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Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Using Remember The Milk in education, from tracking assignments to planning lessons

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 by Andrew Conkling

We've discussed before using Remember The Milk to keep track of your school assignments, but it's not just useful for yourself. This week, cowgirlmelysa shares a tip for teachers or parents (or both!) to keep track of their kids' assignments and lessons, in the classroom and at home.

Teachers and parents can use RTM lists to keep track of their students/child's school work/homework. When I was a student teacher, I noticed that teachers routinely forgot who practiced on the computers that week or who practiced their timed math facts. RTM lists can be used for just about anything a teacher needs to remember in the classroom.

Parents/teachers can also use the RTM lists to track and prepare their topics for lessons to teach their kids (aka lesson planning). As a teacher and and now a stay at home mom, I use the RTM lists to keep track of the lessons I plan to teach my 2 kids during our "preschool" time. I teach the lessons under thematic unit, so each thematic unit's name is the name of a list and under each list, I use the tasks as the specific lessons for which I will teach my own kids. Teachers can also do this for the classroom.

RTM is a great app to use in the educational field because you can take it anywhere, which is a huge help for teachers and parents.

Thanks for sharing this tip, cowgirlmelysa! 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: Planning holiday gifts

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 by Andrew Conkling

Bob gets gift wrapping

You may be reading this thinking, "It's too early in the year to be planning gifts for the holidays!" Read on: in this week's tip, laurie09 suggests starting to keep track of any holiday shopping you may do out of season, so as the holidays approach you have a game plan and won't have to scramble.

As a mom of 9, with grown kids, kids at home and grandkids, it's always tough to keep Christmas gifts organized. Because of the large size of our family, I have limited the gifts to three apiece. Because I have to hide the gifts, they aren't in plain sight, and sometimes I buy more gifts for one kid than another, which leads to last-minute scrambling. Today I found my first Christmas gift – a perfect item on deep discount! How to remember it later?

I created a list titled "XMS". I entered everyone for whom I am planning to give Christmas gifts as a task. I entered last names first so that the list would be grouped (mostly!) by families. I clicked on the person I purchased for, and entered a note describing the gift I bought.

Each person for whom I have completed shopping will be coded priority 3 and fall to the bottom of the list when sorted by priorities. Persons for whom some gifts are bought will be priority 2, and no gifts are priority 1. When I get to crunch-time shopping I'll be able to see easily what's left to get.

Now all that's left is to come up with the money!

We may have a tip for that too! :)

Thanks for sharing this tip, laurie09! 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: Creating habits for personal growth

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 by Andrew Conkling

It is pretty satisfying to complete any task you've put on your list for a given day, but what about those that fit with some larger goals you've set for yourself? In this week's tip, kochava outlines a method for setting a goal and using a daily task to help create a good habit.

Leo Babauta runs a website called Zen Habits, which eventually led to a book called The Power of Less. According to his blog, "Zen Habits is about finding simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives. It’s about clearing the clutter so we can focus on what’s important, create something amazing, [and] find happiness."

While the idea that it takes 28 days of repetition to create a habit is contested by some scientists, the concept of repetition being key to habit-building is true. Normally, I associate habit-building with discrete actions: working out, flossing, etc. However, when I read The Power of Less, I began to think about habit-building to enrich my personal growth. But I started with a "normal" habit to see if I could make the system work.

I began with flossing. I made a to do "Habit: Flossing" and made it due every day, priority 1. Every day, I was happy to check that off first thing in the morning, and it started my day off on the right foot. Ignoring how long building a habit might take, I let the to do repeat every day until it actually began to annoy me to check off something that I had done so automatically. It was a "check off" that no longer had any value to me because it would be like checking off "wake up in the morning."

After I knew I could build a habit using this method, I began to focus on more personal growth-oriented habits, one or two a month depending on the habit (disclaimer: author suggests only one habit per month).

I created a list called "Growth." I added ideas to it from The Power of Less and the Zen Habits blog. Some are action-oriented, and some are more mind-set-oriented. For each idea I had, I made a to do "Habit: X" with no due date. Just collecting ideas. As each new month approaches, I look at the list, and see what I would like to improve that month. Once I decide on a mission, I set the due date for the first of the month, set it to repeat every day, and see how I do. It's not always successful on the first go around (AKA: "Habit: Be an Early Riser"), but I'm a better person than I was.

Here are some samples from my list:

  • Habit: Exercise for 5 minutes
  • Habit: Eat slowly and chew food better
  • Habit: Eat one veggie
  • Habit: Train dog for Canine Good Citizenship Test
  • Habit: Be early
  • Habit: Follow an evening routine
  • Habit: Put things where they belong
  • Habit: Meditate for 5 minutes
  • Habit: Will this simplify my life?
  • Habit: Single task (instead of multi-tasking)
  • Habit: Pray

Etc etc etc

Go forward and be a better, happier, more productive person!

Thanks for sharing this tip, kochava! 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

Goodbye Sydney, G'Day San Francisco

Monday, September 10, 2012 by Emily Boyd

Bob explores his new home of San Francisco

Waaay back in 2004, two Australians (that's us) started working on a little project called Remember The Milk. We were joined by Bob T. Monkey to round out our team, and set out to build the bestest task management app the world had ever seen. Eight years on, we're still going! To our utter amazement, we've somehow managed to sign up over 4.1 million users. Thanks to all your support with Pro accounts (we've never taken funding), we've grown to a distributed team of 10 humans plus one stuffed monkey, all working on our never-ending quest.

Sydney has been Remember The Milk's much-loved home as we've grown over the past eight years. It's an awesome city for startups; we've been honoured to be in the company of folks we admire like Atlassian and Campaign Monitor. As much as we love Sydney though, it's time for a new adventure!

We've exchanged sunny skies for foggy ones, and moved ourselves (myself and co-founder Omar Kilani) as well as Bob T. Monkey to San Francisco. (Incidentally, you have no idea how difficult it is to get a passport for a stuffed monkey.) If you're in San Francisco, be sure to say 'hi' if you see us around in our Remember The Milk hoodies; we look forward to meeting more of our awesome users. :)

For those of you who are curious, aside from the move, we have some big new stuff cooking that we're very excited to share with you soon. The team is quietly (and furiously!) coding away; one might say we've been listening very closely to all your feedback on what you'd like to see from Remember The Milk. ;)

Posted in: Behind the Scenes

Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Adding tasks in unexpected places

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 by Andrew Conkling

It's great to be able to add tasks via Twitter, but often getting something over to Twitter, especially from another app or website, can be the tricky part. This week's tip, shared by taylor.andrew, suggests using a Tweet button (which seems to be showing up in more places every day) as an "Add to Remember The Milk" button. :)

I generally listen to podcasts while commuting, and a particular favourite is the Pod Delusion. Often it will mention an interesting book, TV show, event, story or fact that I want to investigate later. My clunky and out-of-date iPhone isn't really up to running a podcatcher and RTM's app, but I've found a clever alternative:

Loads of stuff — podcasting apps, newspaper apps, iOS, browsers — has a 'share with Twitter' button in it these days. If you're reading, watching or listening to something and are inspired to add a task, hit 'share with Twitter', and prefix your message with "d rtm" (and then a space). Rather than a public tweet, you're now sending a direct message to @rtm which, if you've linked your RTM and Twitter accounts, will add it as a task using Smart Add — and as an added bonus it will include a link to the original item so you can look up details later.

If it all works, @rtm will immediately reply with a DM of its own, so if you have push notifications or SMS alerts set up then you can get confirmation without leaving the app either.

Thanks for sharing this tip, taylor.andrew! 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