Remember The Milk: A Great Online To-do List Service

2009-05-14-203431_1280x800_scrotRemember the milk? What an awesome name for my newly discovered service. Just yesterday I was poking around the my newly installed KDE 4.3beta (4.2.85) and I came across the “Remember The Milk” plasmoid hiding in the kdeplasma-addons package in the kde-testing overlay. That was the beginning of about 2 hours or so spent discovering more about Remember The Milk.

Wait, what actually IS Remember The Milk?

It’s a todo list website. You can create categories, and put tasks in them. You can also prioritise tasks from High, Medium and Low. Tasks can also have due dates, and be recurring.

But What’s so amazing about it?

Well, I am no stranger to to-do applications. I have used the Windows Mobile 6’s todo on my phone to quickly note stuff down, I have used KTodo (and despised it), I’ve used devtodo (highly recommended CLI todo list), I’ve used stand-alone plaintext files for todo lists, post-it notes, calcurse (CLI ncurses-based calendar + todo app)…well, a lot of to-do things. Over time here are the things I’ve decided that make a to-do service useful:

  • You make an effort to use it yourself. You don’t use it, it’s not useful.
  • Priority system, but not a bloody /10 rating for each task.
  • Due date system.
  • Fast and accessible.
  • Simple and intuitive interface.

Here’s what makes Remember The Milk great. For a priority, you have a choice of 3: high, medium, low. I think that’s the best combination. It’s awesomely accessible, giving the flexibility of access-the-website-anywhere with a KDE plasmoid to quickly access it on my desktop. It’s fast – it sports an uncanny interface (‘uncanny’ used in the technical sense of the word) with plenty of what looks like jquery usability tweaks (if it’s not jquery, so sue me).

Oh, and the greatest thing is how intuitive and simple it is to use. I can type in “Visit X for dinner tomorrow“, and it’ll parse the “tomorrow” and put it as a due date accordingly. Same with “Mechanics exam on monday“. It’s all automated.  Even cooler is the recurring function, I can do “blog post every two days“, and it’ll work it all out for me. The categorising feature allows me to group it easily in the projects I’m involved with.

It also has the amazing feature of sharing todo lists and publishing them publicly/privately. This allows me to set up a collaborative todo list for a mini-project or such – allowing me to communicate development easily to the public and letting them use it as a wishlist! I can also send/receive todos from other users. I swear, if I were leading any sort of team in a business, I would make it compulsory for them to use this – it’s great for collaboration!

Well, that’s my two cents, and I suggest you check out RememberTheMilk!

Dion Moult

I've been developing software for well over 10 years, work as an architect (not the computer kind, the regular sort), and am classically trained as a pianist. I try to do the right thing when I get the chance in my field, such as through contributing to open-source communities and promoting sustainable living.

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  1. It sure is! In fact I will also soon be releasing public to-do lists for the public to contribute their own wishlists to upcoming projects.

  2. If you’d like a tool for managing your time and projects, you can use this application inspired by David Allen’s GTD:


    You can use it to manage and prioritize your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
    A mobile version is available too.

  3. @Dan: It sounds great, and a brief sneak through their site showed me how powerful it is. However it seems a bit too complex for my needs, and there isn’t a plasmoid for it, eh? :P

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