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Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Dinner planning with Remember The Milk

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 by Andrew Conkling

We hear about a lot of different things that Remember The Milk users keep track of with their tasks. This week's tip, shared by erlang, shows how you can use your tasks to manage your family's meals:

First, me and my wife have a shared list in Remember The Milk, this list is called Dinners.

First time we did type in seven dishes (as tasks). We first added the needed ingredients to our shopping list. This means, all uncompleted tasks in this list, are dishes that we either already have all the ingredients for, or that we plan on shopping all the needed ingredients for very soon – we usually do the dinner planning right before going to the grocery store.

Then we put due dates usually for all of the next 7 days. We may still have a number of dishes (uncompleted tasks) without due dates; which means that we have all the ingredients and may swap if we feel like. The list will look something like this:

Remember The Milk list

We are using iCal and the Calendar on the iPhone, and it is really important that we can get the dinner dishes in there; and luckily the iCalendar format is supported by RTM. Start by copying the iCal URL from RTM:

iCalendar URL

And subscribe to this URL from iCal (or another calendar software):

Subscribe in iCal

Now, your dishes will be fully in sync on your calendar. The dinner planning is read only in your calendar – you do the planning in the RTM app.

Tasks in iCal

Every day, when we make a dish, we check the dish as completed in the list. If we for some reason do not make the dish, we reschedule the due date, or empty the due date – meaning that it is a dish that we have not planned for a date, but still we got all the ingredients.

Now, to the really really cool part of this: as time go, you add and complete dishes, RTM will keep track of all the dishes that you have completed in the past. Just hit the completed link in your list:

Completed tasks

Now you see all dishes that you have made in the past sorted by how long it is since you made it last time. The time you completed it last time is listed to the right in the list. And when you do dinner planning for the next week, start to swipe through the completed list to get ideas for what you want for the next week – and you even easily see what dishes it is a long time since you had. Check those dishes you want to make, and hit the Uncomplete button.

Completing tasks

Thanks for sharing this tip, erlang! 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