Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Operation Triage: Day 1.1 at the RTM

Last night I setup an account on rtm for evaluating it's usefulness to my todo list problemo. It provides all the features that the gmail/gcal/ig integrated tasks buddy from Google is lacking, and integrates perfectly into their workflows—awesome job RTM!

Remember The Milk (rtm) is a web based application and supporting service, for managing tasks; you could probably keep your grocery list on this thing too, if you had a decent phone. It supports the obvious stuff, due dates, time estimates, repeaters (oy), and combines it with attributes more often found in social systems, like tagging and sharing. The amount of ways to work with rtm alone make it easier to mate with ones workflow on a level, that most web apps on the net could only dream about reaching. Without a doubt, Remember The Milk has been designed to be the supreme queen in web usability, and provides such a nifty set of keyboard shortcuts that give Geeks like me an extra edge on top of it. I almost think my mother could use this website... it's that easy lol. The power-user features also make it well worth learning how to utilise every ounce out of the system. So far the only negative thing I can say about rtm, is that adding a due date on the rtm website doesn't magically add it as an event in my gcal, but alas no one is flawless :-P.

I've imported all my todo list, after filtering the 5 month out of date file through my brain log along the way, plus put in everything everything on the immediate plate; took me about an hour. Everything of major importance has been marked accordingly with reminders scheduled to be sent to one of my Instant Messengering accounts. Three things that attracted me to rtm: the ability for using tags (as fellow delicious & gnolia fans will enjoy) in addition to regular task lists; reminders by most forms of contact like email, sms, and virtually every IM method short of an automated phone call; not to mention integration with Google Mail & Calendar.

Currently I've created Cleaning, Contact, Projects, Reading, SAS, and Writing lists to go along side the standard issue Inbox, Personal, Study, Work, and Sent lists. Tags are being used so I can quickly study what's on the list according to subject matter; this way when any of the various hats needs a quick servicing within a group of tasks, I can dip into those open loops and screen out the others. Smart lists also make it possible to quickly study tasks by meta-criteria; my first smart list is one to show me all open tasks, that have a priority marker set.

As I told a friend earlier, I essentially don't have to do nothin' but stay white and die, the huge ass list of todo's is mostly projects I'm involved with, and usually get clobbered by the fact that I get interrupted 200+++ times a day by the surviving parental unit, until they fade off the days agenda. Fortunately most of my tasks are in the format of, to do before hell freezes over—but most I would like to get done within the much shorter term! That's where Operation Triage comes into play.

Everything is being trimmed back in accordance with what I have time and energy to deal with at this point in life, and to get as much of the stuff that I want gotten done organised so it doesn't "Fall off" the water fall. Continently the only urgent loops being to get my learners permit, tend to SAS business, and my most important projects. Other tasks are growing closer to completion, and RTM will help me keep them in line with reality.

For the most part, these tasks in the rtm system amount to crap I need to read (lower priorities :'() and things that I need to write: which is easily sorted by priority. The hard part is Just Getting It Done without having to threaten anyone along the way with bodily harm :-/. Actually that would be a productivity boost I'm sure, but it is most strongly against my gentle nature 8=). I need to do further study on how best to collate the development tasks, since they don't quite fit into a box, so much as a creative juice meets free time equation.

To do list, I shall conquer you!

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