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Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Using priority instead of due dates

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 by Andrew Conkling

Perhaps after last week's tip, you realize how often you postpone some of your tasks. This week's tip, shared by graham.poulter, offers an alternative: using priorities to help you decide what to do on a given day.

For a long time I would set due:today on the things I wanted to do next, and the next day postpone the ones I didn't do. Most of the tasks don't really have an externally imposed due date and kept getting postponed every day until I got to them.

My tip is to take off the due dates and use priorities to create a "Next" Smart List (priority:1), an "Upcoming list" of all priorities (NOT priority:N), and a "Backlog" list (priority:N) of non-prioritised items.

The "Next" list can be extended to also include items with a real due date (real consequences for missing it) in the near future:

priority:1 OR dueWithin:"3 weeks of today" OR dueBefore:today

Thanks for sharing this tip, graham.poulter! 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

Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Taking care of postponed tasks

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 by Andrew Conkling

We often hear from users that taking care of old tasks can really help to feel better about what's left to do. After cleaning up tasks you added long ago, this week's tip, shared by kateoneill, suggests also looking at cleaning up postponed tasks.

My morning RTM routine involves marking as "complete" any tasks that I did actually complete the day prior, but postponing the rest. This means that some tasks that don't grab my attention can end up deferred for days, weeks, and yes, sometimes even months. But I have two Smart Lists to help me address this:

one called "ORLY?" with
postponed:"> 5" AND priority:1
so that I can see any supposedly high-priority items I've been procrastinating on and either handle immediately or determine true next steps for

and one called "Clutter!" with
postponed:"> [whatever the highest number that yields results is]"
which allows me to go in periodically and clear out ALL old tasks, and then revise the smart list to a smaller number so that it continually tightens my view on my overall tasks.

Thanks for sharing this tip, kateoneill! 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

Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Keeping track of frozen food

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 by Andrew Conkling

In addition to using Remember The Milk to plan your week's meals, you may find that it helps to keep track of what's in your freezer. This week's tip, shared by carolsher, describes how to make sure your freezer doesn't get too full… so maybe you have more room for ice cream? :)

Bob's freezer is full... of ice cream

In the past I have found it difficult to keep track of what I've got in my freezer.

Using a written list is awkward because as some items get crossed out when they are used, it starts to be hard to see what remains available. But now I am using Remember The Milk!

I have a list called "Freezer". Each item of food in the freezer is added as a task. The due date of the task is the date on which the food needs to be used up.

I tag each item to remind me which of the drawers it is in: top-drawer, middle-drawer and bottom-drawer. I can also tag foods with their type such as soup or veg.

I've been doing this for a few months now, and it's very easy to maintain and definitely is helping me not to waste food. Thank you Remember The Milk for being such a useful and flexible tool.

Thanks for sharing this tip, carolsher! 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

Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Cleaning out old tasks with a Smart List

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 by Andrew Conkling

If you've been using Remember The Milk for any length of time, you may have added some tasks that just didn't get done. This week's tip, shared by chris089, suggests looking through those tasks to get them done or just to cut them loose.

#5 of the Cult Of Done Manifesto got me thinking: I have a lot of items on my lists that have been there for ages and will probably stay there forever. So I created a new Smart List:

(NOT addedWithin:"1 week") AND due:never

This results in a shocking 302 open tasks. During my next weekly review, I'll go through those and either decide when and what to do about them or just delete them. And then repeat that every week.

Thanks for sharing this tip, chris089! 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

Kicking off a productive 2012

Thursday, January 5, 2012 by Emily Boyd

We're already off to a busy New Year here at Remember The Milk — this past week has been our biggest ever, with almost 100,000 new users signing up!

Welcome to everyone who's discovered us from the featured apps section on the Android Market (and a thank you to whoever picked us to be featured! :), as well as those who learned about us in the Wall Street Journal. We hope Remember The Milk will help you to have an organized and productive 2012!

We thought we'd start the year with a quick look back at our favourite Remember The Milk happenings of 2011.

Remember The Milk for iPad

iPad app screenshot

Our first big launch of the year was our iPad app. Development of the app took just over a year, as we rebuilt the app from scratch and threw out four different design concepts in our pursuit of a Remember The Milk experience that felt natural and intuitive on the iPad. We were thrilled to (finally!) launch the app and hope you guys liked the result, too. :)

Add tasks to Remember The Milk with Siri

This was one of our favourite launches. We were super excited to make it possible to ask Siri to remind you (e.g., "Remind me to pick up the milk"), and have that task be magically added to Remember The Milk. Check out Andrew's demo if you missed it!

Android logo

Remember The Milk for Android 2.0

Otherwise known as The Ginormous Android App Update, this release was big. We overhauled the UI of the Android app and the widgets, snuck in some cool new features and new widgets, and (like our iPhone and iPad apps) the basic app became free for everyone. :)

Real time updating comes to the web app

We couldn't wait to add this feature. Magical real time updating goodness means that you see changes to your tasks as soon as they happen: whether you've updated a task on your iPad, postponed a few tasks on your Android device, or someone you're sharing with decides to tag a bunch of tasks with 'bananas'.

iPhone and iPad apps, now with push syncing

Hot on the heels of real time updating for the web app came pushing syncing for our iOS apps. This means that, with a Pro account, any changes made to your account are automagically pushed out to your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. (The iOS app has to be open to receive the changes in real time, due to OS limitations.)

Voting on ideas for Remember The Milk

Voting icons

With the new voting feature in our Ideas forum, we asked you to help us decide what Bob and the team should develop next. The response has been overwhelming, with 188,591 votes placed for 4,798 different ideas so far (whew!). We're most definitely paying attention to the results… :)

Growing the Remember The Milk team

Bob T. Monkey

We've been lucky to welcome some awesome new team members this past year (hi Alonso, Brendan, and Vassil!). We're now a team of 11 people plus one stuffed monkey, located on five different continents. If you'd like to join us, check out our open positions and get in touch. :)

What's next in 2012?

The team is super busy cooking up cool new stuff and improving Remember The Milk based on your feedback. We can't wait to share what we're working on (we've got some big stuff in store for 2012!).

Follow/like/circle us on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ to stay in touch with the team, and if you're a Pro user, make sure you sign up to the tester program if you're interested in helping us to test pre-release features.

One last thing… we'd just like to say a massive thank you for supporting us! Thanks for using Remember The Milk, and we wish you an awesome and productive (and possibly awesomely productive?) year.

Posted in: Behind the Scenes

Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Planning your meals

Tuesday, January 3, 2012 by Andrew Conkling

Eating at home can be inexpensive, healthy, and certainly tasty. It does take a bit more work at times, at least if you eat more than Bob's usual dinner. This week's tip, shared by flewtist, discusses how you can keep up with your meal planning — and any prep work — to make sure you have something ready to eat when you get hungry. :)

Bob cooks... something

I always plan the meals for my family. But I will often forget to leave enough prep time or forget to do the necessary prep work (like defrosting) that means the difference between eating a healthy home-cooked meal or eating delivery.

Now as I do the planning, I make entries in my RTM list. The first entry is tagged menu for the menu item for that day and contains a list of things I am going to make, along with the prep time if it is an unfamiliar dish.

Dinner: Crockpot Turkey/stuffing/green beans (cook 8 hrs) ^Sunday #menu

The second entry is if I have to do prep work for the dish, like defrosting, or assembling the dish ahead of time.

Defrost turkey ^Friday #foodprep

I combine these two tags into a Smart List so that I can see all menu/food tasks at once, and each item comes up on the day I need to do it.

Thanks for sharing this tip, flewtist! 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