Discuss all things Remember The Milk.

Awesome! Special characters in RTM √

bzpilman says:
It's nice when you can use for a tag a symbol that needs no explaining, ain't it ?
Also, prefixing tags with symbols allows you to group them in nifty ways.
Good (great indeed) things is, RTM allows you to use a plethora of special symbols in your tags, believe it or not. Strangely, and controversaly, symbols such as / \ ( ) [ ] = are not supported for tags.

For instance, take a look at the site below:

I particularly like this website for the easy acess to information, and because the characters are pretty much in sort order, give or take a few positions for some.

Some useful examples:
√ ← ↑ → ↓ ↔ ↵ ⇐ ⇑ ⇒ ⇓ ⇔ • — ⋅² ³

More detailed examples:
I'm preceding all GTD core lists (projects, actions, wf, someday/maybe) with a '√'
One great symbol for getting a group of tags to the bottom of the tag box is '⋅', for being small, inobtrusive, and low on the ascii chart sort order.

I just replaced many tags I had, grouping them with a tag that fits onto the group purpose well. To do that, I select the old tag in the tagbox, select all with 'a', then multi-edit ('m') adding the new tag after the Multiple (don't delete that in the process!). Then, to completely erase the old tag, I use the Tag2Location tool: (link + some thoughts)

Hope it helps people in their complex GTD undertakings, and other organizational models =)
Posted at 1:08am on September 8, 2007
johnfoland says:
This looks great!

I wonder though how you can enter those characters in quickly with your keyboard. I have been using § to put some things at the bottoms of lists (on both tags and tasks), but that's mostly due to the fact that it's directly accessible on my keyboard. Your symbols are way cooler.

If I could enter those in quickly, I would love to adopt this system. It's very classy!
Posted 11 years ago
bzpilman says:
Well, for the most common things I also use easy acess symbols (. - + _ @).

I'm using these for some static things (i.e. list that I create and leave them be), and for some special systems that won't overlap with others.

What I mean is, to add a tag with a weird symbol, I can click it in the tagbox and create the task, easily inheriting the property. But if I had to add more than one strange symbol tag, it wouldn't be so practical anymore.

I'm sure there are some hacks, some wich could turn being very practical, others not that much. You could keep a task in some list (ref for example), with all symbols you use. That's maybe not very appealing, but it works across computers. If you're always on the same machine, some software or firefox extension for easy typing would probably be the best route.
Posted 11 years ago
(closed account) says:
If you don't want to leave the keyboard, you could probably go a long way by doubling symbols, like \\ or combining them with other symbols , like \: or even with numbers \5 or letters \p.
I guess the key is to REMEMBER what those weird suckers stand for :-)
Posted 11 years ago
bzpilman says:
An issue you will find there, carib, is that most common keyboard symbols aren't usable for tags. At least not in my experience, and I have no idea why.

No-brainers such as #, *, &, =, %, !, $, (, [, {, :, / and so on will not be recognized for a tag after you type it.

For usable symbols that you can find on you keyboard, you only have a few (aside from the ones I use, I think there's only the comma).

Strange symbols, on the other hand, are 95% usable. So there are dozens, if not hundreds of cool symbols to use in tags, yet you can't easily type them. It's a tough choice.
Posted 11 years ago
crystal.mckenzie says:
Aww, I set up a bunch of my tags to use special characters, and they've all been replaced by question marks in boxes. I've went back to combinations of "ordinary" special symbols....

hmm, weird, the list in the original post is also mostly replaced by question marks in boxes. I wonder what happened...!

Posted 11 years ago
(closed account) says:
Wow, Cryatal, I'm sorry to hear that. Maybe they tweaked RTM's innards and removed that capability.
As a consolation prize, you can still use symbols in task tiles such as " % buy milk". Doubled symbols work there too.

you can use ### for projects, ## for sub projects, and # for tasks. You can search for these symbols too . Just put "^" in the query box, and it will return that result.
You can even combine symbols with numbers and letters if you like (-5, =a).
I even tried a couple special symbols, like ±, and they seemed to work.
So try your scheme with symbols in task titles. there are enough combinations available there that you could build the most geeky scheme imaginable! :-)
Posted 11 years ago
bzpilman says:
what probably happened there, crystal, is your current system/browser doesn't support special characters. I can't see another reason, since I can still see those both in the orginal post and in my RTM account.
Posted 11 years ago
crystal.mckenzie says:
Yeah, I don't know what happened, but I switched to characters I could always see, and I'm happy with my setup now. The symbols weren't showing up right on my mobile phone either, and were awkward to use from the keyboard, making the whole idea too cumbersome. It's never good to spend more time fiddling than actually doing stuff. Lesson learned, yet again! ;)
Posted 11 years ago
dmd1272 says:
text expander is your friend. I just added one for the check mark and I call it by typing rtm and the p at the end, if I type now it will generate the symbolo √ like so
Posted 6 years ago
mikejd30 says:
That way do this, using special characters, is just start the tag with a easy to access one that is only used for these tags, then after all the tags are used, they will appear in a dropdown after entering the intial, common character (for example +)
Posted 6 years ago
alfred74new says:
For your Windows computer there is a scripting program that lets you temporarily redefine what a key sends. My estimating program uses a comma as the separator for feet & inches (i.e. 4,5 vs 4-5 or 4'5"). Since there is no comma on the keypad, when I am estimating, I run a script that changes the "/" on the keypad to a ",". This is a great time saver. You can suspend the script to do other things (like entering a lot of dates) and then turn it back on.
The script program is available at
In the Window's start menu, search for "character map" and there are miilion special characters available such as = ± € © Ñ ® ÿ ¥ ȼ.
You probably could get auto hotkey to "point" to these too.
On my Android phone I use the Swift Key keyboard. The keyboard has easy access to numbers & some symbols. On the number pad there is a button for another keyboard of just symbols. With Swift Key's really good predictive typing, after you enter a tag or task with a funky lead character a couple of times, it will probably guess the tag as soon as you input the lead character.
Posted 5 years ago
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