The companion blog to Remember The Milk, the best way to manage your tasks.

ARCHIVES

CATEGORIES

MORE BLOGS

Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Simple CRM with Remember The Milk

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 by Andrew Conkling

Customer relationship management, or CRM, can be a complex affair, covering a lot of different aspects of a business. This week's tip, shared by sunjana1, describes a simple — yet thorough! — setup for CRM that requires little maintenance to keep up with, allowing more time to get back to getting everything done!

As a field representative I have a large territory where I manage around 200 small businesses over 9 counties. The CRM system in place just doesn’t measure up to my needs in the field. So about 4 years ago I decided that since I was already utilizing Remember The Milk for my personal task management, why not carry that over and harness the power of the cloud for my day-to-day business activities as well!

As part of my role, I am required to do a type of audit either once or twice a year at the accounts I oversee. Keeping that schedule straight for 200 accounts is a breeze with RTM. I started by creating a list of my accounts with due dates for the audit.

Each business was a separate task I made due to renew After 6 months or 1 year, depending on the account.

A few of my accounts do not get audits at all, so I tagged these with declined and made their due date Never, that way my list is still complete with all my accounts.

I use this list daily in conjunction with my Google Calendar where I manage my audit appointments 2 weeks in advance of the day I am scheduled to be in the area where the account is located. I’ll try to not get too detailed here on the Google Calendar part, but essentially the way the tasks were set up, they first come due exactly 2 weeks before the day I am scheduled to be at the account. This indicates to me that it’s time to schedule the appointment. I then change the due date of the task to 1 week prior. This is my reminder to make sure the appointment is confirmed. If it’s confirmed I change the due date again to the date of my appointment. If it’s not confirmed I change the due date once more to the day before the appointment.

Instead of having to take an entire day to sit down and plan 2 weeks worth of appointments, my schedule just takes a few minutes a day.

Sometimes, my days in an area change, so if the initial 2-weeks-in-advance due date doesn’t match my Calendar, I simply change the due date to match it up.

Another aspect of my job involves marketing other businesses to my accounts. My company works with about 40 business partners, so tracking which business to promote where can be a challenge. By using target lists provided by my company I am able to easily keep track of what I am promoting in each account. Each task is the account name, and then I tag it with the business I need to promote. When I arrive at the account I pull up the RTM mobile app, do a quick search for the account name, and have an instant reminder of what I should be promoting there. I can track my progress with certain businesses by doing a tag search. I also have a dedicated list for general tasks relating to my job that helps me better prioritize and manage my territory – nothing falls through the cracks!

I find RTM is also very useful as a quick notepad. Many times when I am consulting with accounts, they are making requests and therefore generating tasks for me to follow up on later. Again using my mobile app, I can quickly type in a task that I have set by default to go to my Inbox and be due Today. I then follow up on these "quick tasks" that day or move them into one of my lists to be due later.

There are so many features of RTM that I love! I find the search functionality and the ability to view completed tasks particularly valuable to managing my professional tasks. I like knowing that I have the option to get really advanced with CRM in RTM as well, but appreciate the ease it provides for creating a simple CRM system that meets my needs.

Thanks for sharing this tip, sunjana1! 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: Using tags for context

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 by Andrew Conkling

We're big fans of tags around here for organizing our tasks across all our lists (and we have a few! :). This week's featured tip comes from lnussdor, who shares some simple, no-fuss ideas for making the most of tags to stay streamlined and productive.

Smart List for calls

I ascribe to the GTD philosophy of "getting it all out of your head." This philosophy is perfect match for RTM. I am able to use any device to add any tasks or ideas that come to me on the fly. I started to use the tags to denote the context (or type) of the task. For example, all of my tasks that are phone calls are tagged with "calls." When I filter my task list by the tag "calls," my entire list of calls are at my fingertips. This immediately increases my productivity because like buying peanut butter in bulk, doing similar tasks in bulk helps me whiz through my tasks! The "calls" tag is for both my work and personal calls with the same tag, but they are in different folders, in case I want to separate them.

Finally, I went into the Settings menu and changed the Default Due Date to "never." The original Default Due Date is set to "today", but it is important not to have many tasks show up on a particular day because, in my experience, it can be overwhelming to have too many tasks show up on one specific day. Additionally, I have already spent a previous life with Covey rewriting all of my tasks from the day before to the current day. ONLY tasks that have to be done a specific day are listed on that day. For example, I may need to call my dentist to reschedule an appointment on "some" day, but I have to call my friend to wish her happy birthday on a specific day. This allows me a greater sense of accomplishment by getting all (or most) of my tasks done when I only have 5-10 per day. If I have time for extra phone calls, I can pull up my calls and deal with them as my time allows.

Thanks for sharing this tip, lnussdor! 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

Featured app: Speak Here Now

Friday, March 15, 2013 by Brendan Ganley

Speak Here Now

When you're on the go, you can sometimes find yourself in a situation where typing a task into your phone is inconvenient or even impossible. But that shouldn't stop you from getting it into your task list. Anyone with an iOS device that has Siri capabilities can use our Siri integration to create a task using voice input. Android users can do something similar using an app called Speak Here Now by Michael Kendle. The app requires Android 2.2 or later, and is available from Google Play.

