Rich functionality underlies Simple Presentation

rtm_logo.png The title “Rich functionality underlies Simple Presentation” is perhaps the highest compliment I can pay a piece of software. Achieving this should be the holy grail of software development. Sometimes the presentation is simple but the functionality is also very limited. Other times the functionality is very rich but the user interface is also extraordinarily complicated (and yes, I am guilty as charged here). Once in awhile you come across an application that manages to provide a simple presentation for a rich feature-set lying just below the surface. Its the type of application that is instantly recognizable to the user and can be put to good use without much if any instruction.

Remember the Milk is just such an application. Its a task list manager – an application that almost all of us have used at some time or another. Make a list, check off the tasks as you complete them, rinse and repeat. Simple… and RTM can be used in exactly this way. But for those desiring more, there’s plenty of horsepower under the hood here. Do you need to prioritize? Just select some tasks and press 1, 2 or 3. Do you want to keep track of a due date? Just select a task and enter “2 weeks from Friday” in its “Due” field. Do you want to establish tags for searching? No problem. Recurring tasks? Enter “20th of each month” into the “Repeat” field. Do you need reminders sent to your cell phone? Suffice it to say this is a task list on steriods.

But oh so simple and accessible. The thing I like the most is the natural language approach to the setting of due dates and establishing repetition. This is a sweet bit of code. In my pipeline integrity application “ProActive”, establishing these data items is much less convenient — i.e. a cumbersome calendar control or, for repetition, a combination or 3 or more controls. Take a lesson, Ron, sheesh.

RTM offers a free version to get you started. However, the “Pro” version is only $25 a year. Well worth the price if just to insure that these guys keep churning out the great software.

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