While doing twenty things at once this afternoon, I realised just how many of my hundreds of ideas a day don’t make it to paper or a keyboard before they disappear. My memory is like a sieve and I require not one but (and I’ve counted them) eight services to hold everything that spews out of my brain somewhere until I can deal with it. I haven’t included Google Calendar or my HTC’s Voice Memos application in that magic figure: Google Calendar is, organisationally, something slightly different; and I’ve begun to use Voice Memos less and less, since the transcription was beginning to piss me off.
Of course, no two ideas are the same; but my ideas tend to be more suited to a specific one of these eight applications or services over all the others. I’m going to show you two of the eight that I use most regularly, Instapaper and Remember the Milk.
Instapaper is something that I abuse constantly. Instapaper is supposed to be about finding an article or post on the Internet but because you don’t have the time there and then to read it, you ‘save it for later’. It’s an amazing service but it comes with one downside: it’s too convenient. While I do use it in its indented fashion 75% of the time, I also use it as a place to store YouTube videos; as a wishlist; or as a list of Wikipedia articles which I’ve found typos on (I really don’t have the less-than-fifteen seconds it takes to click ‘Edit’ and correct the typo; I’m that busy). And so, to Marco Arment, I apologise: this behaviour will stop.
Remember the Milk is a truly awesome task management site. Tasks are, again, a different kind of idea: they don’t require too much work in themselves but everyone needs a reminder now and then. I can input a task in RTM and forget about it; then, every morning, I receive an email (I used to also receive direct messages via Twitter) giving me an overview of what needs to be done. The one problem I have with these emails is that they don’t include overdue tasks.
But even adding tasks can be a task in itself. Because I work a lot in the shell, I don’t just want the ability to type something like:
kevin@computer:~$ rtm "Figure out which of these Smart Add characters need to be escaped ^today !1 #rtm #investigate"
to add a task to Remember the Milk (which can be done by adding this function to your .bashrc); but I want a proper manager for my tasks. If I could get RTM and something like Taskwarrior to communicate, for instance, I'd be a happy happy man.