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Web App Review: Let’s Remember The Milk in 2011

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Web App Review: Let’s Remember The Milk in 2011

Remember the Milk has been a staple to-do list web app for many years now and has been known to be one of the best and even most reliable. It’s known for a clean simple interface and sometimes forgotten about power under the hood. Remember The Milk (RTM from here on out) can also be used for GTD (you know, if you are into that sort of thing), yet flexible enough for any other productivity system you can throw at it.

But, even with such a excellent and stable track record, RTM has made some significant improvements in the past year with the most notable being their brand new iPad app.

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Look and feel

At first glance RTM is a simple and very clean interface. If you are a white background, dark text kind of person, then RTM is the type of interface you will enjoy. Users are given an Inbox and Sent items list at first blush and adding todos to your inbox is extremely easy. Once tasks are created you can check the task and change the due date, the repeat of the task, a time estimate, tags, location of the task, or a URL. Completing the task is as simple as checking it and pushing the complete button.

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    You can also assign the task to a different list but it is somewhat counterintuitive. You first must create a new list by going to Settings and the Lists tab. This is a good place to create your contexts if you are a GTD type. Once you have some lists you can go back to your tasks by choosing the Tasks option. Adding a task to a list is done by checking the task and clicking on the More Actions dropdown and choosing the list to switch it to. Even after many years of using this workflow, I still feel that it is unintuitive and could be changed to allow for a drag and drop to tab type of interface.

    The task settings “float” to the side of your lists and with the settings bar you can change an individual task’s settings or even check multiple tasks and group the settings together. Also, the note field is on the right where you can add multiple notes per task. You can also select tasks by choosing all of them, the ones that are due today, due tomorrow, overdue, or none at all. This is a nice way to mass edit settings or even complete or postpone a set of tasks.

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    Features

    Remember The Milk is truly a full-featured web and mobile application with versions for the web, iOS, Android, and even sync with Outlook. Let’s take a quick look at some of the many awesome features:

    • Full web, iOS, Android, and Outlook for Windows synchronization ($25 a year premium account needed for some pro features)
    • iPad version with a truly unique interface and user experience
    • iOS and Android version take advantage of location based tasks and alert you based on your user settings
    • “Unlimited” list and task creation (I haven’t fully tested this, but I have never had an issue with too many tasks or lists)
    • “Smart Lists” allow you to save searches based on any criteria that a task may have allowing you to create customized views of your lists
    • Awesome “smart add” feature which allows you to add a task straight to a list, add a due date, tag, or even location while you are typing it in
    • Offline support with the deprecated Google Gears
    • Add tasks by Twitter or email
    • iCal service, RSS feeds for your lists, and the ability to create public lists for others to share
    • Active user community and developers that aren’t too shabby

    Gripes

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      Like I said, RTM is a full-featured and completely a mature web and mobile application. There are only a few gripes that I still have to this day, including no subtasks or linking of tasks into projects, no start dates to help hide repeating tasks, annoying logo that can’t be hidden at work without an add-in for your browser, and out of control tabs for your lists.

      Besides those four things, I have to say that RTM is still one of the best web apps out there for helping you stay productive. The one thing that RTM has over many other task management apps on the web is its maturity and speed. The app is really darn fast while using Firefox or Chrome and hardly (if ever) crashes on me. Another thing is that sync is incredibly fast between multiple devices.

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      Also, with the new iPad app and its gorgeous new interface, RTM is definitely worth another look if you haven’t checked it out in a while. So, head on over to the RTM homepage and sign up for a free account or login to your old one if you haven’t been around for a while.

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      CM Smith

      A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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