Productivity: Remember The Milk!

Productivity: Remember The Milk!

I am loving RTM.

I will admit it now. I am a list-maker. I am a BIG list-maker. I make mega lists and they get so big I get overwhelmed and get lost in the volume of what has to be done when.

Robert Plank has tried to get me to stick to the FOUR THINGS philosophy.

I’ve tried lots of to-do list systems, the egg-timer method, the pomadoro technique, Getting Things Done and all types of productivity systems like Franklin Covey, Priority Management and more.

Here’s what I know: ALL the systems work. It’s just that we (I) do not work the system! And hence we get out of control quickly, forget things, procrastinate, end up in a time crunch and don’t get enough done. You know the story.

Well, I rediscovered Remember The Milk after flirting with it years ago. And I think I am about to be a convert. Each time I use it I find a new little way it works and that makes it work so much better. Here’s what I love so far:

  • I can have different lists for different things. (I’m trying to keep these minimal so I don’t get crazy with 101 different lists)
  • I can move things between lists if I get it in the wrong one (select the task, select ‘more actions’ and select ‘move’, or get the Firefox add-in)
  • I can easily set times and dates things are due to be done
  • it automatically sorts my tasks into ‘today’ ‘tomorrow’ etc and I can sort it by a whole lot of other criteria such as priority
  • I can set up Firefox to automatically load my page on start by using LastPass to automatically log me in – that way I start the day with all my tasks for the day as the first thing I see.
  • I can view my tasks in offline mode so I don’t need to be online. I can also print them off if necessary
  • One of the best things is I loaded the iPhone app for RTM and now I have my tasks with me wherever I go and if I get an idea I can jot it into RTM and it will sync with my online task list
  • RTM emails me when a task is due so I won’t forget.

It’s like having a PA, really. So long as I set up the tasks and plug in the info I need I’m good to go! There are a whole lot of other cool things RTM can do as well. I’ve only scratched the surface. The trick is in making the system work for you without becoming a slave to the system. So far so good!

What I also like is that from memory, RTM was the brainchild of some savvy Aussie girl but don’t hold me to that memory chip – it goes back a while.

My Top 7 Productivity Tips

  1. If you want to be more productive, you HAVE to find a system that makes sense to you and that you can work with.
  2. Don’t quit on the system too soon.
  3. Find a system that doesn’t rely on you to make it work (Once I enter the data, RTM takes over!)
  4. When your system tells you to do something, do it, reschedule it, delegate it or delete it
  5. When you schedule, don’t overfill your day or you’ll be forever deferring items
  6. When setting up your tasks make them ‘complete-able’ tasks, ie things you can finish in one sitting – that may just be a chunk of a bigger task.  Tip – thinking, planning and researching are not complete-able tasks! Draft outline of strategic plan is. Identify 5 topics for future blog posts is. Decide and purchase 2 new domain names is. Get the picture?
  7. Schedule some time every day to review your tasks, add new ones and tick off the ‘done’ ones.
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