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

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.

      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.

      More by this author

      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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      Last Updated on May 14, 2019

      8 Replacements for Google Notebook

      8 Replacements for Google Notebook

      Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

      1. Zoho Notebook
        If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
      2. Evernote
        The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
      3. Net Notes
        If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
      4. i-Lighter
        You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
      5. Clipmarks
        For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
      6. UberNote
        If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
      7. iLeonardo
        iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
      8. Zotero
        Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

      I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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      In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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