App For The Milk: very cool desktop client for “Remember the Milk”

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Although I’m always interested in good, innovative desktop-based task management programs, I have recently come to the conclusion, now that I have an iPhone, that any task management software I use has to be cloud based, rather than desktop based, so I can access it from both my PC and my phone.

Which is why I am now using the online service Remember The Milk for task management. (hitherto referred to as RTM).

In my search for a desktop Client for RTM I wanted something that looks fairly good in terms of its user interface, and that can perform all the aspects of task and list management that I need rather than just being a desktop display widget.

After looking at 3 different desktop based clients, App For The Milk was the one I liked the best. This Adobe AIR program is reliable and gets the job done, and makes working with RTM on your desktop extremely simple and easy. It is also the only app that I know of that works offline and syncs once the online connection is restored.

Here’s a list of PROS and a WISH LIST:

PROS:

  • Nice User Interface: very important in my book.
  • You can do a lot more with it than some other RTM clients: you could manage lists and tasks very well. This is more than a mere desktop display widget for RTM.
  • Can be used offline: of the three that I looked at, it was the only one that would let me add tasks offline, on the bus, and sync them later when an internet connection was restored.
  • Easy view switching: lets you quickly switch from a tasks view to a lists view or any individual list view.
  • Easily switch sorting between priority, due date: which is great feature.

WISH LIST (or how this program can be even better): this program can benefit from a wide range or usability improvements.

  • The “Location” field is nowhere to be found: I dont use it, but those who do are out of luck. It is absent in both the task creation and task editing dialogs, and no “location” filters exist anywhere. Surely it isn’t that difficult to add this single field? Come on guys, don’t shut out those of us who use it (and many sophisticated GTD types would!).
  • Tags? What tags?: although you could add tags to tasks, you cannot filter your task views by tags, rendering tags more or less useless. Again, I am at a loss to explain why this is the case. The search box will not grab tags either (i.e. if you have a tag named “shopping” and you type that in the search box, you will not get any results).

The verdict: overall a nice app that generally looks good and performs well. Of the three desktop based RTM clients that I looked at (including Milkify and Remember The Task), I liked App for The Milk best, and found it to offer the best combination of features and useability.

But I am hoping will be improved in future releases, especially the issues mentioned in my wish list above (make “tags” and “location” fields part of this app please!).

As it is I am using this one to manage my RTM account from the desktop along with a free app called Milpon on iPhone (which is not the best but does the job; the official “free” RTM app being limited to one sync every 24hours to incentivize subscriptions to the paid RTM service). Let me know if you know of better options out there.

Note on memory use: web apps have inflated memory usage numbers in general, but of the three desktop RTM clients that I tested, this one was in the middle at 24 megs in Task Explorer and to 37 megs in Sysinternals Process Explorer. Comparatively speaking, and considering the functionality it provides, I would say it has very reasonable resource usage for a web app (Milkify came in at over 90 megs in Process Explorer).

Version Tested: 0360

Compatibility: Multiplatform (Windows, Mac, Linux, etc). Requires Adobe AIR.

Go tothe program home page to download the latest version.