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Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Tracking Facebook notifications with the Gmail add-on

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 by Andrew Conkling

Facebook logo

Whether you're managing a page for a business, posting the cutest pictures of your kitten, or just celebrating your birthday, it's easy to get bogged down with Facebook notifications. This week's tip, shared by dougbrown77, shows a neat way to use our Gmail add-on to collect all those notifications as tasks.

I receive many messages and Facebook posts and have struggled with remembering to respond in a timely fashion. Remember The Milk's Gmail add-on has helped me solve the problem.

I set Facebook to notify me of messages and posts via my Gmail account.

I configure a search/Smart List to find the word "facebook" in the subject line.

I setup the Gmail add-on on to work in my Chrome browser.

Then as I work in Gmail I star messages that come in from Facebook that I want to follow up on. At that point I can assign due dates, tags etc.

If I want to concentrate on Facebook messages I can set the task view to the Smart List "facebook".

When I am ready to respond to the post or email I can click on the portion of the email that says "view this message/post on the web".

Thanks RTM!

Thank you, dougbrown77, for sharing this tip! 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: Automatic prioritization using Smart Lists

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 by Andrew Conkling

Many of our most interesting tips involve a unique use of Smart Lists. We've talked about how they can help show you specific sets of tasks, but this week's tip, shared by mikejd30, shows how Smart Lists can effectively provide automatic priorities for you.

I'm more into Covey's idea of a matrix of what actually should be done first based on how important and also urgent a task is. However, my job needs a finer degree of prioritisation.

I saw the need for 6 levels of priority, based on the impact a task might have, its urgency and due date. Of course, what is not urgent one day may become urgent the next due to the due date. This aspect I wanted to make automatic.

I use 'impact' rather than importance because that relates better to what I do, as the impact of a task on the company is what defines its importance for me. So I think more in terms of high or low impact when considering tasks.

This uses 6 Smart Lists, Priority 1 – Priority 6 (for lack of more inventive names). This may start sounding complicated, but bear with me!

Also, one other thing I wanted was to be able to see the Priority Smart Lists on Saturday or Sunday, but that show as if it was Monday (because I like to get a view at the weekend of Monday will be like).

What follows is the 'code' for the 6 Smart Lists, and the tags that are needed to make them work.

First the tags (keeping real word meaning): highimpact, lowimpact, noturgent, soonerthebetter

(I didn't add 'urgent' as a tag because without 'noturgent', it is considered urgent)

Also, some of my tasks have due dates, some do not. Those without needed clarifying as to whether they were urgent things (like feedback on a project that wasn't requested, but would be useless if not done soon).

Now the Smart Lists. These follow my own formula for what defines the ultimate priority, and this is a little complex. The basics of it are, highimpact and due that day is Priority 1, lowimpact and due that day is Priority 2, highimpact and due within 3 days Priority 3, etc.

Smart List code as follows:

  • Priority 1: status:incomplete AND (dueBefore:tomorrow OR dueBefore:Tuesday) tag:highimpact
  • Priority 2: status:incomplete AND (dueBefore:tomorrow OR dueBefore:Tuesday) AND tag:lowimpact
  • Priority 3: status:incomplete AND (((dueWithin:"3 days of today" OR dueWithin:"3 days of Monday") AND tag:highimpact) OR ((tag:highimpact AND tag:soonerthebetter) OR (tag:highimpact AND NOT tag:noturgent AND due:never))) AND NOT (dueBefore:"1 day of today" OR dueWithin:"1 day of Monday")
  • Priority 4: status:incomplete AND (((dueWithin:"5 days of today" OR dueWithin:"5 days of Monday") AND tag:highimpact) OR ((tag:lowimpact AND tag:soonerthebetter) OR (tag:lowimpact AND NOT tag:noturgent AND due:never))) AND NOT (dueBefore:"3 days of today" OR dueWithin:"3 days of Monday")
  • Priority 5: status:incomplete AND (((dueWithin:"3 days of today" OR dueWithin:"3 days of Monday") AND tag:lowimpact) OR ((tag:highimpact AND tag:noturgent) OR (tag:highimpact AND NOT tag:soonerthebetter AND due:never))) AND NOT (dueBefore:"1 days of today" OR dueWithin:"1 days of Monday")
  • Priority 6: status:incomplete AND (((dueWithin:"5 days of today" OR dueWithin:"5 days of Monday") AND tag:lowimpact) OR ((tag:lowimpact AND tag:noturgent) OR (tag:lowimpact AND NOT tag:soonerthebetter AND due:never))) AND NOT (dueBefore:"3 days of today" OR dueWithin:"3 days of Monday")

