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Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Simple GTD using Remember The Milk

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 by Andrew Conkling

We've featured a few different GTD setups in the past but, perhaps as a testament to the flexibility of Remember The Milk, there are a variety of useful ways to set things up. This week's tip, shared by mattssoncarl, outlines a straightforward setup for projects and other tasks.

This system attempts to make a GTD-ish system as appealing and easy as possible. I created this system for myself due to most others including different arrangements of symbols in front of the actual tasks or tags, something which to me makes it looks very unappealing and complicated. I wanted something which both looked good and was extremely easy to work with.

The system has a few key concepts which you will have to accept for the system to work, or at least to work as mine does:

  1. First, every task must have either a tag or a due date.
  2. Second, every project gets its own tag.
  3. Third, priority one is to be utilized for project goals, whereas priority two is for next actions.

This is basically it, let me illustrate. Say I want to clean out one of my closets to put the summer clothing in the garage. I start with creating the goal and tag for the project, lets call it summerclothing.

Clean out the summerclothes from your wardrobe and put them in the garage !1 #summerclothing

By doing this, we state the goal of the project and we create the project by starting the tag summerclothing. Let's continue with adding some new tasks to it:

Buy crate for storing clothes !2 #summerclothing
Sort out summerclothes from the wardrobe #summerclothing
Put the summerclothes in the garage #summerclothing

And there we have it, a simple project. You simply move around the priority 2 for sorting your next action (if you want to, in some projects you might consider this a bit redundant), and when you are finished with a project you simply mark the priority 1 as finished.

Other tasks might not be projects and or need to be done on specific dates, for this you simply add a due date.

Book a time for laundry ^today
Pay the bills ^26th *monthly

Read the full post for more details.

Thanks for sharing this tip, mattssoncarl! 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 an eye on old tasks with a Smart List

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 by Andrew Conkling

It can be difficult to think about older tasks that you may not have gotten to in a while. This week's tip, shared by alexriabtsev, suggests a way of honing in on the most important tasks you may have forgotten about so they don't get left behind!

How many times do you have your tasks incomplete for ages? I do this regularly (thus this is not on my Routine list :) ). But I found the way to keep my tasks refreshed. Just make a Smart List with following search:

dueBefore:today OR (priority:none AND status:incomplete NOT addedWithin:"1 month of today")

With this Smart List I have all my old overdue tasks (added more than a month ago) kept in one place and can do 3D (do, delegate or delete). This really helps me be more organized.

Thanks for sharing this tip, alexriabtsev! 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: Budget tracking with Remember The Milk

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 by Andrew Conkling

Keeping up with your bills each month is no small feat, especially considering the typical choices seem to be paying the basic ones automatically or keeping a stack of paper bills that arrive in the mail.

This week's tip, shared by hwebbjr, offers an easy method for tracking your bills each month with a simple way to draw a budget from each month's expenses.

Bob keeps trash of his cash

I'm hit-or-miss when it comes paying all my bills each month. I don't mind paying them, it's just that the task is large and spread out over the month. Therefore, it's easy to forget a bill or two or to forget an upcoming debit and spend too much before the bill is taken from the account, leaving me short. However, since using RTM to schedule my bill payments, forgetting is a thing of the past.

I first created a monthly list entitled, "Bills". Then, reviewing my last bank statement, I created a task for each bill payment due during the month, noting the payee, the date the payment is due or debited, and the amount. Here's what it looks like:

  • Pmt – Firestone Bill ($25)
  • Confirm – Mortgage Debit ($1,050)
  • Transfer – Food Funds to Ally Bank ($700)

I include the date I want to pay the bill in the date field, make it repeat "every 1 month", tag it "bills", and include the URL that takes me to the online payment website for each bill.

Not only do I get a reminder of when to pay each bill, I also can do a search for payments due for the balance of the month to make sure I have adequate funds in the account (My search query: tag:bills AND dueBefore:9/1 — changing the query to the first day of the next month each time I do the search). The result is a list of the remaining payables for the rest of the month.

This also helps with bills that are due only a few times a year by changing the repeat interval to "every 3 months" or "every 6 months" or even "every 1 year". This makes my vehicle taxes (due annually), Sirius radio bill (due every 3 months) easy to track and remember.

Thanks for sharing this tip, hwebbjr! 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