Friday, February 19, 2010

Use Smart Lists to Manage Your Tasks More Effectively with Remember the Milk


If you are looking for a better way to manage your tasks, Remember the Milk (or “RTM”) is a great tool. I’ve posted a few tips on RTM usage, including: Why You Should 'Remember the Milk', Options for Viewing Your 'Remember the Milk' Tasks, Use "Search Options" to Filter Your 'Remember the Milk'

If you are already using RTM, you may have wished for a better way to organize your tasks. One way is to use Smart Lists, a feature of RTM. (Despite being a RTM user for a number of months, I just recently discovered Smart Lists. Now I use them every day!)

Smart Lists allow you to create task lists based on specific criteria. Your tasks still reside in your regular lists (like ‘Personal’ or ‘Inbox’).

For example, you can use create a Smart List to show:

  • Tasks with high priority AND due in the next three days
  • Tasks with high OR medium priority that are overdue
  • Tasks that have been postponed 3 times
  • Tasks that contain the word “upgrade”

Now let’s move on to how you can create your own.

How to Create Smart Lists

Start with a search.

  1. Click on “Show Search Options” in the top right corner.
  2. Choose or type all the options that you want to select.
    For a list of advanced search terms and options that you can type directly in the Search bar, click here.
  3. Click “Search Tasks.”
  4. Visually confirm that the list you are seeing is what you intended.
  5. You will see your criteria in the search box in the top right corner. You will also see a tab on the right that says “Save.”
  6. Click on the “Save” tab on the right.
  7. Type a name for your Smart List that corresponds with your criteria.image
  8. Click Save.
  9. Your Smart List has been created. You will notice a new tab on the Remember the Milk website when you are logged in that allows you to view this list.
    You will also see your Smart List when accessing RTM using the Gmail add-on.
    Any other gadgets that you use to access RTM (ie: an iPhone) will allow you to view your Smart Lists.

    And that’s all there is to it. Have fun creating all sorts of useful Smart Lists to help you improve your task management and productivity skills!


Additional Resources

2009-10-22_105231[3] Want to contact Jenna Baze, the rather geeky writer of this rather geeky post?
Twitter: @Rather_Geeky

Options for Viewing Your ‘Remember the Milk’ Tasks (Using Gmail or the RTM Website)

Remember the Milk (or RTM) is a task management tool that can help you keep your professional or personal life more organized and productive. It can sync with phones, in addition to your computer, so that you can access your task list anywhere.

If you haven’t heard of RTM before, check out my previous post on Why You Should ‘Remember the Milk’.

For those of you already using RTM, here are two ways that you can access your account: 1) via the Gmail interface and 2) via the RTM website. (Note that the following applies only if you have a RTM account. You can get one for free. Find out more here.)

Accessing RTM via the Gmail Interface

If you use Gmail for your personal or work email access, you can easily view and edit your task list from the convenience of your inbox.

The RTM add-on appears to the right of your inbox within Gmail.Hovering hover a tasks shows you more details about the task that you can edit with just a click.

  • Handy access to your tasks while in your Gmail inbox.
  • Supports inline editing (click and type to make changes).
  • Allows you to create a task from an email automatically, utilizing labels or stars. (This setting is customizable under Settings > Tasks within gmail.)
  • Supports ‘smart text’ (ie: type ‘two weeks’ as the due date and RTM automatically calculates the date)

You can add your RTM tasks to the sidebar by installing an add-on if you are using Firefox as your browser. (Not familiar with Firefox? It is a browser alternative to Internet Explorer. See some benefits of using it here.)

Here is the Add-on that you can install to access your RTM tasks within Gmail.

If you prefer not to use Firefox, you can still view your tasks with a Gadget for Gmail Labs, although it does not have all of the same features as the sidebar add-on. Find out how here.

Using RTM with the Web Interface

Recently, RTM and Gmail weren’t cooperating (a code bug that has now been fixed), so I switched to using the RTM website (or the ‘web interface’).

I found that I actually liked using the web interface as much, if not more, than the Gmail add-on. It is particularly handy when you want to edit a large number of tasks at once (such as deleting or postponing.)

Granted, it took some time to adjust to the different interface. I customized the look of the RTM website to appeal to my inner designer by enabling several Stylish scripts. (Stylish is an add-on for Firefox that lets you customize the appearance of websites. Find out more here.)


  • Keyboard shortcuts make editing tasks quick and easy
  • It is possible to edit multiple tasks (which you can’t do when using the Gmail interface). Learn more about keyboard shortcuts here.
  • Supports ‘smart text’ (ie: type ‘two weeks’ as the due date and RTM automatically calculates the date)

Check back soon for more tips on using Remember the Milk to become a task management ninja.

Additional Resources

2009-10-22_105231 Want to contact Jenna Baze, the rather geeky writer of this rather geeky post?
Twitter: @Rather_Geeky

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Response to 5 Questions from Tungle


  1. What made you decide to start Tungling?
    I had tried many different scheduling tools and was annoyed with the fact that they didn’t work how I wanted them to and often required extra work (paste a link in an email, save a code, check back on the website later…). I also fell in love with the page that allows people to actually see when I am available. This means less email/phone conversations about ‘Hey, when can we meet?’

  2. What’s one thing we do better than any other productivity app out there?
    My favorite feature is the page. I haven’t seen any other app that puts the suggestion power in the hands of meeting attendees so well. Since I am careful to keep my google calendar up to date, Tungle saves me time and brain-usage that I can then devote to my real job (which is not scheduling meetings).

    Also, support is great. I spent some time with the Tungle support team (via Twitter and email) who answered my question quickly… and remained patient, even though it turned out to be user error. Whoops.

  3. What’s one thing we could do to create a better experience for you?
    Right now, I would love to see an app that can be integrated into a website… oh wait, you just did that. Sweet! :)

  4. Do you refer to others?  If yes, why?
    Yes! It’s very simple to setup and easy to use. I now include my link in my email signature. The first time someone scheduled a meeting with me, I was surprised. I asked them ‘hey, how’d you do that?’ and they replied, ‘I used your link to that Tungle thing.’ Cool!

  5. What would you Google to find an app like
    Meeting scheduling, meeting scheduler
    (Side note: I came across Tungle via Lifehacker)

This post is in response to this request from Tungle.

Tungle is one tool that made me geekier in 2009. Check out the rest here.

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