Jul 24

Remember the Milk

by Joel T. Fagsao

Yes, indeed it is quite an amusing title for a tech column.  “Remember the Milk” is a popular idiom in the Western world.  It is simply about finding a means not to forget to buy milk despite having it on your grocery list.  Today, “Remember the Milk” is now a name adapted for a service on the Internet that promises to manage your day to day activities.  Found at http://www.rememberthemilk.com, the online service lets you enter activities, work and other items you would not want to miss doing on a particular day.  Say, you would want to be reminded that that on July 25, 2010, at 10:00 A.M. you have an important call to make.  By entering this reminder on rememberthemilk.com, the service will remind you in many ways possible.  You can set the service to let you receive reminders via email, SMS (to your mobile phone) or instant messenger such as Google Talk, ICQ, Skype, Jabber, Gadu-Gadu or Yahoo.  You can further set it to remind you an hour earlier or hours before the set time and date that a task is due.  It is like having a personal assistant (in person it could be your mother or your boss) who gets to remind you of an important appointment or activity to be done.  I put the service to the test and it works well as it has promised.  I got e-mail reminders in my Google account, an instant message in my Google Talk (chat service) and on my mobile phone (Smart).  There is a problem though with the SMS.  While I do receive the reminder message, it is not provided in its complete form.  You have to reply by pressing G to view the entire reminder-message or B to block the message.  I pressed G and I got the message “not yet in service…” The message continues to inform that you will be charged P2.50 for receiving the full text of the message.  Still even if the initial SMS provides a truncated message, you get this for free. 

Now you can go a step further by setting a personalized Google Page and integrating Remember the Milk.  This is a good way to get organized if you have a Google e-mail account.  First, log on to www.google.com/ig  then sign in with your Google e-mail address and your password.  When you are now at the iGoogle page, make this your homepage by selecting the command line “make iGoogle my homepage.”  Now, to personalize your iGoogle page, click on Add Staff, type remember the milk in the search for gadgets box.  Click on Remember the Milk and select the Add it Now button.  Select the back to iGoogle home and sign up on the Remember the Milk registration box.  From there you can now set tasks, activities you want to be reminded of.  Since you set google.com.ig as your home page, the next time you fire your browser; it will bring you to the default page (iGoogle).  Sign in with your Google mail account and this becomes your dashboard to all the things you need to work better.  Your iGoogle page depending on the items you added may have your Calendar, preview of your e-mail (so you don’t have to open it every time you want to access your mail and of course reminders from Remember the Milk.

You can also set the theme of your iGoogle page and select from hundreds of themes available. Remember the Milk when integrated with iGoogle makes for a neat work dashboard.  You have everything you need to be reminded of, a preview of your e-mail and even a chat box and more.  The Internet continues to provide better integrated services to make tasks easier to manage.  You can discover more features of Remember the Milk by exploring it further.  For now, it is enough that I get reminders on my mobile phone (the initial free truncated reminder message) and through my e-mail.