In the first part of my Super-Charge Remember The Milk series, we discussed a method of organizing and processing tasks based on a simple system using Tags and Smart Lists. After reading the post, my mother pointed out two important facts:
- I spelled “Super-Charge” wrong
- She had no clue WTF I was talking about and she has a CS degree
Since I would like my blog to be understood and helpful to all, I would like to extend my apologies to anyone I managed to confuse (sorry mom). In this installment, I will start off first with a brief introduction to “Getting Things Done” (GTD) and “Remember The Milk” RTM.
This post is the first in a series on Super-Charging Remember The Milk including:
What is Getting Things Done (GTD)?
“It’s possible for a person to have an overwhelming number of things
to do and still function productively with a clear head and a positive
sense of relaxed control.” — David Allen
- GTD is a book written by David Allen
- It allows you to get organized by following very basic steps
- It keeps you from being forced to remember things
- It makes sure you are moving toward your life goals
- According to David Allen, a Context describes the tool, location or person that is required to be able to complete an action. We have been starting our tags with “@” to show that it’s a Context.
What is Remember The Milk (RTM)?
Remember The Milk is an awesome To-Do list application. You can access it from their site at http://rememberthemilk.com. Go ahead, sign up for an account. I’ll wait.
All set? Good. Not only is RTM an awesome To-Do list, but it’s flexibility allows you to take care of most of your GTD needs from one place. This makes staying organized even easier.
The two primary features that we’ve discussed so far are Tags and Smart Lists. Here are a couple of definitions from the RTM FAQ:
Tags are like keywords or labels that you can add to a task to make it easier to find and organize later. For example, you can tag a task with ‘phone’, and then later when you’re looking for tasks that require phone calls, you can just click on that tag and see all the tasks that have been tagged that way.
Smart Lists are special lists that are created based on criteria that you define, and are automatically updated as your tasks change.
Now we have RTM set up quite nicely. You have tagged your Tasks, your Smart Lists have automatically organized your Projects and Contexts. You can easily view your Context lists to see what you should be doing Right Now.
One of the basic ideas regarding GTD is that your system has to be portable. You have to be able to track what you’ve completed and also store those important tasks and ideas that pop into your head at any given moment.
You could print out your To-Do list. RTM provides a nifty feature for you to do so, but that is so booooooring! Who uses paper anymore. Even the Gen X guys would probably frown on that solution. So we have two options:
The second option works great for me because I don’t have the web on my phone (long story). There are other features of accessing Twitter this way that we’ll discuss later. In order to get this set up, just go here and follow the directions.
Now, you can communicate with RTM with Direct Messages on Twitter. This means that you will definitely Remember The Milk the next time you happen to be in the grocery store.
Here are a few more examples of talking to RTM via Twitter:
- Add a Task – “d rtm Subscribe to SheenOnline.Biz”
- Get Tasks due today – “d rtm !today” (shortcut: !tod)
- Get Tasks related to your “Blog” project – “d rtm !gettag .blog” (shortcut: !gt)
What Does This Have To Do With Your Cell Phone?
Well, I’m glad you asked! You can add your mobile phone as a “device” on Twitter. This allows you to send and receive Twitter messages via SMS (text messaging). This means you can now text a Direct Message to RTM to access your Tasks.
You will probably want to add Twitter to your contacts. The number is “40404”.
For more details on how to talk to RTM via Twitter, go back here.
But Wait! There’s More!
Well, not really. At least, not right now. There are a few other slick tricks you can do with this setup that I will discuss later. I think we have covered enough for today and the longer I talk, the more incoherent I may become.
A few things to consider with this setup:
- If Twitter is down, it obviously all goes to hell in gasoline draws
- Adding a task via Twitter doesn’t allow you to properly tag it, so make sure you check your “Inbox” list or your “!” Smart List whenever you get back to a browser
- Completing tasks via Twitter means you have to provide the entire name of the task, so don’t make your task names longer than they need to be.
Questions? Comments? Concerns? Corrections? Let’s discuss in the comments. That’s what they’re for, after all.