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Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Upcoming tasks, with a twist

Tuesday, January 1, 2013 by Andrew Conkling

Many are celebrating the new year this month. What better time to take a look at what's coming up? This week, arwild01 shares a nice, simple way to see what's coming up in the next week without getting distracted by unimportant things or forgetting about very important things.

I've been using RTM for several years now. In the beginning I didn't use due dates very well. More often then not, every task would just get assigned to "today". (Mostly so they would all stay in front of me)… anything that didn't actually get done "today" would be simply postponed to the next day.

Of course, this meant spending time postponing tasks each day. Frankly, it wasn't the best way to handle things.

Recently, I've decided to start making due dates more relevant and actually assign them to meaningful days (i.e. when I really msut absolutely get a task done by).

However this means just looking at "Today's Tasks" I might get surprised be an important task on the day it's due.

So now my default view is a Smart List for tasks due this week:

dueBefore:today OR due:today OR (dueWithin:"1 week" OR due:"1 week")

However, some tasks I don't want to see until the day they are actually due. For example, I have a weekly status report due every Wednesday… I want this on my list the day it's due, but I don't want to have an item on my list everyday. Similarly, what about really important tasks that are due more than a week from now, but I want to see sooner?

Tags to the rescue! The two type of tasks get tagged with either a #wait or #warnearly. Items tagged #wait don't appear on the list until their actual due date and items tagged #warnearly show up if they are due within the month. So my Smart List was modified as follows:

dueBefore:today OR due:today OR ((dueWithin:"1 week" OR due:"1 week") AND NOT tag:wait) OR ((dueWithin:"1 month" OR due:"1 month") AND tag:warnearly)

Thanks for sharing this tip, arwild01! 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