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Big-Picture Project Management with RTM

(closed account) says:
I recently started using Remember the Milk to manage all my projects, and I've been impressed by how powerful and flexible it is. I want to share how I personally use RTM to stay organized and get things done.

One of the main obstacles to the more organized GTD approach to project management is the amount of time spent inputting, categorizing, and updating lists. To me, that defeats the whole purpose of GTD. I want to spend less time organizing and more time doing.

My solution is to focus on simplicity, using Remember the Milk to juggle my various projects. Here's how I do it:

• In addition to the inbox, I use just two lists: home (for all things personal) and work. Within that, I use the tags feature to organize my work projects.

• I've created a "projects" tag that I use to give myself a big-picture look at the majors projects I have going (for each project, I use RTM’s notes feature to give me an overview, and the URL feature to link to emails discussing the project’s scope or priorities). I've also created a "do" tag that lists all specific tasks I need to do.

• When I enter a new “do” task, I put the project name first. So I if I need to discuss a sitemap with my client Bob Smith, I would enter the new task as “Bob Smith discuss sitemap.” This allows me to perform a quick “Bob Smith” search in RTM that pulls up the Bob project overview (complete with helpful notes), and all tasks associated with it.

The ability to quickly input, sort and categorize projects without much thought allows me focus on my work rather than my to-do list. This has made me more efficient in blazing through to-do items, but also more effective: I now have a very easy way to see my major projects and which areas they fall into.

Here I've also found RTM's tag cloud feature very helpful, because I can see at a glance which areas currently require more of my attention. Sometimes this leads me to rethink priorities. Do I really need to be spending so much time on this particular area? For me, this big-picture look helps me keep perspective and avoid becoming a to-do list zombie.
Posted at 6:57pm on February 27, 2010
mass6 says:
Thanks for you interesting post. May I ask how you add project notes using RTM's note feature? Is there a way to add notes to overall project instead of adding them to the tasks themselves?
Posted 8 years ago
rasmusscholer says:
I guess stowejoshnd simply has a regular RTM task which is tagged with "project". Then just press 'y' to add a note to this "project".
Posted 8 years ago
folke1883 says:
mass6: I am also curious about that, but I don't think you can do that. What I think stowejoshnd means, or what I do, anyway, is:

You can add tasks that are not intended ever to be completed - tasks that you add solely for the purpose of holding useful general information in its Notes pane. You can then put special tags on these quasi-tasks in order for them to be easily found (or excluded) in your smart lists. I get the impression that stowejoshnd uses his "projects" tag for this purpose - to quicky access all his various project descriptions. As for me, I use such tags for checklists and other specific information I want to have access to when planning or executing the "real" tasks (the "do" tasks).

Personally, I do not use a special tag for my "do" tasks - I regard "do" as the default.
Posted 8 years ago
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