Discuss all things Remember The Milk.


I just converted to RTM

nicolas_thomsen says:
As the title states I just converted to RTM, having previously used Things, Omnifocus and Todo I was (reluctantly) blown away by the iPhone app for RTM and after trying it for a few days I just upgraded to pro:)

I would like to ask you people who have been using it for some time what setup you use, or rather how do you use it. What functions do you use the most, lists, tags, locations or..?
What buttons do you use the most on the iPhone ect.?

So far i have configured my 4 buttons at the buttom to be Today, this week, Lists and Nearby.
I am just trying to find a way to get the as much as possible out of this amazing concept.

Posted at 12:17pm on November 14, 2008
ab (Remember The Milk) says:
Welcome :)

Personally I stick to smart lists and tags, my bottom 4 icons are: Today/This Week/Tags/Lists. I'll use tags such as "@work", "@personal" etc, instead of lists of the same name and then use various smart lists to filter the tasks out however I like, quite flexible.

Actually we had a great blog entry written by Doug Ireton, check it out. You don't have to use it all, its got some great tips in it and might fuel ideas of your own!

Happy tasking :)
Posted 11 years ago
davidscottweaver says:
I'm right there with ya! I have on my ipod: Toodledo, Todo, Things, Life Balance, and ofcourse, RTM. Let's just say it takes me a little exploring to find exactly what I like! :-)

I finally came down to Life Balance and RTM. I really liked LB's use of places and "projects", but I already spent $20 for an app that is, well, VERY un-iphone like. I was balking at the $80 they want for the desktop version so I could sync! I was a big fan of LB on my Palm, but not so much on the iPod. And, like you, I reluctantly fell in love with the look, feel, and blazing speed of the RTM app.

Anyway, once it clicked in my head that I could use tags and smart lists to replicate LB's places, it was settled. Here's what I do, I have tags like home, calls, computer, shopping, flightbag, ipod_internet, ipod, gym, etc. Each task gets a tag, sometimes two but usually not. Then I name the smart lists to imitate a usual location for me "@Home, @Hotel, @Flying, @Errands", etc. That way I can select the tags that make sense for each location (or really exclude the ones that don't). So @Home would include: home, computer, calls, ipod, ipod_internet, and gym. @Errands though would only include calls, ipod, and shopping, since that's all I can do when I'm in the car running errands.

Pretty simplistic I know, but it gets me by. I only look at the next 3 days and also include overdue and undated tasks too. Here is my search for @Errands to give you an idea:

(due:never OR dueBefore:today OR dueWithin:"3 days of today") NOT (tag:home OR tag:computer OR tag:ipod_internet OR tag:gym OR tag:guitar OR tag:flightbag)

There are so many other commands in which you can taylor custom lists too. I have yet to really get into it all. Have fun with it!
Posted 11 years ago
nicolas_thomsen says:
Hey and thank you so much for your replies.
I read the blog by Doug Ireton and I have made my setup like his to try it out. Also thank you, davidscottweaver, for explaining your setup, it looks quite interesting as well.

I guess what I still haven´t really found out is how to use lists, tags and locations at the same time. So far it seems to me like a lot of people use tags instead of using locations for the same purposes, and I am just trying to find the best way to utilize all those functions in the best way.

Posted 11 years ago
davidscottweaver says:
Since I have an iPod touch, locations aren't quite as useful to me as if I had the gps equipped iPhone. Even still, I've started adding locations from the google map of various places I am from time to time (Home Depot, Sams Club, my bank, etc.) It is quite fun looking at the sattelite view and clicking on a building and naming it. If you have an iPhone, I could see using it for errands quite a bit.
Posted 11 years ago
jhollington says:
Even without the GPS, the Locations feature can be useful as a secondary "tag" -- I frequently use it in this manner far more often than the "Nearby" setting.... For example, I usually know when I'm near the grocery store (or IN the grocery store :) ), and thereby I can just pull it up directly from within Locations to see what I need to do at the grocery store.

