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Remember The Milk, reloaded

Thursday, November 15, 2007 by Emily Boyd

After a lot of late nights (so late, in fact, that the RTM team is now more or less nocturnal), we're super excited to be launching Remember The Milk "reloaded". This new version of RTM includes a whole bunch of features and improvements that we've developed based on all of your feedback. Read on to find out what's new!

Improved list view

First up, we've been busy tweaking away at the task list interface. For those of you with larger screens, we've created a wider view of the list to give you more space for your tasks. With handy new icons in the list, you can now quickly see which of your tasks are repeating and which have notes attached. We've also made it easier to use the keyboard shortcuts to navigate your lists with better indication of the current task (try it out — j moves down and k moves up, with i selecting tasks).

List view

Connecting your tasks

To make it a little easier to see which task you're editing, you'll now see a line that connects the selected task to the task details on the right. This is particularly handy when you have several tasks selected or are using multi-edit mode (in which case you'll see connecting lines for all the tasks that you're editing).

Task connections

Friendlier due dates

We've improved how Remember The Milk shows due dates in your lists. A new, easier-to-read format shows the due dates in different ways depending on how far away they are, e.g. 9:00am, Monday, Nov 26, and 06/10/08.

Due dates

Tag management

Tags are an extremely flexible way to organize your tasks (you can even multi-edit to add tags to multiple tasks at once). If you're into tagging, you can now manage your tags to your heart's content in the Tags tab on the Settings screen. Rename, delete, and merge multiple tags into a single tag with ease. :)

Tag management

Tags in your lists

Because we love tags so much, we hated seeing them buried away where nobody could see them (er, in the task details). We've now made it much easier to see the tags for tasks in your lists.

Tags in lists

You can change your preference for this feature by going to the General tab on the Settings screen:

Tag settings

Private addresses for Atom/RSS/iCalendar feeds

Subscribing to your RTM feeds is a great way to keep track of your tasks — you can subscribe to the Atom/RSS feeds with your feed reader, or even show your tasks on your calendar with the iCalendar feeds.

There's just one problem though. Many feed readers and calendars, particularly those online, don't support authenticated feeds like ours (which require your RTM username and password to access them). So unless you've chosen to make a list public (removing the authentication), it hasn't been possible to subscribe to your feeds with services like Google Reader and Google Calendar.

Until now, that is. :) You can now enable private addresses for your lists by going to the General tab on the Settings screen:

Private addresses

With private addresses, each of your list feeds is given a very long, hard to guess URL. You can use this URL to subscribe with your feed reader or show your tasks on your Google Calendar without having to make your list public. After you've enabled this feature, you'll find the private Atom and iCalendar feed URLs available in the list details box for each list (private addresses are available for both regular and Smart Lists).

Feeds

Atom/RSS feeds for completed tasks

Bonus feature! By popular demand, Atom/RSS feeds are now available for completed tasks too (the iCalendar feed already includes both completed and incomplete tasks). These feeds are pretty handy for tracking your own progress, and great for seeing when others have completed tasks in shared lists. To find the completed feed for a list, just switch to the completed view and you'll see it in the list details box.

Using Smart Lists in searches

Smart Lists are one of the most powerful features in RTM; they allow you to save search criteria as a special list (which is automatically updated as your tasks change). Smart Lists can use any of the advanced operators too.

What's that? It's not powerful enough for you?! We've got good news then. You can now include Smart Lists in your searches, meaning that you can create a Smart List that searches for a Smart List (that searches for a Smart List that searches for… well, it's all very meta).

What's this actually mean? Say I have a Smart List called "Quick Tasks" (timeEstimate:"< 21 min") and another called "Long Tasks" (timeEstimate:"> 20 min"). I also have an "Urgent" Smart List that includes tasks that are high priority, overdue, or due very soon (priority:1 OR dueBefore:today OR dueWithin:"2 days of today").

It's now possible to mix and match these Smart Lists. Looking for quick and urgent tasks? Try searching for:

list:"Quick Tasks" AND list:"Urgent"

Have some more time for those urgent tasks? Search for:

list:"Long Tasks" AND list:"Urgent"

You can combine as many Smart Lists as you need in a search (and of course, include any other advanced search operators too). If you're looking for some cool search ideas, check out this blog post.

New advanced search operators

You can never have too many advanced search operators, right? Of course not! Introducing hasNotes for notes searching, and to, from, and isReceived, which make it easier to find tasks that you've sent or received from particular RTM users, e.g. to:bobtmonkey. See the operators listing for more details. Update: Oops, forgot one — tagContains is now supported too.

But that's not all…

Whew! Almost at the end. In addition to the new features and changes described in this post, we've fixed a bunch of little annoyances and have also spent some time optimizing RTM to make things run even faster. We hope you enjoy Remember The Milk reloaded!

Posted in: New Features & Updates