I am, how you say, not very organized. I have tried billions of approaches of keeping task lists and to-dos that range from simply using Outlook to writing everything down on paper everyday. I have used Backpack (which is very nice, and I still use it for other things) but the reminders were too general. In all cases, the problem is never the system, but always the user. If I kept my tasks in Outlook, then I couldn’t get to them when I was reading my GMail account or if I use Backpack reminders, I had to have a window to Backpack open while doing other things. As it turns out, if it was even remotely awkward or required me to put forth any more effort than simply recording the task, then i didn’t do it.
My latest approach is Remember The Milk. RTM is an online task list service that focuses ONLY on managing your tasks. Being very Web 2.0y, it has an API, which means third party apps already abound. For example, RTM has a Mac OSX dashboard widget, a Quicksliver plugin, Twitter integration (supremely cool), GMail integration (finally, tasks with my GMail done right), and a Firefox extension. The pro version (a very reasonable $25/year) offers up integration with Windows Mobile, Blackberry, and iPhone/iPod Touch. You can also expose your tasks as an ICS feed and pull them into any calendar that supports it. For me, what this means is that wherever I am working, I am looking at the same task list. If I enter a task in Outlook while at work, I can mark it completed from the iPod Touch during my kid’s swim practice. Also, RTM works with Google Gears, so offline access is already there (Gears doesn’t support Safari yet, but that is coming…)
The tasks can be tagged (duh), arranged in lists, given a URL, duration, priority, due date, and (most righteously) a location. Now, I can look at a Google Map with my tasks on it. For example, some of my locations are Home, Harris Teeter (a grocery store), and Costco (a bulk grocery), allowing me to make Smart Lists where I split the list by location. You can publish lists to the world, email lists to your Inbox (or any other list) so my wife can give me my HoneyDo list is a way that makes my Nerd Muscle twitch with delight.
All in all, I am very encouraged by RTM and its offerings. I highly recommend that anyone who is as task-tarded as I am check it out.
Other RTM Resources
- Review on Freelanceswitch
- RTM is One of the Five Best GTD Apps, per Lifehacker. (GTD is on my todo list)