Task Management

Remember the Milk

Once I had begun my journey toward better organization that I talked about in the previous posting, I needed to find a task management system that supported the Getting Things Done (GTD) philosophy.

My Environment

I spend a good deal of my time at customer sites fixing computer problems.  My business is located in Flathead County, Montana, which covers about 5,100 square miles (Rhode Island has about 1,600).  This makes mobile communication with the office critically important.  The staff must be able to add phone messages that I can review while away from the office.

The Problem

For years I had been using Microsoft Outlook to manage e-mail, appointments, and tasks.  This worked out for me when I was using a Pocket PC as my mobile device.  When I switched to using a Droid, I found that the Droid did not support Outlook’s task list function.  I could still use Outlook to manage my e-mail and calendar but I had to find another solution to handle my task lists.

I first tried to use Google tasks in conjunction with a free Android app that synchronized with the Droid.  Unfortunately that app didn’t work all that well at synchronizing.

The Solution

What I needed was a web-based solution that worked both with the computers in the office and my Droid in the field.  Enter a product called “Remember the Milk.” 


Please don’t let the name throw you off by thinking this is just a glorified to-do list application for remembering errands and writing shopping lists. 


It has some very powerful business-grade features that are well-suited to fully supporting the GTD methodology.

  • Web-based – access your lists from any browser
  • Multiple Lists – create as many as you like
  • Descriptive Tags – these help organize things further
  • Locations – sound a notification when you are near a task site
  • Reminders – both e-mail and audible notification
  • E-mail – send tasks to your in-box list via e-mail
  • Search Lists – based on highly customizable search criteria
  • Gadget for iGoogle – manage lists directly from an iGoogle home page
  • Mobile Applications – iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Pocket PC support
  • Sharing – use shared lists with co-workers

 The best feature of all is that this powerful software is free to use with your PC.  The mobile applications require what they call a Professional (Pro) Account which costs $25 per year.  This is the best $2 a month that I have ever spent.

Implementing GTD

Remember the Milk has an excellent BLOG that is full of tips and techniques for managing your life with the software.  If you are interested in combining GTD with the software, there is a fantastic guide at:


I used this guide extensively to create my own GTD system to set up and manage all my lists.


After a few months, using this software has become an integral part of my life.  When I first get to the office, I call up a checklist of daily tasks to perform that starts the day off on the right track.  Next I look at my list of activities for the day (plus any left over from previous days).  

My tasks cover a wide range including phone calls to make, bills to pay, business and personal errands to run, customers to visit, and tasks to move a project along.  Nothing falls through the cracks and I can stay on top of things. 

Life is good.

Disclaimer:  I do not receive any compensation from products mentioned in this article.

About Dick Buchanan

I started working with computers some 25 years ago when my wife, Carol, and I purchased our first PC which was a Kaypro IV CP/M machine. This lead to studying computer science at Seattle Pacific University and becoming a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE). During this time I have worked for The Boeing Company, IBM Global Services, and Microsoft. I currently own and operate a local computing services company called Byte Savvy located in Kalispell, MT
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