Remember the Milk forgets me … but is it my fault?
Last week I wrote about Remember the Milk’s refusal or inability to synch its excellent task service with Outlook. I received a couple of interesting comments to the post. Rather than respond to them in the comments, I’m surfacing them here, in part because they’re better than my original post.
So here’s where Twitter comes in: you should Twitter a link to this post, with the title in it, and see if the RTM people are ego-searching Twitter for complaints/compliments. Then see if they respond!
Well, that is exactly what I did. Using the miracle that is Ping.fm, I let those poor souls following my Facebook and Twitter status updates know about the post. Turns out that the RTM people either (a) have better things to do than ego-search or (b) have better things to do that respond to my whining.
Brian Johnson wrote, in part (you can read the comment if you don’t want to miss a word of his thoughtful argument):
Jimmy, I completely agree with your point that the good people at Remember The Milk should be more communicative. Giving you that, I want to address something else in your post: Outlook … [description of his rocky relationship with Outlook] … The good people at RTM ought to answer the phone. And we should be getting on to our next platform already. When I think about the months, maybe years of my life, I’ve spent waiting for Windows and Outlook to load, I want to weep. I’m making a break for it. Are you with me?
So the problem is me, is it?
Well, maybe it is. Since June, I have the good fortune to have a full-time job, for the first time, at a place that’s platform-agnostic. I no longer have the “gotta use Outlook” excuse. I use plenty of the same Outlook add-ins Brian uses to make it work better with the cloud that, except for my writing, has become the center of my computing experience. If I have a large and bulky program that I’m augmenting with a half-dozen large, bulky add-ons that don’t always play well together so they better connect with the lightweight web-based services I’m using more and more, what’s the point?
So … OK, Brian. I’m in. I don’t want to move from a Microsoft-supervised prison to an Apple-supervised one or a Google-supervised one, so I’m going to move my work life to the cloud slowly and carefully. And there are plenty of interesting services so I can mix and match without the system being any more complicated than an Outlook-plus-add-ins scenario. I don’t want to have to do this again in six months if Jobs or Schmidt turn out to be lousy stewards of my stuff. Let the transition begin …
(Unintentional punch line: The transition may have begun already. Earlier today I installed the new IE beta on my laptop. It has an undocumented new feature: It doesn’t connect to any websites. Hello again, Firefox!)