remind me of the milk, will you?

I am a procrastinator.  I can’t help it, it seems.  I try and try… I read Zen Habits regularly and attentively, I try to integrate interesting suggestions, to change my patterns and my behaviors, and still I twiddle around doing meaningless things while the big stuff stares at me balefully, and then in a flurry of frantic productivity I hit it out of the park.

I worry that it’s a system doomed to failure, so I try anew.

My latest attempt at productivity management is to use Remember The Milk integrated into my Gmail account.  Because, see, one of my big procrastination tactics is to check my email “just one more time” to see if anything interesting has come in.  Now when I do that, I see my email, sure, but I also see my to-do list.  Right there.  In the sidebar.  Balefully staring.

Maybe it’ll help.  Maybe it won’t.  Either way, I should be doing something else right now, I’m sure of it…

7 thoughts on “remind me of the milk, will you?

  1. Meredith

    I’ve been using RTM for about 6 weeks and I’ve been pretty happy with it. My problem wasn’t procrastinating though; it was literally not remembering what it was I was supposed to do. I used to keep things organized in my head, but between the work stuff, writing stuff, committee stuff, speaking stuff and home stuff, I’ve become overwhelmed and found myself missing important things. So I’ve created lists for each area of my life and it’s made things a lot more manageable so far.

  2. joshua m. neff

    I have the same problem as Meredith (well, I also procrastinate), and it’s definitely helped me to have my RTM list staring at me whenever I check my Gmail. There’s also an iGoogle widget, in case you need extra RTM nagging.

  3. Jenica

    *grins* I think I’ll stick with Gmail for now; checking the national/world news via iGoogle stresses me out enough without worrying about my own responsibilities, too.

    The thing I like best, I think, is assigning due dates. I have a long print list on a clipboard, but it doesn’t have dates or priorities, so I do the easy stuff first, which isn’t always the best way to go forward. I think RTM might serve as a better organizer for me.

  4. Abs

    What a cool way to use it! I’ve seen things on RTM but couldn’t figure out why I’d want another website where I was writing down lists of things. Since my email is almost always up and going that would be most useful.

    Thanks for the tip.

  5. Jenica

    Abs, it wasn’t useful for me, either, when it was just another website. The APIs that they’re making available change the game entirely, because generally speaking I want integration, and now I’ve got it. Staring at me. Balefully.

  6. Anna

    I do that with my tasks in Outlook. The 2007 version has a nifty thing called a to-do bar, and it pulls stuff from my calendar as well as my tasks. Earlier versions might have had it, too, but I never paid attention.

    I use RTM for keeping track of my review assignments and due dates — helps prioritize them and keep track of what I’m waiting to receive.

  7. Jo Alcock

    I’ve tried to use RTM but I keep going back to ToodleDo which seems to suit me better. I have it integrated into my start page (I use PageFlakes) so it’s always there. I also have it in my Google Calendar, and I use the iPhone (I have an iPod Touch) app so that I can check my list on the go too.

    I’m sure I could do similar with RTM but each time I try I find myself preferring to use ToodleDo, and the iPhone app for RTM involves a subscription which puts me off.

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