Discuss all things Remember The Milk.

Mind dump, RTM-style

(closed account) says:
Those of you who are using RTM as a GTD-system might also be using "Mind Dumps".

A mind dump is simply a way for you to get everything out of your head and into writing (paper or digital).

Our brains aren’t made to remember things forever, but written down text is; with an empty brain, we’re able to either focus on new things or deal with the task at hand, instead of constantly dwelling on past things taking up valuable bandwidth.

This writing resulting from a mind dump is an important part of collecting stuff. Once written down, the stuff is to be processed an organized into your RTM-system.

Now here comes my Tip: use an e-mail to write down your mind dump to add it fast-and-easy to RTM. Send it to your RTM Import e-mailadres.

Once a week - i.e. during your Weekly Review - open a new e-mail and start writing. One item per line.

After this mind dump send the e-mail to your RTM Import e-mailadres.

The result: all the items in your "mind dump e-mail" are converted to tasks in your RTM Inbox. That's where you can start to process and organize. Add data one task-item at a time - make it a project or a next action; add tags, location, notes and/or other metadata. And put the task on the right list.

.... and the stuff is off your mind and into your RTM-system.
Posted at 7:43pm on September 7, 2009
amoslemi says:
Make them repeating tasks to stay on top of the weekly review.
Posted 11 years ago
(closed account) says:

- In reply to my tip of e-mailing a mind dump to your RTM Import e-mailadres, you wrote : "Make them repeating tasks to stay on top of the weekly review."

That would be handy, if more tasks are in the Inbox and you want the new Mind Dump items appear on top of them. I see your point, although it is no issue for me, because I empty my RTM-Inbox every day.

But ...

The body of the mind dump email send to the RTM Import e-mailadres contains a list of items (one item per line). Adding metadata is not an option. So making them repeating tasks has to be done after sending them (the import of the list) and it has to be done manually in RTM.

While you are doing that, you might as well add the other metadata as well.

If you want to write down a minddump and import it into RTM - and after that action forget about it and add the metadata sometime in the future, I suggest this alternative for importing the mind dump into your Inbox in RTM:

Make a list for tasks you'll do "Someday". Choose a name for that list and put that list-name in the subject of your mind dump e-mail. The items will be imported to that list. Make sure - of course - that you'll review your 'Someday'-list during your next Weekly Review.

Using this alternative, the mind dump will not clutter the list with next actions and/or other lists that you look into every day during your Daily Review.
Posted 11 years ago
leah.shalom Power Poster says:
I like the idea of making a mind-dump part of the weekly review. With the new Smart Add feature of RTM ( you can include the metadata in the one line per item in your email.
Posted 11 years ago
ranbarton Power Poster says:
A perfect example, right off the bat, of the power of the new Smart Add features.
Posted 11 years ago
andrewski (Remember The Milk) says:
Indeed, ranbarton. Almost prescient, ovanrijswijk! ;)
Posted 11 years ago
(closed account) says:
@leah.shalom, @ranbarton, @andrewski

You are right: the Smart Add Bonus Feature is a great feature to help importing mind dumps by e-mail.

I've taken a rtfm-look at the *new*

Indeed, what I wrote in reply @amoslemi is run over by this new feature.

I now see a Smart Mind Dump:
Import a list via email + Smart add coding + mind dump = Smart Mind Dump.

The Smart Mind Dump can combine the two alternatives in one import e-mail:

-1- items to be converted to actions, with all the metadata attached -

These are written down and put into your RTM-system in one fast-and-easy action

-2- items without metadata -

The 'raw ideas' that need a little more thought, because you are not sure yet what al the specifics are. During the mind dump you don't have the time and the focus to think them through.

You can send these items - in the same import e-mail inbetween items 1-, to your "Someday"-list (or your "Maybe"-list) to be reviewed later on. Just add # , followed by your list name.
Posted 11 years ago
emily (Remember The Milk) says:
Hi ovanrijswijk,

Great tip -- and now extra useful with Smart Add. :)

I just wanted to let you know that your tip is a Tips & Tricks Tuesday winner. We've upgraded your RTM account to have a free year of Pro. :)
Posted 11 years ago
rhodri says:
Thanks this is such a good dear. It so much quicker then adding takes one by one. Being dyslexic if I have a lot of tasks to enter there is a chance that during the writing of one task I will forget the rest .
Posted 10 years ago
rhodri says:
So doing them in one big email does not give me time to forget
Posted 10 years ago
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