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Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Keeping up with your relationship

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 by Andrew Conkling

Many people in relationships talk about being distracted by thoughts of their sweetheart, or about forgetting something they wanted to talk about, do for them, and so on. This week's tip, shared by eemeltoniv, suggests a way to keep up some fresh ideas for your relationship — and to not let it distract you while doing other things!

Bob T. Monkey and a special friend

So, I'm in a great relationship. Throughout my work day, the most random questions, thoughts, and ideas pop into my head — things to ask her about, do together, etc. Most of these align already with my current lists — "Ask/investigate," "Hear/see/visit/do," etc. For the ones that are also germane to her, I append a tag with her name and have a Smart List set up to combine all those.

The payoff? Rather than send a million emails or texts a day with e.g. "Ninja or pirate or RTM monkey?" or "Let's go watch this movie" as soon as they come to mind (and before I forget), I instead log them and, at the end of the day when we talk, we can hit each of these. I feel comfortable that I haven't forgotten a good question or a neat idea. And it cuts back on having a bunch of email and text chains each about a different thing, in the midst of two very busy run-around professional lines.

Plus, when we do hit all this stuff, it's quite satisfying to check them off.

And, bonus for scoundrels: you can always go back, mark them as "incomplete," and rename the tag to the next significant other. For the record, though, I think mine is a keeper.

For the record, there's no need to choose between ninja, pirate, or monkey — you should see Bob's costume he wears to masquerades…

Thanks for sharing this tip, eemeltoniv! 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

Join the team: Community Manager (Japanese language)

Friday, February 24, 2012 by Emily Boyd

Bob tries his best to learn Japanese

We've tried, we really have, but we're still no closer to getting Bob fluent in Japanese. While he converses easily in both JavaScript and Scala, his Japanese is beginner level at best.

What we need is someone to help Bob out. We're looking for a Community Manager (Japanese language) to join the Remember The Milk team (this is a part-time, "work from anywhere" position).

Do you love communicating online and practically live on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+? Are you passionate about helping other users get the most out of Remember The Milk? Oh, and do you speak Japanese too? If this sounds like you, and you'd like to join us in our quest to make the world more organized and productive, head on over to the jobs page and get in touch!

(We have other positions available, too.)

Update: This position has now been filled. Thanks to everyone who applied!

Posted in: Behind the Scenes

Tips & Tricks Tuesday: The Awesome List

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 by Andrew Conkling

If you've been looking for a bit of "awesome" motivation to help your day, you'll love this week's tip. Shared by robotfu, it will help encourage you to add something exceptional to your regular routine.

Inspired partially by Benjamin Franklin's schedule and his "what good shall I do this day?" beginning of the day question, I created an "Awesome" list in which I put just that: ideas of good (or awesome) things I could do in a day and that are not typically part of my schedule.

Each idea has to be simple enough to not take too much time and to be able to be accomplished within that day. Instead of thinking of a new idea every morning, I just add ideas to that list as I think of them and I don't put any due dates when adding them — so then every morning, I look at my "Awesome" list and decide which of the ideas I will do that day and change that idea's due date to "today." (You may prefer to schedule it in advance, but for those who'd like to do it like me, I would suggest making a Today Smart List in which you keep track of all the things to be done today.)

Optionally, if you don't think you can fit it in your schedule in a daily basis, you could do it once a week. Or if that also results too difficult, you could just look at the list of tasks you've done by the end of the day, and select one that you think was really good and tag it #awesome. You could create your "Awesome" list based on that tag to keep track of the good/awesome things you're doing.

Hopefully, doing this can make your day a lot more special or fun and help you keep motivated

Thanks for sharing this tip, robotfu! 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: Building combination Smart Lists

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 by Andrew Conkling

We've highlighted some interesting Smart Lists on the blog previously, but this week's tip, shared by 4trainpoet, shows us a powerful combination of Smart Lists. Rather than some very long search criteria, these Smart Lists build upon one another to exclude anything in the previous ones.

I've been messing around with Smart Lists for the last few months, and the following is what I've come up with. It allows me to use due date and priority to split out tasks, without having to worry too much about which I prefer to use. It also helps to keep lists manageable, by splitting tasks into 4 groups: Today, This Week, Soon, and At Some Point…

  • Smart List Name: [0] Today
  • Search Criteria: (due:today OR priority:1)

This is the basic "things to do" list. Nothing fancy. No overdue tasks, except those marked "!1".

  • Smart List Name: [1] This Week
  • Search Criteria: (dueBefore:"1 week of today" OR priority:1)

This shows the above, plus the rest of the week, as well as any overdue tasks.

  • Smart List Name: [2] Soon
  • Search Criteria: (priority:2 AND NOT list:"[1] This Week" OR dueWithin:"1 month of today" AND NOT list:"[1] This Week")

This list shows non-urgent and upcoming tasks for the following month, that don't appear in the first two lists.

  • Smart List Name: [3] At Some Point
  • Search Criteria: (NOT list:"[1] This Week" AND NOT list:"[2] Soon")

Finally, there's everything else.

Thanks for sharing this tip, 4trainpoet! 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: Tracking warranties

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 by Andrew Conkling

Warranties can be very useful, often meaning the difference between getting something fixed for free or having to replace it. It can be frustrating to miss out on a warranty, especially if it involves paying extra for it. This week we have two tips that will help you keep track of warranties for your items.

The first tip, shared by clayton.chu, suggests keeping track of both return and warranty dates so you have all the information you'll need in case of a problem.

Bob T. Monkey keeps track of warranties

After I get home from shopping, I grab the receipts of every major purchase I've made that I might return or need to service. I create TWO tasks for each item, each with the policy expiration date as a due date: one for the return-to-store, one for the return-to-manufacturer. Each is tagged as either "return" or "warranty".

Each gets a note as to where I purchased it; relevant credit card information; all accessories that may have come with item; and the general return policy (do I need the receipt present, or is a credit card okay? is there a restocking fee?). This way, if I do need to make a return, I won't be surprised when I get to the store to find that the clerk can't look up my information, that I'm missing parts, etc.

For the return tasks in particular, I also add a tag with the store name. For warranty tasks, I add to the note the manufacturer's policy and where to send stuff; the manufacturer's website; or who to call to set up an RMA.

I then use the search

tag:return AND NOT dueBefore:today

or

tag:warranty AND NOT dueBefore:today

to see what items are still within the return policy. This might be overkill if I have only one item to return, but definitely useful if I have lots of things to return at various stores. I sort by due date; this combined with the store tags let me plan a trip to return all the stuff I want to return in a single shot, within enough time so that the return is allowed.

I don't get rid of overdue tasks; sometimes stores or manufacturers will allow an out-of-policy return/exchange. Keeping the task overdue and on its own Overdue Policy list lets me know that I might have to fight to get my return approved. I never mark the task complete until I have attempted to use the return policy, either successfully or not (i.e., they won't allow me to do an out-of-policy return).

A complementary tip, shared by om, suggests keeping up with any warranties that may be ending soon.

I also created a simple Smart List:

dueWithin: "1 month" AND tag:warranty

This way I can check if there's nothing wrong with the equipment just before the warranty expires and get it fixed or replaced free if needed.

Thanks for sharing these tips, clayton.chu and om! You're both our Tips & Tricks Tuesday winners 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