What’s your dream task management system?

Mine has typically involved start dates, complex saved searches, deep hierarchy, strong mobile apps, and a decent web app. I’ve been looking for something like this for a long time, and it may have finally arrived.

Remember the Milk (RTM) has been around since 2005, but a recent update rebuilt it from the ground up. New features include start dates, even more capable saved searches (Perspectives in Omni-speak, Smart Lists in RTM), infinite subtasks with all the features of a normal task, phone and tablet apps for iOS and Android (plus BlackBerry 10 and Fire), a Mac desktop app (with Windows and Linux on the way), and an excellent web app that’s as good as the native desktop app and even works on IE 10.

I’m just getting started with RTM as my core task management system, but it’s been impressive so far. Once I’ve got a stable process up and running I’ll walk you through it in greater detail. I can share one bit, which will give you an idea of what the new RTM can do.

Below is the search string for a Smart List I’ve titled Available:

((startBefore:now OR start:never) AND (locatedWithin:”1000 ft” OR isLocated:false)) NOT (hasSubtasks:true OR tag:waiting OR list:someday)

It first selects tasks with start dates prior to this moment or those without start dates at all. Additionally, those tasks must be located within 1000 feet or have no set location. Of the tasks that satisfy those criteria, it then excludes those with subtasks (so I see fundamental actionable items, not the projects themselves), those tagged with waiting, or those residing in the Someday list.

Keep in mind that many of RTM’s most valuable features (subtasks, mobile reminders, sharing) require a Pro subscription, which runs $39.99 a year, a fair price for a great app.

I discover new ways to use Remember the Milk all the time but don’t feel compelled to fiddle with it at the expense of completing more important tasks. To me, that’s a sign that a task management app is doing its job.