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Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Superlist!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 by Andrew Conkling

While it's nice to have your tasks all in their own lists, it can sometimes make things hard to scan. It's also possible to get overwhelmed looking at your lists if they have a lot of tasks that aren't due for quite a while. Superlist to the rescue!

This week's tip, shared by patrick.conwell, shows a great way to use Smart Lists to create a list that shows only what you need to see, and hides what you don't.

Superlist Smart List

I like to use RTM for two things (well, one thing but in two different ways): 1 – to remember one off tasks that I need to do, and 2 – keep up with recurring tasks (mowing the lawn, changing air/water filters, etc).

I like to see my tasks for the upcoming two weeks: dueWithin:"2 weeks of today". That works well, but it doesn't show you tasks that are overdue, or tasks that have no due date. So, you can do this by: status:incomplete and dueWithin:"2 weeks of today" or dueBefore:today or due:never

This works well, BUT – it creates a problem with tasks that are repeated more frequently than every two weeks, like mowing the lawn, or cleaning the bathroom, or taking out the trash (for me). This is a problem for two reasons. First, you never feel like you get the task done because as soon as you finish it, it's right back on the list. And secondly, it can get confusing if you have already finished the task, but it's still on the list. "Did I check it off?… now I don't remember, maybe I didn't do it this week, ugh!"

So, to fix this, I only like to see repeating tasks 2 days in advance. isRepeating:true AND dueWithin:"2 days of today. This will only show you repeating tasks that are due within two days of today.

BUT, now there is another problem. What about birthdays? You *do* use RTM to remind you to buy gifts, right? Well, I want to know about upcoming birthdays a month in advance so I have plenty of time to buy presents. So, you need to add "birthday" AND dueWithin:"1 months of today" to see any tasks with the word 'birthday' in the title that are due within the next month. (You could also do tag:birthday instead, but I don't use "birthday" tags, I just put 'birthday [name]' for birthday reminders.)

So, to put it all together:

(status:incomplete AND (dueBefore:today OR due:never)) OR (isRepeating:false AND dueWithin:"2 weeks of today") OR (isRepeating:true AND dueWithin:"2 days of today") OR ("birthday" AND dueWithin:"1 month of today")

The first set of parenthesis will show anything that is overdue (or has no due date) and is incomplete. This is to insure nothing 'falls through the cracks'.

The next set of parenthesis shows anything that is NOT repeating and due within two weeks. The third set of parenthesis shows anything that IS repeating and due withing 2 days.

And, lastly, the fourth set of parenthesis shows any birthdays that are coming up within a month.

You can easily add more stuff – like a Christmas list – by adding "OR (something here)" to the end of the search parameters. For example: OR (christmas AND dueWithin:"1 month of today"). You can also exclude things, such as 'work' tasks, by adding " NOT tags:work " to the end.

Thanks for sharing this tip, patrick.conwell! 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 your home address current

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 by Andrew Conkling

Anyone who's moved frequently and/or recently will understand how tedious it can be to remember to update your address everywhere. This week's tip, shared by joshmock, suggests keeping a list of tasks tucked away so you can make sure your bills (and your movie deliveries!) arrive at the right place. :)

Check addresses list

I have a lot of services that depend on having an up-to-date address for me, like Netflix, Amazon Subscribe & Save, insurance providers, etc. I also have moved around a lot in the past few years, so it's a pain keeping those addresses up to date.

Some services are obvious enough to remember to change right away, but some things I have a tendency to overlook, like auto-paid bills that happen behind the scenes, my auto and rental insurance providers, my employer, and any service whose automation I take for granted.

So, I have a recurring list of tasks that show up every three months to remind me to ensure my address is up to date with each service. I try to keep them separate rather than one bulk "change all the addresses!" task, so I can keep track of every single service, and so I don't continually postpone the bulk task for that nonexistent moment when I'll "have more time" to take care of it.

Thanks for sharing this tip, joshmock! 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: Agile software development with tags

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 by Andrew Conkling

There's practically a zillion different ways you can use Remember The Milk (admittedly we haven't counted, but we're pretty sure it's close to a zillion). This week's tip is shared by marco.vermeulen, who's come up with an interesting way to use tags for managing Agile software development with Remember The Milk.

As a software development team, we use the Scrum methodology. I recently switched to RTM, and have found it to be an indispensable tool while writing software. Using the tags have proven to be a great way of managing stories and tasks in Agile software development.

Here's how we've gone about doing it:

  1. We create our Stories first, each Story as a task with a priority.
  2. We create these Stories in a Shared List, so we all have visibility of them.
  3. We estimate our complexities with a Fibonacci sequence, and place this in brackets behind the Story name.
  4. We then create each Story in our bug tracking software (not a necessary step, but gives you a handy reference number to work with), and tag the Story with that reference number.
  5. We mark the Story with a story tag.

In other words, to create a new Story, we would typically enter:

As a User I want to view the Home page (5) !2 #Shared List #rc-123 #story

Each Story will have multiple Tasks associated with it. Once these Tasks are complete, the Story is done.

The Tasks are linked back to the Story by tagging them individually with the reference number assigned to the Story. They also live in the Shared List we created earlier. They have NO priority, to distinguish them from Stories, and are tagged as task.

