Besides using RTM for classic task management, I extensively use it within my music evaluation flow. I buy quite some music and try to avoid any buying mistakes by listening to music upfront, rather than just buying on impulse.
How do I go about this?
1. I get my music recommendations from three main sources:
- offline reviews, radio, talking to friends, ...
- online reviews (websites, blog posts, etc)
- last.fm activity (what are my friends listening to)
2. How do I transform these sources to actionable RTM items?
- as for the offline stuff, I just send a mail with the name of the artist and album in the subject line to my private RTM address. I do this as soon as I get the recommendation, in order not to forget about it later on.
- online reviews and listening activity (in the form of rss feeds) get routed to my Google Reader account. On a daily basis, I check my Google Reader account and browse/read all new items. If I stumble upon something that I (might) like, I send the rss item to the same private RTM address. Whenever relevant I already add some tags: who recommended the item, where can I listen to it, etc.
I do this either on my computer at home, either on my iPhone. When using the iPhone to register the item, I do not add many tags at this point of the process.
3. I regularly review my RTM Inbox, which I really use as a inbox (in a sense that I want it to be empty after I had a look at it): I add some more tags if not done yet, assign a priority and transfer the item to my listening list.
4. Once a week, I open the listening list, check the item at the top of the list (which is sorted on priority), look at the tags to find out where I can listen to this album online, I listen to it (just once or several times if needed) and decide whether I want to buy this album (electronically or physically). Based on the 'recommender' tag, I sometimes also read the review again while listening. If I do not (sufficiently) like an album, I mark the item complete to remove it from my list. If I do like it, I move it to the appropriate list (buy or download). In some cases, I add some more tags, like the name of the online shop where I plan to buy it. Then I move on to the next item.
5. Whenever we go out for an 'entertainment shopping spree' (or whenever I feel like ordering online), I look at my buy list (which i can also access on-the-go via the RTM iPhone app), get the listed albums and check them off my list.
6. Done, enjoy the music.
Posted at 2:45pm on August 27, 2011