Practical Ecommerce

The PeC Review: “Remember the Milk” A Helpful Organizing Tool

Ecommerce entrepreneurs are busy people who manage suppliers, web marketing, merchandising, accounting, and more. Many of these entrepreneurs keep lists on legal pads or stick dozens of yellow Post-it notes to the sides of their monitors like a mane on a lion.

Four Stars Australia-based Remember the Milk is a web-based task manager that can help ecommerce merchants keep, track, and check off any sort of task.

Each week, The PeC Review takes a quick look at products and services that could help an online merchant. Our goal is to both rate and identify those products. This week I reviewed Remember the Milk’s basic (free) task management tool, awarding it 4 out of a possible five stars.

Video: Remember the Milk


Don’t Forget an Important Task Again

Remember the Milk helps you make task lists online and use those lists to become more effective. But don’t think of the tool as just a virtual version of your legal pad. Rather the site organizes tasks by category (personal, work, study), by priority, by date, and even by tags. As such, the tool becomes sort of vertically aligned calendar, where days are listed sequentially and tasks list alphabetically or according to importance.

Flexibility for the Real World

I confess I love making lists, but occasionally, I make those lists too long for any real human (including me) to complete in a single day. And with Remember the Milk, I found myself doing the same thing online—scheduling about 20 hours of activity each and every day. So I really liked the tools postpone feature. With the keyboard shortcut “P,” I can move any checked task forward in time. Tap the “P” key a few times and I’ve moved the list item into the middle of next week.

Single Keystroke Short Cuts for Every Common Task

Speaking of the postpone keyboard shortcut, Remember the Milk’s single-keystroke short cuts are one of my favorite features. While it did take a little getting used to, I now use “T” for new task, “D” for required date, and “S” for associating tags without even thinking about it. These hot keys save lots of clicking and make adding or adjusting tasks very easy and quick.

Compatibility and Mobility

First launched in 2005, Remember the Milk has an impressive array of extensions and applications that allow users to access their task list in just about every imaginable way short of skywriting. For example, there is:

  • Remember the Milk for Gmail, which lets users manage their task list form the popular Google mail tool;
  • The Remember the Milk Firefox extension;
  • The ability to take your list offline with Remember the Milk and Google Gears
  • A Twitter interface, so that you can add and complete tasks from the micro-blogger Twitter;
  • An iGoogle gadget to review upcoming task, adds tasks, or even complete items from iGoogle;
  • A Netvides module that—like just about every other Remember the Milk extension—allows users to modify their task list;
  • A free mobile version lets you use your mobile phone to keep tabs on your tasks;
  • Integration with Google maps likes you schedule activities on a map;
  • iPhone application;
  • iPod Touch integration;
  • Windows mobile integration;
  • Blackberry compatibility.

And if these options were not enough, there are even third-party tools that let you further integrate a Remember the Milk task list into the foundations of your life. As an example, for a fee, users can add tasks via telephone to Remember the Milk by calling 1-866-JOTT-123 in the U.S. or Canada. Another options is to use the Windows Vista sidebar.

Premium Service Available

Although I did not review it, there is a “pro” version of the tool that can be had for $25 per year. The professional version is required for the iPhone, Windows Mobile, and Blackberry integration.

Summing Up

Remember the Milk is an excellent online list tracking and management tool that should help any ecommerce merchant work more effectively. The tool earned an impressive four out of a possible five stars in this The PeC Review.

Armando Roggio
Armando Roggio
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Comment ( 1 )

  1. cosmicrepairdude June 11, 2009 Reply

    Here’s why I wouldn’t recommend Remember the Milk: it’s unreliable. After deciding I needed a weekly reminder, I decided to compare RTM and PingMe around 6 months ago. I set up 2 repeating tasks on each, my regular Thursday task and a daily reminder that would indicate to me whether the services were reliable and trustworthy. PingMe has worked flawlessly. RTM stopped sending me the daily reminder after 4 days. Their weekly reminder continued to work, though, until a couple weeks ago when it suddenly stopped. When I tried to get help from RTM, all I got was a BS automated response, no actual help or acknowledgment of a problem. When I had a problem with PingMe’s interface, they responded to my query with help, an apology, and thanks for pointing out their instructions had been unclear.

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