Here is how we create a new Task:

Write a new jsp for the home page #Shared List #rc-123 #task

If you start working on a new Story, simply click on it's reference number tag, and voilà, you immediately see the Story on top (because of it's Priority) and all the tasks beneath. You now pick up new Tasks one at a time, marking them complete as you go along. Once you've completed all the Tasks, you can mark the Story as Complete! You can even track your progress in the Story itself.

The PM can go ahead and click on the story tag, and see what the progress of the Stories are at a glance if you're capturing time against the Story.

Well, in a nutshell, that's how we're doing it.

Thanks for sharing this tip, marco.vermeulen! 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

The humongous Remember The Milk for iPhone update

Monday, May 14, 2012 by Emily Boyd

Bob T. Monkey's busy cooking up some big new things in his lab (he barely comes out, not even for bananas), but we convinced him he could sneak in our biggest iPhone app update ever.

Version 3.0 (codenamed "Insect") has a completely new interface, and a whole bunch of new features and improvements, too. Check out the demo we prepared earlier, or read on for the full scoop…

A whole new interface

New UI'Personal' list

Yes, we've completely redesigned the app! For those of you familiar with our iPad app, you'll recognize the card stack for interacting with your tasks and notes. The card stack allows you to swipe your way through your tasks and notes with gestures for a natural, fun way to manage your tasks.

New 'Task' view

Task view

The task view now shows not only the task's details, but any notes you have associated with the task, too. You'll also see new icons for quick task actions: complete, postpone, and delete.

'This Week' view

'This Week' view

This new view makes it easy to see what's due this week. As with the iPad app, you can also select a specific day to see what's due.

Edit multiple tasks at once

Edit multiple tasks

You can now edit multiple tasks quickly and easily: simply select multiple tasks by tapping the 'Edit' button in a list. In addition to complete and postpone, you'll now see options for editing the due date, priority, list, or tags for a bunch of tasks at once.

Tap to get stuff done

Complete button

As you can now swipe your way through the app, we needed to come up with a new way to quickly complete tasks (we can't use the swipe gesture to reveal the 'Complete' button, as it's used for navigating). From the list, just tap and hold on a task and you'll see the 'Complete' button appear. Bonus! From here, you can slide up to switch to the 'Postpone' button.

Enjoy the new version!

We hope you like this latest app release! Want to learn more about the app in general? Check out the Remember The Milk for iPhone section of the site.

P.S. Remember The Milk for iPad has also been updated to support the new iPad with retina display. Enjoy!

Posted in: New Features & Updates

Android app update: Scrollable, resizable widgets

Thursday, May 10, 2012 by Emily Boyd

Our Android widgets lacked scrollability and resizability, and this made Bob T. Monkey sad. :( We've remedied the situation with version 2.0.9 of Remember The Milk for Android, which includes:

Android logo

Enhancements:

  • Widgets are now both scrollable and resizable (requires Android 3.1+).
  • Updates to localizations for Chinese (Simplified), Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian (Nynorsk), Portuguese (Brazil) and Russian.

Bug fixes:

  • Fix issue with widgets not updating immediately when list sort order was changed.
  • Fix issue with tasks duplicating incorrectly in particular (unusual!) circumstances.

Don't have the app yet? Get it on Google Play.

Posted in: New Features & Updates

Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Replacing old batteries

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 by Andrew Conkling

There's nothing worse than having a leaky battery ruin a toy or gadget, and anyone with a lot of batteries around — technophiles, parents, technophile parents? — will understand that it's easy for some to get neglected.

This week's tip, shared by chris.daida, reminds you to check your batteries often.

Bob checks the batteries in his gadgets

My daughter has a lot of alkaline battery-operated toys, and she's lost more than I care to remember because of batteries that had begun to leak. The toys are easy to neglect because they all have battery doors secured by a screw making them a hassle to check.

Now, whenever I install a set of batteries in anything, especially my daughter's toys, I make a priority 1 task in RTM with a 1-month reminder to check the batteries. When the task reminder goes off, I know that it's been a month since the batteries were installed, and they need to be checked ASAP.

Thanks to RTM, we've stopped having to throw out any battery-operated gadgets.

Thanks for sharing this tip, chris.daida! 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: Packing for trips by tagging tasks

Tuesday, May 1, 2012 by Andrew Conkling

We've discussed the benefit of having a travel checklist previously. This week's tip, shared by tanis.7x, is similar but comes with a twist — using tags to plan your next trip after a previous trip. If you have a few types of trips planned in the upcoming year — some camping, a few weekends at the beach, etc. — this would be especially handy!

Bob's a frequent flyer

When I travel, I need packing lists to help me remember everything. However, most of the items on my packing list are items that were on my last packing list as well.

To simplify my packing list process and to help ensure that I never forget anything, I tag all my packing lists with where I am going. When I am getting ready for a new trip, I search for tag:[last trip] AND status:completed. Next, I select all of those tasks, and click "Duplicate Task" from the More Actions dropdown to copy all those tasks to my current packing list.

As I am packing, if I think of something not on my list, I add it. The next time I am packing for a trip, that item will be in my new list as well!

Thanks for sharing this tip, tanis.7x! 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