Discuss all things Remember The Milk.

I only care about today

tvjames says:
I've been using RTM for 11 years and probably been pro for 8 or 9. I've tried a number of different methods over the year to try to organize my day, but I keep coming back to this one. I put *everything* into RTM, so on any given day it'll start with several hundred, more than I can do in that day.

This method is really only about trying to come up with a list of what I can do today. This planning stage probably takes 10-15 minutes while I'm doing freestep (I have the laptop on a music stand in front of me.)

I have four favorited smart lists:
1. Today1 (due:today priority:1)
2. Today2 (due:today priority:2)
3. Today3 (due:today priority:3)
4. Today4 (due:today priority:none)

Step 1 - collect anything new that's come in via email or IFTTT or Alexa or just a quick note to myself via the app:

Search for "due:never" for any that made it into the system without a due date. Press [*][a][p] to select and postpone all of them. (Now they're due today.)

Step 2 - collect everything that's overdue:

Search for "dueBefore:today" - a sign I was overly ambitious the previous day. Press [*][a][1] to set all their priority to 1 and then [p] to postpone so that they're now all due today.

Step 3 - go to "1. Today1" - this should now be your full list for the day. Go down the list. [k] to move to next item, [j] to move to previous item, [x] to select.

Then press:
[2] - Most important. Things I want to do this morning. Quick wins.
[3] - Today. Things I want to do today at some point.
[4] - Later. I can't do these yet, like sweeping the kitchen floor after dinner or cleaning the catbox.
[p] - Not going to happen today. Maybe tomorrow.
[d] - Reassign to a future date beyond tomorrow. (kicking the can down the road)

After awhile, you get a feel for what's reasonable in any given day, but an alternate method is to sort all of today's into [2] and then use [1], [3], [4] and [p] to do a second sort of the list if you find yourself disappointed with too much undone at the end of the day.

Sometimes life intrudes and you get very little done.

Some items get postponed down the road until I finally admit to myself a particular item isn't going to ever going to be important enough to make it onto the list.

Sometimes I'll decide that a day needs a special focus and I'll keep the list small (still gotta clean the kitchen table after dinner) and instead work on a list of items that I'd normally continue to postpone (those Christmas lights aren't going to fall off the house and into the storage box, I really do need to get that ladder out).

There are rare occasions where I don't even make it into RTM at all (gasp!) - sure, I still get the catbox done, but this process makes it very easy to recover and get back on track.
Posted at 5:06pm on February 10, 2018
emily (Remember The Milk) says:
Hi tvjames,

Nice use of Smart Lists! You're this week's Tips & Tricks Tuesday winner, and we've added a free year of Pro to your Remember The Milk account. :)
Posted 2 years ago
tvjames says:
Thank you!

I've further refined it with a "Today - 0" to make the initial collection quicker and a "Today - 5" to keep track of how much you're putting into your day:
Posted 2 years ago
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