Changing the way I do chores with Remember The Milk

Last week I was on second shift, which (unlike prior times) really disrupted my schedule at home. As a result, my house was a wreck by Saturday morning.

So I decided to change how I was doing things.

First, I like the idea of the rotating lists of things to do, like these from They provide a nice bit of structure instead of “do what needs to be done”.  That kind of amorphous goal just does not work for me.

But printed lists aren’t my style. I’m a technological boy, and on top of that, I tend to get discouraged if I don’t complete a list. The stress builds, and then I end up dumping the whole thing.

Enter Remember The Milk.

The key features that make this app so nice for this are:

  • You can postpone tasks. They don’t go away, but can be put off. On the phone app, it’s a simple leftward swipe.
  • You can set up events for “after three days”. If you have a task set up for “every three days” it will show up every three days…whether you completed the prior one or not. After three days means that it creates a task three days after you complete it.
  • You can separate tasks by list AND tag.

I have my lists set up as locations in a quasi GTD style, so pretty much all my chores fall under “Home”. But the tasks themselves are tagged “chores_daily”, “chores_weekly”, and so on. And I plugged in all those chores from those lists, plus a few of my own.

Screenshot from the webapp

Some of those are “gimmie” tasks – like making the bed and hanging up towels. But it’s still a nice bit of positive reinforcement for me to swipe them away. And because I can easily postpone a task, I don’t have the overwhelming guilt and stress when I don’t have enough hours in the day.

This has really changed the way I do things – I’ve already noticed a difference, even though I started out behind on things. Instead of floundering around looking for something that needs done, I just look at the big list.

Now I just need to put “write blog posts” on there so I don’t unexpectedly go another week and a half without anything.