, I took a look at it. But since there was no way to use it in conjunction with my Palm, I discarded the use of the application.
When I left the Palm, I took another look at the application. Not only could it handle recurring tasks, but it was accessible from the Web, on my GMail page, and through a couple of Adobe Air applications. I made the switch, putting in my recurring tasks only at first, then adding the Bonsai tasks via email every week.
I like RTM because firstly, it has a cow logo (as my boss says, ‘You can take the girl out of Wisconsin, but you can’t take Wisconsin out of the girl’). Secondly, it is easy to use, allowing for keyboard access to the tasks, and a well-documented set shortcuts for entering tasks and all their properties on one line. This was important to me, because entering tasks in Agendus required lots of clicks. The availability as an Air application means I don’t have to have my browser open all the time. And the imports of single items and lists of items via email make it very easy to get information into the system.
One of the first applications I “purchased” (the RTM Touch application is free if you are a premium RTM member) was RTM. It looks and feels just like the online applications. It will sync up when the Touch is connected to Wifi, and will hold the last download for working if you are not connected. Changing different tasks on the Touch and through the web interface didn’t pose any problems on the next sync, either, which tells me it updates items on a single level rather than as a whole file.
How I Set Up RTM
Setting up RTM wasn’t difficult. I did this through the web interface to take advantage of the full size keyboard. I started by setting up my lists. In addition to the default Sent and Inbox, I added Bonsai, Monthlies, Weeklies, Someday and Other. This allows me to quickly find items if I need to.
I tackled the repeating items first. In my Weeklies list are all the tasks that occur every week. For example, I have a reminder to clean my car every Friday, as well as reminders to do my work laundry on Thursday, and my daughter’s laundry on Wednesday. All of the tasks on this list repeat every week, and were very easy to enter.
Clean car ^Friday *every Friday #Weeklies
Next came my list of monthly tasks. I pulled this information Bonsai, where I had a backup copy of the information stored in Redo (just in case of Palm failure). These Bonsai entries had codes after them to indicate the timing. For example, (1) Backup blogs indicated that the task needed to occur on the 1st of every month; or (LT) Process tickler meant that I needed to process my tickler file on the last Tuesday of every month. These went very quickly into RTM.
Backup blogs ^10/1/2009 *every month on the 1st #Monthlies
Process Tickler File ^10/27/2009 *every month on the last Tuesday #Monthlies
My Bonsai tasks I imported via email. It was simple to take the CSV export file into Excel and convert it to the format needed. When the tasks landed in the Inbox in RTM, I copied them into the Bonsai list.
I am really liking RTM for my daily task management. With access from various places, I can keep an up-to-date list with me at all times.
Photo by Blogger Dude