If you’re a global traveler working for a big organization you probably use your corporate email server, probably based either in Lotus Notes or Microsoft Exchange (i.e. Outlook). Both of these have fairly handy task management services – that’s the fancy computer term for a to-do list. But most of those require security or even Virtual Private Network (VPN) software that might not work through your hotel or conference facility’s internet connection. You might be a traveler like me who keeps their information “in the cloud” (i.e. stored on the internet rather than on a hard drive that breaks or gets stolen). You probably use an online email service like Gmail, Yahoo!, MSN or AOL to access your messages from wherever you are. But none of those has a to-do list feature. You know, someone sends you a note with some details and a due date, and you want to make a note to yourself.
For both situations, I can heartily recommend
. I know what you’re thinking – what a dorky name! I first read about it in one of those articles that geeks read in computer mags and tried it out but couldn’t see the logic. Creating an account is free and quick (just like setting up a Gmail or Yahoo! account). Creating to-do items is pretty easy too – just type away and use natural language. For instance, if something is due tomorrow or next Thursday or next month, just type that and Remember the Milk will figure out the date and fill it in. They have templates so you can also print out super-easy and simply formatted to do lists, sorted by due date, priority, or alphabetical if that suits your fancy.
If you happen to be a Gmail user and you use the Firefox browser, then you rise to a whole new level of Remember the Milk sweetness. Download a
and your Gmail inbox will show your to-do list on the right hand side of your browser, sorted by due date. But wait, there’s more! Make one little adjustment in your Gmail settings and now you can actually use the ‘star’ feature in Gmail (I know, I never used it either). Now when you star a message in Gmail, Remember the Milk (RTM) will create a new to-do item and pop it across into your to do list, with the title of the email that you just starred.
If you sign up for the Pro account (a measly $25/year) you can sync it with your iPhone, iPod Touch or Windows-Mobile PDA. As long as my PDA is connected to the Net, I can literally tap one button and any changes in my PDA’s task list is synced up with RTM’s, and vice-versa. I’m only beginning to explore all of RTM’s features, which seem to grow by the day. But if you, like me, derive great pleasure in checking things off a list, then RTM is for you.
Ok – time for full disclosure. Nothing to disclose! I have never met the RTM people, and I have no idea who dreamed it all up but I think it’s brilliant. Most of the features are available for free but even the “Pro” services are a steal. They’ll either go public soon or get bought by Gmail. But in any case this is a must-have for global travelers who like to keep their tasks and deadlines straight. Your tech world traveler…