Not sure how complicated this all sounds, but I'm hoping some of you will be interested in giving this a try. If nothing else, it highlights some of the power of Smart Lists. :)

It definitely does! :)

Thanks for sharing this tip, mikejd30! 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 track of Kickstarter projects with tags

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 by Andrew Conkling

Kickstarter logo

Kickstarter is a neat site for supporting creative projects. If you've ever supported a project there, you'll know that there can be a lot of deadlines — when a project needs to be funded, when it is expected to deliver, and a lot of updates along the way.

This week's tip, shared by rainier.madruga, shows how a few tags can help you keep up with projects.

As a semi-avid Kickstarter backer, I wanted to stay on top of my pledges. Both those I am pending to pay, and those I am awaiting delivery of… So obviously I am down to my favorite Task Manager to help me remember!!!

First, all items end up tagged as #kickstarter on my list.

Then to help me decide between funding and delivery, I tag the same entries either #funded to determine that I want to fund them; or then #deliver with the estimated delivery date to mark down when I should expect them to be delivered.

Obviously, not all Kickstarters deliver on time, but at least this way you know when to expect them at the mailbox!

Good Luck and Happy Funding!

Thanks for sharing this tip, rainier.madruga! 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 up with birthdays, one month at a time

Tuesday, July 9, 2013 by Andrew Conkling

Especially in a large family it's not always the easiest thing to keep up with birthdays one at a time — buying cards, making calls, sending gifts. This week's tip, shared by natenauert, suggests keeping up with them a month at a time.

Bob loves birthdays

My wife and I are both the youngest of six kids in our families, so between the siblings and all the in-laws, step-parents, and good friends in our lives, we send a LOT of birthday cards each year! In most cases, when someone is special enough to us to warrant sending a card and/or gift, we both want to write a personal note as well. The only problem is sitting down at the same time to do so numerous times month after month, creating lots of individual to-do items that we have to tackle case by case.

Enter RTM, and our Festivities task list! On the first of every month a task pops up titled "Fill out all birthday cards for the month." In a note attached to the task, we keep a month-by-month breakdown of relevant birthdays. That way, we can sit down just once to do all the note-writing, stamp-licking, address-enscribing necessary for the whole month. We then have tasks pop up about 1 week before each birthday that simply says "Place Shawn's card in the mail," and recurs annually. That way the card is all ready to go and the only thing to be done is to mail it in a timely manner–not too early, not too late.

So now we never forget the milk… or a loved one's birthday!

Thanks for sharing this tip, natenauert! 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: Repeat on specific days

Tuesday, July 2, 2013 by Andrew Conkling

The 'after' repeat is handy: the next task will only appear after the current one is completed. This week's tip, shared by matthew.bassett, shows a few examples of using this to really control your repeats.

I recently discovered that you can give a day name when specifying 'after' for repeat, for example:

Vacuum *after sunday

The effect of this is that regardless of when you complete the task, it will next be scheduled for the next available sunday.

I use this to maintain my housework routine. For example: I have a task to remind me to vacuum the house every Sunday, but I am not always there at the weekend so sometimes end up vacuuming later in the week– but when I complete the task I want it to go to the next available Sunday, and not to 1 week after I complete it (which could be any day of the week).

Also discovered the following– you can give more than 1 day name, e.g.:

Laundry *after monday, wednesday, friday

Or for something that needs to repeat every weekday, but not weekends, you can just say 'weekday'

Clean email inbox *after weekday

Thanks for sharing this tip, matthew.bassett! 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