Discuss all things Remember The Milk.


Make a great mobile experience for time zone travel

mwyadartm says:
Every time I travel to a different time zone, something goes wrong, and I have to manually fix things.

I’m submitting this as a request to make the mobile experience GREAT for those of us that travel across time zones often.

I love Remember the Milk, but when I change time zones, things are so clumsy and painful. Every time.

Symptoms in the mobile app:
- Tasks show with the incorrect due date. (Often, tasks show overdue — even though they’re not. And sometimes the date shows on a previous day, even when I’m only traveling to a place with a 3-hour time difference.)
- While I’m traveling, if there’s not a great network connection, the RTM mobile app seems to forget any changes I’ve made to tasks since I last opened the app. This seems to happen especially if I’m en route, or just arrived at a new place. This just happened to me repeatedly today on airplane, when I was trying hard to be productive. Now I have to re-update a bunch of tasks.
- This is experience is made much worse for recurring tasks.

In various forums, you’ve often suggested a workaround, which is to open RTM on the web and change time zone there. (You also mention a best practice of setting time zones consistently across devices.) I’ve been using this workaround for several years now, and frankly it NEVER works smoothly.

Consider these factors when I (and your other customers) are traveling:
- We sometimes travel with 2 or 3 devices.
- While traveling, we are heavily dependent on the mobile app, and using the web app on mobile is clunky.
- Some devices change time zone automatically, while others do not. (Further, some people work for companies that don’t allow time or time zone changes on their devices.)
- Some devices (iOS for example) seem to require a device restart before RTM will even recognize that the time zone has changed.
- Network connectivity during travel can be wildly inconsistent. (I know this is outside of your control, but hear me out.) Airplane Wi-Fi can be spotty or slow. We might not have international roaming data in other countries.

When I arrive at my destination, I depend heavily on the RTM mobile app, or I’ll miss important tasks.

For now, I’m using a clunky workaround — one that still results in task due date issues. Though I have 2 devices (iPhone + Windows laptop), I really only need to use the RTM app on my iPhone.

My workaround experience typically goes something like this:

- First, I make sure my RTM mobile app has fully sync’d on my iPhone. After that, I wait a few minutes and then force-close the RTM mobile app. (If I don’t wait a few minutes, I find that recent changes get lost.)
- I change the time zones on all my devices at my home airport before I depart, including my laptop, to the destination time zone. (This can result in confusion for making the right time for a flight, but I digress.)
- Open a browser and change the time zone in the RTM on the web. (By the way, this is an especially painful process if network connectivity is spotty.) I select the option to make my tasks due at the same time in the new time zone. I then have to wait awhile (usually 10 or more minutes) until that process completes.
- Restart my iPhone. (For some reason RTM mobile app won’t see the new time zone unless I restart the whole phone... sometimes I have to restart it twice before it’ll see it correctly.)
- Open RTM mobile app and wait for ALL tasks to sync. (I typically have about 1000 active tasks at any given time, many with dates in the future.) This process is absolutely terrible at airports, especially if you have limited time to make a flight.
- During travel, I don’t dare make any changes to any of my tasks for fear of losing my changes, or causing a further rift in the time zone continuum. I must remember stuff in my head until I get to my destination and confirm that everything looks OK.
- Even after doing all of these things, I still get odd behavior — mostly tasks showing with the wrong due date.

Here’s the thing. When I travel, I always want my tasks to keep the same due date and due time. ALWAYS. Every time, without exception.

So I implore you. Please, please, please. For those of us that love Remember the Milk and travel often — make the mobile app experience great!
Posted at 9:32pm on November 8, 2019
rmerkley says:
I noticed this odd behavior years ago, when I first started using RTM. To remedy it, I NEVER change the timezone on my phone. I leave it static. Same with my laptop. I have a watch that can tell me what time it is, so I don't rely on my PC or phone to check the time.

The only caveat to this is knowing appointment times in my calendar, based on the correct timezone. Since my phone/PC haven't changed times, I have to do the time change in my head. It hasn't been a huge issue for a long while, but admittedly, I don't travel for work much anymore, just vacations or weddings. I still have to get to my appointments on time, but I wouldn't say I've had an issue with that.

I do feel you pain, and perhaps with more appointments, etc., my method could be cumbersome. But like you, I don't want to risk messing up my task due dates, etc., so I fix my time zones to never change, and that seems to have solved it. It's as if I never left home, as far as RTM is concerned.
Posted 1 year ago
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