Remember the Milk has been around for a while and is a favorite of many the GTD and productivity gurus. RTM sports a clean and simple interface and packs a lot of features that make managing your tasks easy and powerful. RTM seems to hit a happy medium with both features and simplicity and perhaps that’s what has made it stand the test of time–at least in internet standards.
In our quest to find the best task-management app, we set the following six criteria:
- Must be ubiquitous: web app, iPad app, and Android app–with sync.
- Must be easy to use.
- Must have reminders: email and SMS.
- Must have the ability to create recurring tasks.
- Must be inexpensive or free.
- Must have an attractive and intuitive interface.
Remember the Milk has been around for many years. Has that experience helped it maintain its lead or have the years only aged the app. Let’s see how it fairs against my standards.
Must be ubiquitous: web app, iPad app, and Android app–with sync.
Remember the Milk is on just about every mobile platform as well as the web. For a list of ways you can connect to RTM, check out this site.
Must be easy to use.
None of the todo apps we have reviewed are incredibly difficult to use; however, Remember the Milk’s interface is a bit cluttered and that can lead to some confusion.
To add a task, simply start typing in the “add a new task” input box. RTM does allow you to use shortcuts to add due dates, priority, tags, etc, very similar to Producteev.
You can complete or postpone your task by clicking on the checkbox to the left of the task and then clicking either complete or postpone button above.
You can also take many different actions on a task by clicking on the “more actions” select box.
You can sort tasks by priority, due date, or name by clicking on the “sort” select box.
Filtering tasks is as simple as clicking on the all, due today, due tomorrow, overdue, or none links.
Clicking on the “settings” menu item allows you to make changes to your account settings, lists, tags, locations, reminders, services, sync, and info.
In the right sidebar, you can choose to share or publish your lists. You can share your lists with contacts you’ve entered into RTM and this allows them to view and edit. Or you can publish your list to the public or to specific contacts. Publishing allows people to see your lists, but not make any changes.
So as you can see, Remember the Milk allows you to manage, publish, and share your tasks in many different ways and offers all of the features one could want in a task-management app.
Must have reminders: email and SMS.
Remember the Milk can set up both email and SMS reminders and allows you to make them very specific. You do this by clicking on the Settings menu item and then clicking on the Reminders tab. RTM probably has the most robust reminder system of the apps that we have reviewed.
Must have the ability to create recurring tasks.
Remember the Milk has no issues with creating due dates and recurring tasks. It’s simply a matter of clicking on the “repeat” button in the task dialogue and setting the frequency.
Must be inexpensive or free.
Remember the Milk is a free web app, but charges $25/year for a Pro version that unlocks the full potential of its mobile apps. What that really means, I couldn’t answer for you as it’s unclear on their website. One of the main differences that I could find in my research is in syncing all of the apps. With the free version, syncing is manual and limited to once every 24 hours and with the Pro version, it’s automatic and more frequent. How much more frequent, again, I couldn’t find. But syncing once every 24 hours could be a problem if you work a lot between a mobile app and the web. $25 isn’t a lot, but again, as our reviews have shown, this field is competitive and you can find other options that offer the same or similar features for less or even free. Although not a high cost for the Pro version, I’m going to ding RTM a bit, because they don’t really spell it out what the difference between a free and a pro account is. Without clearly knowing what benefits I get for my money, I’m less likely to put down any money. If you can find anywhere where RTM is clear about the difference, please let me know.
Must have an attractive and intuitive interface.
Remember the Milk has a simple but cluttered interface. There are a lot of features and options and this gets in the way of simplicity and intuitiveness of the app. You have to constantly look at the ever-changing layout as you move through the app. Though not extremely difficult, the learning curve is a little steeper just because of the sheer amount of options and functions you are able to use. There are so many ways to display your tasks, sort and filter them, that these can be a blessing or a curse.
Remember the Milk is a full-featured, simple, but cluttered app that allows you to add, manage, publish, and share your tasks in multiple ways. Although RTM is available on multiple platforms, has one of the best reminder systems, and is very much geared to the GTD crowd, the limitations of the free version with regards to syncing and the uncertainty of what the Pro version offers, it’s hard to recommend this grand-daddy of todo apps, although it tied as the currently highest-rated app, along with Wunderlist, of our lineup.
Have you used Remember the Milk? How do you think it ranks with the newcomers? Let us know what you think in the comments below.