Tech Talk: Get Things Done

March 28, 2012 07:15 AM

‘Remember The Milk’ is a powerful online "things to do" list and task management program.

DinoGiacomazzi blueBy Dino Giacomazzi
If you are like me, you are a very busy person. Each day, you have a long list of things to accomplish on the dairy, in the fields, at the office, around the house, for the church, school, Farm Bureau, dairy trades, and the list goes on and on.
I used to keep track of all these "things to do" with little paper notepads, writing on my arm or pants, using whiteboards, or scribbling with my finger on the dusty dashboard of my pickup.
Thanks to the Internet and smartphones, all that has changed. Enter Remember the Milk (RTM) is a powerful online "things to do" and task management program. You can access your task list from your web browser, smartphone or tablet.
RTM is a simple app with powerful features. It does only one thing: manage tasks. Each task can have several different properties, and that is what makes this program so useful.
A sample task is "Order liners for the barn." Once you have entered the task in the program, you can set its properties:
   - Due date: Today
   - Priority: High
   - Tags: Call, Dairy, Barn
   - Location: None
   - Repeat: Every three weeks
   - Estimated time: 10 minutes
This seems like a lot of information for such a simple task, but entering these parameters takes only five seconds. Once you have a list of tasks with their respective properties assigned to them, you can use your list to become very productive.

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Let me walk you through my typical day with RTM. First thing in the morning, I head out to the dairy. I check in with each employee, walk the pens, look at feed and then drive around the farm to scout fields. As things come up, I add them to RTM using my smartphone.
After that, I go to the office computer and organize my list using RTM online. I decide which tasks I want to do that day and kick everything else into the next day. Then I assign a priority to each item, clean up the tags and get to work. This takes five to seven minutes.
As I complete tasks, I check them off using my phone. Once the high-priority items are complete, I start looking at the list in different ways. I might go to the barn and look at the "Barn" tag to see what needs to be done there. Then I’ll go back to the office and view my "Office" tag to make calls and do paperwork. I will check the list by "Location" to see if there are things I need to do while in town.
I share tasks with my herdsman and farm manager and they assign tasks back to me, such as lists of parts they want me to pick up.
While I’m getting all these things done, I try to schedule some fun things to do as well. You know what they say about "all work and no play"—but then again, "they" aren’t dairy farmers!

RTM’s Extra Benefits

  • Remember the Milk (RTM) integrates into other productivity apps such as Gmail.
  • E-mail tasks to RTM using a special address you get when signing up.
  • Send tasks to RTM via Twitter.
  • Integrate with Siri on the iPhone 4s.
  • Send yourself reminders via e-mail, instant messenger or text message.
  • Direct your task list to appear in your Google calendar or iCalendar.
  • Sync with Outlook and BlackBerry.


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