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Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Mind dumping with email + Smart Add

Tuesday, September 15, 2009 by Emily Boyd

Mind dump to Remember The Milk

Too many tasks cluttering up your brain? Try out this very useful tip from RTM user ovanrijswijk:

Those of you who are using RTM as a GTD-system might also be using "Mind Dumps". A mind dump is simply a way for you to get everything out of your head and into writing (paper or digital).

Our brains aren’t made to remember things forever, but written down text is; with an empty brain, we’re able to either focus on new things or deal with the task at hand, instead of constantly dwelling on past things taking up valuable bandwidth. This writing resulting from a mind dump is an important part of collecting stuff. Once written down, the stuff is to be processed an organized into your RTM-system.

Now here comes my Tip: use an e-mail to write down your mind dump to add it fast-and-easy to RTM. Send it to your RTM Import Email Address.

Once a week – i.e. during your Weekly Review – open a new e-mail and start writing. One item per line. After this mind dump send the e-mail to your RTM Import Email Address.

The result: all the items in your "mind dump e-mail" are converted to tasks in your RTM Inbox. That's where you can start to process and organize. Add data one task-item at a time – make it a project or a next action; add tags, location, notes and/or other metadata. And put the task on the right list.

…. and the stuff is off your mind and into your RTM-system.

As ovanrijswijk later notes, you can also use the import a list via email feature to include tasks with Smart Add syntax for a "Smart" mind dump. Your email might then look something like this:

Subject: Inbox
To: [Your Remember The Milk import email address]

Buy birthday present for Mike today
Pay the phone bill tomorrow
Make dentist appointment on Tuesday #errand
Pick up the milk tomorrow @Supermarket

Thanks for sharing this tip, ovanrijswijk! You’re our Tips & Tricks Tuesday winner this week. :)

Do you have a suggestion for our weekly Tips & Tricks post? Got an interesting set-up or idea? Head over to the Tips & Tricks forum, add a new topic, and let us know how you use Remember The Milk. Each week we'll give away a 1 year Pro account to the user whose idea inspires the Tips & Tricks Tuesday blog post for that week.

Posted in: Tips & Tricks