Remember the Milk and Evernote Integration

I’m working on a post that covers the last two weeks of travel–both my trip to San Francisco for the Evernote Conference, and my trip to Scottsdale for work. There are so many topics I want to cover for those events that I’m trying to break them up into smaller bites instead of dropping them all into one gigantic post.

Today, though, I wanted to throw out a quick tip. I know, it’s not Tuesday, but I’ve missed the last few Tuesday Tips, so I figured a Saturday Tip would be okay.

Somehow, I missed the fact that Remember the Milk (RTM) added Evernote integration.

We all know that Evernote added a Reminders feature a while back, and it was better than I had ever expected. Once I started using it, I knew I wanted to see someone build on it, and provide an app that would pull those reminders into a lightweight task management solution.

I used RTM exclusively for a couple of years before switching to a hacked up Evernote/Apple Reminders solution. RTM kept saying that they were thinking about integrating with Evernote, but that they didn’t have an estimate on when that would happen. So I let my RTM Pro account expire, and moved on.

Since iOS 7, Apple’s Reminders application has been buggy. Reminders don’t sync between my devices, typing in a new reminder would somehow rename one of my other reminders, etc. So a few days ago, I set off to find an alternative. I’ve tried many, many task management solutions over the past several years, but RTM is the one I’ve always gone back to, so I decided to check it out first. While clicking around, I happened to find the Evernote integration page.

They have a page that explains it all, but I wanted to throw out my own workflow with these two tools.

I was keeping my recurring tasks, and anything that didn’t really require notes in Apple Reminders. Things like, feed the dog, take out the trash, ship a package, etc. Anything that required notes or follow up would go into Evernote with a Reminder set. Often, my action items come in via email. When I get an email like that, I’d forward it to my Evernote email address, and add an exclamation mark to the end of the email subject line:

“Configure digital signage players for branch 1234 !”

You can also add a date after the exclamation point in YYYY/MM/DD format to specify when a Reminder is due.

My workflow hasn’t changed, but since linking Evernote and RTM, any Evernote note with a reminder automatically shows up in my default RTM list. So all my tasks are in one place. If I mark a task complete in RTM, the task is marked complete in Evernote, and vice versa. When I’m looking at a task in RTM that has been imported from Evernote, there is a little Evernote elephant icon that can be clicked to open a pop up window with the associated note.

The note can be edited and saved, all without leaving the RTM web interface. As a bonus, this works in the RTM mobile clients, as well (iOS for sure–I don’t have an Android client to test with.)

I wrote a post back in February outlining my ideal task manager. RTM has covered almost everything on my list. Between this integration and the fact that I get to use Post-it Notes again (more on that in the upcoming Evernote Conference post,) my inner geek is giddy. Integration doesn’t work with Shared Notes or Business Accounts yet, but if Evernote opens up the webhooks required, RTM will most likely add the integration.

TL;DR

  • Enable Evernote sync in Remember the Milk
  • Every note you add a Reminder to in Evernote will be added to your default RTM task list
  • Marking a note complete in either client will mark it complete in the other
  • You can access the associated Evernote note from the RTM client

8 thoughts on “Remember the Milk and Evernote Integration

  1. Yes, as long as you are willing to work at the note-level (not individual todos), RTM and the others, I mentioned in your earlier post (http://www.danielhedrick.com/v6/2013/02/my-ideal-task-manager/), work well. RTM will probably add deleting the Reminder in Evernote to the RTM integration, but they won’t likely be checking off checkboxes inside Evernote notes (i.e. working at the sub-note level soon). Evernote also seems to prefer things at the note-level, but there are some use cases that make that cumbersome.
    For example, imagine a task list for writing a blog post. It might include individual tasks for 1) researching specific ideas, 2) developing a template, 3) finding appropriate images, 4) completing a draft, 5) getting feedback, 6) publishing and 7) sharing via social media.
    I wouldn’t want to have to create a separate note and tag each one for such a workflow. I wouldn’t want to not write all the steps down (unless they were intuitive to me). I wouldn’t want to have just one reminder for the final completion as I’ve been taught to break projects up into smaller pieces. I could do each of these things and it would sorta work, but it seems cumbersome.
    Since the context for all these things is the same, I’d rather have one note with multiple todos and tagged appropriately. The challenge with that approach is each task might need a different Reminder or might even need to be delegated to someone else.
    My challenge in building TaskClone was being in meetings (all day) and getting several tasks during the meeting, each with different due dates and perhaps needing to be delegated. Creating multiple notes while I was already taking notes in my meeting note didn’t seem to make much sense. Different workflow I guess.

    Like

    1. It definitely depends on workflow. Most of my tasks work well as single notes. If I have subtasks, I add check boxes, and change the reminder date after each subtask is completed. When they’re all done, I mark the entire reminder as being done.
      TaskClone looks awesome, by the way.

      Like

  2. I am just not sure why but the UX of RTM feels disconnected. And old. I do think that there is value in the integration to Evernote.
    Currently, I use Wunderlist is my To Do manager. And it would be wonderful if Wunderlist had an integration into Evernote. And I just took a look at TaskClone — it sounds too good to be true 🙂
    But I will most certainly take a look. Thanks.

    Like

    1. Yeah–RTM’s UX is definitely dated. But for some reason, it’s the one I keep going back to. Especially now that it has almost exactly what I wanted as far as Evernote integration goes. I love the look of Wunderlist, but my primary interest is the Evernote integration. I’m hoping more developers will add Evernote integration as time goes on. I’m always on the lookout for a better task management app! 🙂

      Like

  3. I would recommend checking out GTD Agenda.com for an online GTD manager.
    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
    Syncs with Evernote, and also comes with mobile-web version, and Android and iPhone apps.

    Like

    1. Hey Dan, I’ll definitely check out GTD Agenda. On first glance, it looks like it might be more than I need, but definitely worth looking at. I don’t see anything on the site about Evernote integration. How does GTD Agenda sync with Evernote? Individual notes, check boxes, or Reminders?

      Like

  4. Did a quick look myself and looks like GTD Agenda pulls in Evernote notebooks/notes. But, it does accept tasks via email so it can work with TaskClone. You can get your checkbox items into GTD Agenda. I’ll add it to the supported apps list.

    Like

    1. That’s awesome, Troy. I admit, I haven’t had the opportunity to try out TaskClone yet. Now I have two services to check out. Hopefully, I’ll have a chance to look at both this month.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s