Ironically, it would almost be nicer to have a "Nearby" listing that would simply list the locations nearby with active tasks and a number indicating the active tasks at each (kind of the way the "This week" view works). When looking at what needs to be done nearby, I'm frequently more concerned with where I have to GO than what I have to DO. I can drill down to the individual list once I'm IN that specific location.

Getting back to the original topic, I moved to RTM from Omnifocus, at least as a temporary experiment. So far I'm liking it, but the two most significant things missing in RTM as compared to OF are Start Dates and next actions. While the lack of next-action support hasn't been a big deal for me, since most of my next-actions are usually sequential anyway (ie, five or ten steps all done in one sitting), the lack of start dates has been a huge adjustment, since I don't like to put due dates on non-critical tasks, but I have a number of things that need to recur.... Usually household errands where it doesn't matter if they slip a few days, but do need to be re-done on a regular basis.

My solution with RTM thus far has been to give these tasks due dates, but leave them with NO priority, so they remain grey and bottom-listed, which helps remove the sense of impending doom that otherwise comes with too many "due" tasks :) Then, to keep these filtered out, I don't use any tag views at all, instead preferring to use Smart Lists that encompass the tags.

So while I might tag things to do at the office with an "@office" tag, I almost never look at the tag view of that except during my weekly review. Instead, I use a smart list called "@office" that searches for the tag but also includes only items that are due within the next couple of days, or have no due date at all. This way, items that should be off the radar due to future start/due date settings do not appear.

(status:incomplete and tag:office and (dueWithin:"2 days of today" or due:never))

My iPhone app organization has buttons for Today, Lists, Locations and Search at the bottom. Today is a useful "at-a-glance" view, but I actually spent most of my time in Lists, specifically in my context-based Smart Lists.

Within the RTM world, my static lists are simply areas of responsibility, kept as generic as possible (ie, Work, Personal, etc), although a few major projects get their own list (ie, one called "Book" for a book I'm writring). Tags are used mostly for context, although I'll use a few special-purpose tags for specific projects where required. Locations are used generally for errands, rather than locations that would be better served by a context (ie, I don't have a location for "Home" or "Work" but I do have locations for places or areas in which I might need to run errands.... I sometimes keep these very generic by neighbourhood, ie, "Downtown" rather than by store, unless it's a place where I frequently go and pick up a number of things, like a grocery store).

Almost everything that uses locations gets the "Errands" tag, so I can see at-a-glance via a Smart List what errands I have to run, but then drill down into locations as necessary. I also have an "@ErrandsNearby" smart list that uses the "locatedWithin" search criteria to only show me errands that can be done nearby and that are due in the near future (again filtering out things with later due dates, since I like to keep recurring tasks in place for picking up regular items like coffee, which I don't need to buy EVERY time I go to the grocery store).

Posted 11 years ago
bonni says:
The thing I love the most about Remember the Milk is that it is so easy to use. You can use the more sophisticated features as you go - instead of being held up by your learning curve.

Here are a few of the best practices I make use of:


As I'm going through my five different email accounts (ugh), I first determine if an email is quick and easy to respond to... If it will take me less than two minutes to answer, I do it right then. If a more extensive response is required, or if follow up is needed, I forward it to my RTM in-box with the appropriate tags, due dates, priority, etc., included in the body as described in RTM's help.


I have a folder called projects and I create a tag and task for each major project. I make the names of my projects and their associated tags start with a period, so they'll show up first in any sort/view.

An example would be a website redesign.

Task name (for the project, overall) = .website_redesign
Tag name (for each sub-task related to the project) = .website_redesign

This allows me to get a big picture view of all of my major projects in one list/folder... as well as to see what steps / next actions are involved in a given project, by clicking on the tag, or doing a search on the tag.


Whether I'm on my iPhone, on my home computer, or on a client's computer, I have RTM easily accessible. I even sometimes print out a list, if I just need to have room to doodle or jot notes during a conference call or meeting (when I don't want to be slowed by technology or seem like I'm not giving my full attention).

Posted 11 years ago
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