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Using Google Voice Search for Android to do quick and easy RTM voice recognition

lahey says:
I just started using Remember the Milk and I wanted a quick and easy way to add tasks to my inbox, while away from my desk.  The perfect option would be voice recognition for the Remember the Milk Android App, like they have for the iOS version(siri).   Unfortunately, I couldn’t find this, but I did come up with an easy solution using the built in Google Voice Search App.  

With just a little bit of setup, I can now use the “Note to self” keyword in Google Voice Search to put tasks directly into my inbox using voice recognition.  Here is how I did it:

Part 1) Get the Remember the Milk import address

1. Login to
2. Goto “settings”; select “info” tab
3. Copy the import email address to your clipboard

Part 2) Create a forwarding address in

1. In a new window, login to your primary gmail account associated with your Android phone
2. Goto settings (gear icon); select “Forwarding and POP/IMAP”
3. Select “add a forwarding address”
4. Paste your import address as your new forwarding address
5. Select next
6. Select proceed
7. Select OK

Part 3) Confirm your forwarding address

1. Switch back to your window
2. Goto “tasks”; select “inbox” tab
3. Shortly, the confirmation email from gmail, will have been turned into a series of new tasks. For example:
* address
* "automatically forward messages to your address, click this link to cancel this"
* can send the confirmation code
* "clicked the link, but you do not want to allow to"
* Confirmation code: 12345678
* sd897a
* "If you click the link and it appears to be broken, please copy and paste it"
* has requested to automatically forward mail to your email
* please click the link below to confirm the request:
* "the top of any page. Then, click 'Contact Us' along the bottom of the"
* "To allow to automatically forward mail to your address,"
* etc.
4. Find the task that has your confirmation code and copy it to your clipboard (or write it down)
5. Later you can delete all these “fake” tasks

Part 4) Setup the filter at

1. Return to your gmail window
2. In the “forwarding and POP/IMAP” tab there is now an option to verify your import address
3. Paste your confirmation code into the text box and click “verify”
4. Now goto the “filters” tab
5. Select “create a new filter”
6. Under “subject” type “Note to Self”  (optionally fill in “from” and “to” address)
7. Click “create filter with this search”
8. In the next dialog check the following boxes: "skip the inbox"(or delete it) and "forward it" (to your newly verified rmilk import address)
9. Click “create filter”

All Done!  Give it a try.  Open the Google Voice App on your phone (on my phone I just hold down the search button for two seconds) and say “note to self buy milk”. Wait for the Google servers to transcribe your message and click “SEND”.  In a moment or two a new task should appear in your Remember The Milk inbox titled “buy milk”

Note: I have tested this on a Motorola Droid for Verizon and a Motorola Atrix for ATT.  Both worked flawlessly.
Posted at 9:00pm on February 11, 2012
alasnik says:
Lahey, this is pretty creative and impressive. But with that said, I'm admittedly a bit puzzled; isn't using the Android app the best solution? On my Android, I added the one-line RTM widget which has a little microphone on it; I click it, I speak a task, it types it out a moment later and I hit Done.

I just tried this right now, in fact, speaking "Exciting test task in three days" and indeed it created a task "Exciting test task" with a due date three days from now :)
Posted 8 years ago
lahey says:

That's a good point. I actually was not aware that there was an RTM widget with voice activation. Thanks for the suggestion!

I just went to try it out, but it seems I have to have pro for that widget to work ( I just started using RTM)

Even after I upgrade I may still use my solution unless the widget provides additional functionality for a few reasons:

1) I already use the Google Voice Search regularly (e.g. navigate to gas station, call sarah, etc) . My solution just adds functionality to an interface that I already use and so doesn't add complexity. Kind of like adding RTM functionality to Siri for Iphone :)

2) The Google Voice Search widget is already installed. Each time you add a widget to your home screen, you are using up your phone's limited resources and battery life(this might not be an issue for most people, but my original Motorola Droid is pretty slow). Additional widgets also take up space on your home screen.

3) As I mentioned in my original post, a long hold on search is already mapped to Google Voice Search, which seems easier and than swiping to the correct home screen and then pressing a button.

Anyway, I will give the widget a try when I get a chance and compare the two.
Posted 8 years ago
septule says:
Wow! This was very helpful! Thank you!
Posted 8 years ago
dillo99 says:
alasnic....How do you add the " one-line RTM widget"?

I have RTM app on my phone but to add todo items I have to open the app, hit the plus sign, then hit the microphone on my keyboard if I want to speak the todo item. I then have to hit "enter" when done. Would love to make this all one step or key.
Posted 8 years ago
andrewski (Remember The Milk) says:
You can see the Smart Bar widget displayed in our blog post (and demonstrated in the corresponding video). You can add it to your Home Screen.

Hope that helps!
Posted 8 years ago
dmccall says:
The widget is the most direct way, but that is more dangerous while driving. When you are in a position where you can't look at the phone, it is safer to say,"OK, Google...Note to Self pay electric bill". Once you have selected "Gmail" as a target of a Note To Self in Google Now, the setup above routes it to your secret RTM email address.
Posted 5 years ago
jherrick79 says:
I'm stuck on receiving the confirmation code from gmail. It's not showing up in my RTM inbox. Any tips?
Posted 3 years ago
(closed account) says:
dmccall is absolutely right, you're not always in a position to touch the mic on the widget, and then you lose out on the thought that came to your mind. Google Assistant integration is a very essential feature
Posted 3 years ago
mbowes80 says:
Okay, great, I have a task that says "Note to self" in RTM. =) I suspect this Google voice behavior has changed somewhat since this was posted in 2012.
Posted 3 years ago
jon.giles says:
Thanks for this hack - I found the same as mbowes80 as the google now send email with Note to Self as subject. I made a quick IFTTT recipe (using the gmail integration in this case) to forward emails received with "Note to Self" in subject and then rewrite and forward the message to RTM inbox with the email body as the subject line.

Works a treat - hope this is useful to people.


PS - I agree with others above, the whole point of this exercise (for me) is to make adding notes/tasks handsfree from my mobile. Otherwise happy to open RTM and enter manually.
Posted 3 years ago
jon.giles says:
Oh and also forgot to say, you can still use the Gmail Filter to skip the inbox (archive) the message so you have a backup if IFTTT doesn't work but you don't want the messages cluttering up you nice empty inbox ;)
Posted 3 years ago
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