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RTM and Rainlender

alfred74new says:

I have been using RTM for about 3 weeks. It's a great program, but I have found myself missing being able to drag and drop my tasks in some type of daily calendar view. Prior to RTM I put my tasks into my Google calendar with an arbitrary start time, basically to act as a placeholder, and then in my planning process rearranged them into the order I wanted to do them. In the form I have noticed a lot of discussion about not being able to do drag and drop organization and not having a calendar view.
Last night (and this afternoon) I spent too much time exploring Rainlender. I had added it a few days ago however had found it frustrating and not very helpful. Last night I really dove in and have found some uses and limitations of it in relationship to RTM.
In the 3rd party app section of the RTM help page there's a listing for Rainlender- http://www.rainlendar.net/cms/index.php-which says "Rainlendar is a calendar application which is highly customizable, and helps keep your events and tasks in plain view on your desktop at all times."
I will try and give some simple lists of information that I have learned about Rainlender.

General items
1. there is a Rainlender Lite version and a Rainlender2 pro-version.
2. Only the Rainlender2 pro integrates with RTM.
3. There is unlimited trial use of the full Pro program, however all tasks have the word unregistered at the beginning. The one time purchase price is 9.95 (euro).
4. All items below refer to the Rainlender Pro version

Connectivity
1. Rainlender can read and write to your Google calendar.
2. If your Google calendar reads your RTM feeds, you can add these subscribed calendars to Rainlender as well. However, Rainlender cannot write to these feeds.
3. Rainlender can read and write to what they refer to as your RTM calendar (ical). Enabling this calendar brings in tasks from all smart and static lists, that have due dates and times. You can also add individual RTM lists (smart lists too)as calendar or event feeds to Rainlender. I did discover today however that you cannot write back to a smart list.

Tricky parts
1. When you add a calendar feed to Rainlender, it is not automatically set up to poll the calendar-in the settings area you have to scroll down to find the setting.
2. The user interface is based on using skins. The program comes with 3 included in you can choose views from each of them in combine them and use duplicates. This means you can have 2 week views (they would be in separate windows) and have one open to this week and the other open to next week.
3. You can open and edit RTM tasks in Rainlender. Say you have an RTM task set for 2 PM today, meaning that you want to started at 2 o'clock and work on it for an hour. If you open the task in Rainlender and give it a start time of 2 PM and they due time of 3 PM, when Raymond writes it back to the RTM system the due time in RTM is moved back to 3 PM. This would make sense if RTM had start and due times, however if you're used to setting the due time as the actual start time for the day this doesn't work.

What works and what doesn't
1. Rainlender does read and write to your Google calendar and to your RTM lists.
2. There is a lot of customization available for both calendar views and what calendar items that view shows.
3. Tasks with a due date, but not a due time, are not pulled into Rainlender, except in the manager window.
4. Tasks are shown in calendar views as a bar with no description. When you mouse over the bar you have the option of moving it or just seeing the description or double-clicking and opening it to edit.
5. Since my primary purpose for investigating this was to allow drag-and-drop editing, it's usefulness is up in the air for me. For example tomorrow I have 10 items with due times, and they are showing up in my week view Rainlender, but since they are only shown as bars I can't tell which is which without mousing over each of them. You can drag and drop to rearrange them, or even move them to another day, but since you can't see all the task descriptions at once, I find it a little dicey.

I have posted in the support form and sent an email to the developer asking if there's a way to get task titles to show up in the calendar views. I'll let you know what I find out.

Posted at 12:35am on April 8, 2013

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