I stumbled across this amazingly simple, yet highly useful tool the other day and I was eager to share it here. You would almost think Google created it given its simple yet powerful abilities, but it’s actually BETTER than something Google already offers. It’s called Remember The Milk – essentially, it’s a free online to-do list. If you’re thinking “online task lists are a dime-a-dozen,” definitely keep reading, because you’re wrong about this one.
Remember The Milk (“RTM”) allows you to add items to a to-do list, assign due dates, and categorize the items on your list. Currently, I have separate to-do lists for work and my personal life. Most of the time, I jot these things down on sticky notes (actual sticky notes, not a computer program), but that’s a good way to become disorganized and lose track of what you need to be doing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten to do something because a sticky note lost its adhesive and fell onto the floor or slipped underneath my laptop.
There are also a lot of times when I’m blogging or looking around online to come up with business ideas and I think of things that never make it down onto “paper.” I know there are loads of software and web applications that allow you to make to-do lists, but they’re never handy for me. I forget to keep software open, and sometimes I don’t think to go to a certain website to check whatever is on my list.
That’s why I think one of coolest RTM features is that it allows you to integrate its application with Gmail. Let’s take a look at the varying interfaces. First, here’s what its main website platform looks like:
Aside from inputting the task itself, you can also include notes, due dates, recurrences, time estimate, location, URL, and even see how many times you’ve postponed a task.
The simple interface is what makes it simple and easy to use, but the extra services they allow you integrate RTM with is what makes it powerful. The biggest problem with task list websites is that you are usually never on the website to see your tasks. Without an email or text message reminder, you likely forget to do the task. This is why Gmail integration of RTM is what sold me – I can always see my tasks in Gmail, which I generally have open 24/7. Here’s a look at what the task interface looks like in Gmail:
As you can see, the task list sits on the right side of your screen, and you can hover over any task to see the details. You can view any task list (or all of your task lists) and organize them by name or due date. You might be thinking, “Doesn’t Gmail already have a Tasks feature?” Yes, but it’s very limited and doesn’t have much flexibility.
If you’re looking for even more, RTM offers other types of integration. Here’s a list of other things you can do with it:
- Integration with iPhone (app can only be used on “Pro” version, which is about $2/month)
- Also integration with Android, Blackberry, and Windows Mobile PDAs (Pro version)
- Integration with Twitter
- Integration with Google Calendar
- Integration with Google Maps (Use the map to see where your tasks are located in the real world – see what’s nearby or on your way, and plan the best way to get things done.)
- Lots more (see the list here)
Ultimately, I think using a tool like this can save you a ton of time with getting organized at work, in your own business, or in your personal life. I plan to start using it regularly, and hopefully get rid of these awful sticky notes.