Lists are my friend.
I create lists for everything, because they’re fun. I usually have a number of lists on the go: ideas for Christmas presents, gym workouts, creative ideas, movies I want to see, movies I think I should see, housekeeping chores, etc etc etc (the list goes on).
One thing that I did in the New Year, as part of my last attempt to get my procrastination under control, was to sign-up for a free digital list-making app: www.rememberthemilk.com. There are a bunch of different to-do list websites out there, and I looked at a few of them, eventually selecting remember the milk (RTM) because it’s free and because it’s simple.
I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a digital to-do list. You can start with the most basic features, creating a to-do list. It’s really easy to use. But the beauty is that it has many complex features that are entirely optional, and you can explore them as you please, some of the features include:
- making multiple lists (as many as you want)
- creating deadlines for your tasks
- making tasks repeat on any interval you’d like
- tagging your tasks for easier searching or sorting (there is a tag cloud built into the site too)
- prioritizing your tasks
- creating “smart lists” that show a collection of tasks based on the search criteria you set up
- sharing your lists with other users
The best thing about this site is that the developers seem to be focused on keeping it simple. For example, you can only prioritize your tasks at three levels (or no priority at all). This is great, because I don’t want a complicated system – I just want to know when things are high priority (red) or low priority (light blue). Because their software is simple, it forces me to keep things simple.
As far as my success in using this. It helped me a bit. It’s been great for keeping me on track with financial payments. I used to procrastinate paying bills simply because it is unpleasant, which meant that I would often pay my credit card bill after the due date. I KNOW that this is stupid, and that it kills my credit rating. But I would still do it. But this small reminder on my RTM account is keeping me more honest, and I’ve been paying my bills on time as a result.
But I’ve also had trouble with it. If I have a lot of overdue tasks (they turn bold and underlined) then I’m more likely to avoid checking my account. It gets a bit overwhelming. I just need to be better at using it. RTM is just a tool, I’m the one who decides what to do with that tool.
Final words: Remember the Milk is a great little piece of software. And it’s free!