Monday, February 11, 2008

Remember the Milk

Although we've been using activeCollab for project management in the CWRL, I've been looking for an analogous space for personal task management. In particular, I was looking for a lightweight task manager that would allow the following:
  • tasks that can be listed all together or in projects, and sorted by date and project
  • a decent print format for tasks
  • tagging for separating projects
  • mobile access
The last point has become especially important to me since the last time I surveyed the landscape of project and task management systems. I now access the Internet regularly through my phone, which is with me almost constantly -- more so than the printouts I make for project management purposes.

After looking at several options, I settled on a task manager I've been hearing about for a while: Remember the Milk. Despite the name, it turned out to be just what I was looking for. The task management can be broken into separate lists (defaults include "Work" and "Personal"), but I lump everything under work (doesn't everyone?) and break out projects with the free tagging that is allowed for each task. The result is that a tagcloud shows all projects, with the size of the tag indicating the number of tasks remaining in that project. The tags hang next to each task, so I can print the screen and get a comprehensive list of tasks across all projects. (RTM's formatted printing, however, removes the tags.) Most importantly, the mobile interface (at is very clean and simple, similar to MySpace's mobile interface.

RTM was partially inspired by GMail. Unfortunately they don't appear to have a single quick-add natural language field like GCal does. But they do have Twitter and IM integration, so it may be that you can add tasks easily that way. I'll play with it over the next few days and see.

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