Dec 19, 2008

Remember the Milk Experiment

So I've started my Remember the Milk experiment.  This will be my list for all work related tasks.  Click here for an introduction to RTM if you are unfamilar with it.
I have set up my RTM environment as follows:
  • General - Miscellaneous tasks (e.g. Install new computer memory)
  • Maybe/Someday - Miscellaneous tasks that are low on the priority list and are not currently essential for my work
  • Personal - Tasks that are not related to work but I may need to do at work; I actually have 2 RTM accounts and will share my personal tasks with my work account using the share feature (e.g. Call Dr. Smith about appointment)
  • Projects - List of projects I am working on; read more on projects below (e.g. PeopleSoft Textbooks Training)
  • pst - Holder for all project related tasks; read more on projects below; acronym for project sub tasks
  • Complete (month) - Tasks completed in last month, I'm forgetful ;o)
  • Complete (week) - Tasks completed in last week, ditto
  • High Priority - List all tasks given a priority of 1 or 2; these may be project specific, personal or general tasks; also lists overdue tasks regardless of priority (over due tasks that sit in this list should be either finished or rescheduled)
  • Next Action - Lists all tasks tagged as "next"; I use this to schedule my events each day...I don't always work on tasks based on priority alone.  Note: this is not the same as Allen's GTD next action.
  • PeopleSoft Textbooks - My major projects may have their own tab.  This is one of them.
  • Priorty - Lists all tasks given priority 3
  • Waiting - Lists all tasks tagged as "waiting"; these are tasks were I am waiting on action from someone else; tasks in this list will no longer appear in my priority lists.
About Projects
I've figured about a way to do sub tasks for projects that seems to work fairly well.
  • Each new project is created as a task in the Projects list
  • I tag the project with a unique tag with a prefix.  I use "c." for a course I am creating.  (e.g. c.pstextbooks)
  • Each new project sub task is created as a task in the pst list
  • I tag the project sub task with the same unique tag for the project (e.g. c.pstextbooks)
So now the steps to see a list of all the sub tasks for a project are as follows:
  1. Go the Projects tab
  2. Click on the project you are looking for
  3. Click on the unique tag for that project to see the list of all sub tasks for the project (see below; view Jing animation)
I realize that RTM may not be the best solution for a project that is complicated enough to require a project plan.  In that case I may use some thing like Microsoft Project to manage the project plan and use RTM to manage tasks related to the project but may not be in the project plan per se.
The next step is to see how this experiment works over the next month or so and report back.


Unknown said...

Are you having any luck with this method?

Jonathan Shoaf said...

RTM has worked well for my personal task list...not so well for work. One reason is that work tasks are constantly changing and being updated and RTM does not work well for frequent updates. For example, The UI requires too many clicks to update a note for a task. While I haven't made a final conclusion yet, I most likely will be abandoning RTM for work purposes in favor of a more robust desktop application...problem is that there aren't a lot of good options in this area.