Remember the Milk

Can this task-management app help adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD)?
Gadgets & Apps | posted by Steve Etheridge

In an ongoing "get things done" series on this ADD/ADHD Product Review Blog, I’m going to be testing out digital apps and software that claim to help with task and time management, because structuring my days is often no easier than building a ship in a bottle with my toes.

Remember the Milk seems to be one of the biggest players in the web-based task-management game. Boasting over 2.5 million registered users and its own entry on Wikipedia, it had my expectations as high as my attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) attention span is short -- which is to say, I had very high expectations.

App Overview: Like the name suggests, Remember the Milk is meant to be a substitute for sticky notes, random scraps of paper, or the back of your hand. Launched in 2005, it has grown to include an impressive roster of features to assist with managing tasks.

The Good: First and foremost, Remember the Milk stands apart for its ease of use. A keystroke legend lets you enter and modify tasks with incredible ease, specifying priority, due date, tags, location, time estimate, and more with just a few taps of the keyboard. All tasks are organized beneath tabs (personal, work, study, etc.), making it a piece of cyber cake to maintain distinct order over life’s obligations. What’s more, it is ready to sync with Google, Twitter, BlackBerry, Apple products, Android, and Microsoft Outlook, so there’s no need to be tethered to that clunky Commodore home computing appliance you’ve been clinging to since Jimmy Carter was president.

The Bad: Other than the cagey cow logo that’s always staring at you from the top of the screen, Remember the Milk is pretty satisfactory on all levels. Its thoroughness, though, kind of gives some resistance to its simplicity. In other words, there are so many features that you can sidetrack your workflow, making that to-do list on a scrap of paper seem as though it might ultimately be more convenient. The fact that I always had the option to rank the importance of cutting my toenails or buying a novelty air horn proved ultimately to be just a tad bit overwhelming.

The Grade: B. There’s no denying that Remember the Milk does its job. There’s little more you can ask for in a task-management app. However, for someone with ADD/ADHD, its comprehensive reach is just a little too ambitious, especially when bells and whistles can be a distraction to what needs to be done.

App Details: Remember the Milk is a free application that can be used while connected to the Internet or offline. Learn more at

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