Speak Here Now is actually a platform which developers can use to connect their apps to voice commands on Android devices. Out of the box, it comes equipped with several commands, including the ability to add a task to Remember The Milk. To create a task, tap on the Speak Here Now icon and start your phrase with "Remember…". Everything that follows will be the task name.

The first time you use the app, it will open a page in your browser which you can use to authenticate the app on your account. This is a one-time process and, going forward, you'll simply receive a confirmation message each time you add a task. Note: The authentication process must be completed in the default Android browser.

By default, the new task will be added to your Inbox list. However, you can say the word "list" to specify another list by name. This word actually works much like the # Smart Add shortcut, so you can use it to specify both lists and tags. The word "due" is also understood and is used to define a due date for the task.

Hungry for more tools to help you work with your tasks? Check out our Apps page to find something that fits with your workflow!

Posted in: Featured Apps

Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Adding tasks from PowerShell

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 by Andrew Conkling

Calling all systems admins and command-line lovers! This week's tip, shared by selan, provides a quick way to add tasks while using Windows PowerShell. It can be handy when you want to add a server task, or anything else that comes to mind while you're knee-deep in SQL statements.

If you do any work on Windows servers, you probably have used PowerShell. Here is a simple PowerShell function that will allow you to easily add tasks to RTM from the command line.

Add this function to your PowerShell profile, substituting the appropriate values for your email.

function rtm($smartadd) {
Send-MailMessage -from %your-from-email% -to %your-rtm-email%@rmilk.com -subject "$smartadd" -smtpserver %your-email-server%
}

You can then call the rtm function from the PowerShell command line. It takes one parameter, which is the Smart Add description of your task, in double quotes.

For example,

> rtm "Post my RTM tips and tricks !1 ^tomorrow"

Thanks for sharing this tip, selan! 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

Now accepting credit card payments with Stripe

Monday, March 11, 2013 by Emily Boyd

Stripe logo

If you've upgraded or renewed a Pro account recently (why, thank you!), you might've noticed that we now accept credit card payments directly on our site. Thanks to Stripe, we now accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, and JCB. Woot!

Previously, the only option available was PayPal, and we know that a bunch of you had experienced problems upgrading (if you did, please try with Stripe! :). PayPal will still be available as an option alongside Stripe.

Thanks to the guys at Stripe for their help in setting us up, and making payment processing a delight. :)

Posted in: New Features & Updates

Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Lightweight issue tracking

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 by Andrew Conkling

If you've ever worked on a software project, you'll know that bugs and issues stack up faster than you can work on them. This week's tip, shared by cadetblue, describes a way to use email, Smart Lists, and sharing to quickly put together an issue tracker.

Issue / bug tracking is a must when running web or software business, but often a full fledged issue / bug tracking solution, like Bugzilla or Atlassian or ever Mantis BT could intimidate customers and collaborators, often featuring several levels of experience and skills; so a really lightweight solution able to put order in your activities and manage in a disciplined way the issues you must face (like it or not) could make the difference between a wishful thinking failure and an humble success. So, there is nothing really smart in what I made, but at least it is a working solution with a 45 seconds setup effort.

I set up the following tags: severity-feature, severity-trivial, severity-text, severity-layout, severity-minor, severity-major, severity-blocking.

Then I have defined the following Smart Lists:

tagContains:severity AND NOT status:completed

aptly renamed issuesOpen, then – guess what? – I have set up the following Smart List:

tagContains:severity AND status:completed

aptly renamed issuesClosed.

Lastly, as soon as I receive some issues reported by mail from a customer, I immediately forward it to my RTM import email address; then I add details about due date and I tag the activity according to the severity. The email body already contains the issue description, but I can edit it for clarity. Last, I share the activity with people in charge for the issue addressing. Then I start the issue monitoring by means of the Smart Lists. That's all. It works.

Thanks for sharing this tip, cadetblue! 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

Featured integration: Bulk adding for Remember The Milk

Friday, March 1, 2013 by Brendan Ganley

Bulk adder screenshot

Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to get a large number of tasks imported into Remember The Milk all at once? Maybe you have a list of items that you want to copy and paste, for example. For many of these situations, you can use the Import Email Address that we provide. However, if you're wanting something with a bit more structure, take a look at RTM Bulk Adder. It's a tool developed by Alasdair North which allows you to add multiple lists of tasks to your account through your browser.

The tool consists of a single webpage which has a number of multi-line text fields (up to 30 of them!) each of which can be used to enter a list of tasks. Smart Add syntax is supported so you can specify all the task's properties on a single line. For each list, you have the option to save its contents so that you can come back later to continue constructing your lists, or to send it to Remember The Milk, which will import the tasks to your account.

The source code for the webpage is available and you're free to download it and host it wherever you like for your own use. For convenience, the author has hosted his own copy which you're free to use as well. When you save your lists, the data is recorded locally in your browser, so none of your tasks are stored server-side.

Got an idea for a tool that will make task management easier for everybody? We'd love to see it! Our API page will show you how to get started.

Posted in: Featured Apps