Wednesday, January 9, 2008

remembering the milk and platform goodness

Ever since being inspired by Gustave Faubert's "Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work." and Mr. WishfulThinking.Co.Uk, I've been trying to actually be regular and orderly in my life (although I still haven't finished that e-book I mentioned in my earlier post).

One of the firsts things I did was something about task tracking. Lifehacker, that faithful toolsmith, pointed me to RememberTheMilk. It is really really good. After giving up on all to-do lists more complicated than a notepad file, I am actually using RTM and loving it. Their GMail integration is lovely. I have GMail open almost all the time, so task management doesn't mean open up a new website or a file. It's just there. And since it's online, no syncing problems - I don't have to worry about which computer I'm using or where I am. And their integration makes the task list widget look and feel exactly like GMail:

See that little vertical bar of goodness on the right? That's it. Minimal clicks to work it and a simple interface make it very, very usable. It also has task collaboration and more sophisticated organizational features, but I haven't needed to use those. The simplicity is beautiful. Check out the screencast.

GMail 2.0 (and their new API) is a real platform. RTM is just one of the first applications on it and more are bound to come. Yahoo! making their email into a platform seems almost retarded in comparison to GMail 2.0.

I wonder if RememberTheMilk has enough users to be a Google acquisition target. The product is excellent. Perhaps Google has its own to-do list in the offing; there have been enough and more user requests for it for sure.


Manu said...

I use Google Calendar and feed it into iCal, which means it's always on my Mac when I'm home, and accessible (typically via iGoogle) at work. Google needs to integrate their Calendar into Mail somehow; or easier still, just buy RTM like you suggested!

The only problem with iCal is that there's no reverse-syncing: I can't update iCal and expect the changes to reflect in GCal. There is a paid-for software that does that somewhere though, but it isn't popular enough to have a crack easily available ;)

Umang said...

RTM has some Google Calendar integration too, only it isn't half as good as the one with GMail. And they have an iCal feed.
Hopefully either Google or RTM will come up with something soon.

pkj said...

I have been using RTM since the last few weeks and I have only just begun to realise its power :) .

I am using it along with Google Calendar for a tighter integration and also because GCal sends reminders over my cell.

Do you know of any way to create an event in GCal directly from RTM. I mean you create a TODO in RTM and it in turn creates a task for you in GCal ?

Umang said...

@pkj: It *is* brilliant, isn't it. :)
The GCal integration didn't work too well for me, unfortunately. It sent a reminder only once a day and every day whether there was a task or not.

RTM has an API that you could use to write your own integration feature. And if you do, please let me know! :)

pkj said...

it seems the gcal integration is a fairly common problem .. others @ rtm df's have reported it as well.

but the good thing is that even without it, it *is* pretty awesome :)

don't tempt me. i might just go ahead and write a hack.