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Friday, May 13, 2011

Remember-the-Milk for iPhone and iPad App review

I can't tell you how much I've been waiting for this RTM for iPad App.
It's been less than a year, but felt like ages.

And now: "Tataaaa" there it is! The "Remember-the-Milk" iPad App!

First of all one question: Do you know RTM at all?

Okay, her you go: RTM is the best, most underestimated Task-Management App I know!

RTM, first of all is a web service that allows you to manage your tasks, save them with a due date, assign context, like places, persons, projects to them and keep the tasks out of your precious mind, until it's time to work them out.

RTM is fully configurable according to your needs, so you can add smart lists, create separate business and private lists, keep your tasks sorted by project, place, person or every term you want.

RTM is a full blown GTD application with all bells and whistles and has the best price-benefit ratio one can imagine, since it is free of charge in the basic edition.
Only if you want it to sync more than once a day with your handheld device, you need to pay 25$ per year for an Pro-account, that is more than worth its money.
You can use email, twitter, SMS, the web service and you iDevice to enter tasks.

It is also easy to forward an entire mail to the web app, exchanging the subject line by a coded task description like "Call Steve  ^20.05.2011 9am !1 *weekly =15min #@phone", that can also be generated by a Textexpander  snippet, or just send it to your RTM account's inbox to deal with it later. Very efficient for quick entries.

The iPhone version is already out for more than a year and I was using it since then.  It is a perfect match to the web app, syncs perfectly via 3G or WiFI and can be used intuitively by everybody who knows about Task Management. From my POV it is far better configurable than Things! or others.

Being installed on the iPad it now uses the full resolution of the iPad screen and shows different views of the to-do's.

The screen view:
On the very left it shows the views for "This week", based on Today, tomorrow, this weeks tasks.
At the forth place it shows the lists view where you can find all the lists you have made, including smart lists in an alphabetical order.
This view is very helpful to gain control of your projects, provided you've been tagging your tasks with the project name and created a smartlists for the project.
Tags are good enough, but compared to the smart lists, smart-lists provide even more possibilities, since you can combine searches or create convenient searches sike for untagged items (isTagged:false) all items to be done within the next 7 days (dueBefore:today+6) and so on.

Tags List
Next comes the list by tags. This view automatically groups all tags in an alphabetical order and provides the best view on phone lists (Tag=@phone) or groceries to do (Tag=@supermarket)

The places view
Then there is very special view that might be interesting for you: The places view.
The places view provides an opportunity that I only know from RTM. It groups tasks geographically and allows a proximity search, if you have used the map for location tags to be added to the tasks. In real life it works like this:
Lets presume you have a bunch of stores you usually do you errands. A one time job is to list all these stores in the places menue of the web-app, by marking them on a built in google maps interface.
The you allocate the tasks to these shops and when you are in town, you look up the locations next to where you are, by setting a search to +2mi or so.
This is very convenient for the things you need to buy "just in case you get close by..."

The proximity view
This works in line with the places view and the GPS sensor or location service. In case you have defined some places, you can see those that are within the defined proximity and the tasks to be done there.

The search window
Within the search window you can look for entries you've made or define your own searches using the RTM search language.

Last but not least you wind the settings by tapping on the little cog wheel icon below the above said views.

GUI
The GUI is nice and chic. It shows the menu white on black, then the sub menu black on light blue and the content is shown black on white.
You can choose between the "done" and the "due" items and if you have more items than are fitting to one page you can scroll the list up and down.

All mentioned features are available for the iPhone version as well, but the iPad version is far better to handle and you have a much better overview.

The entries are far easier to manage since the keyboard is better to handle.

I am pretty happy with the new Universal App and I do think that the iPad is now one step closer to a work machine.

Listen to my podcast contribution to the Nosillacast Podcast:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7941538/20110922_Breevy-Portable.mp3

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