As a self confessed scatterbrain, I’m always looking at ways of improving my productivity and organisation. My personal to-do list of choice is Remember The Milk, as an Android user, I love their widget.
I’ve also recently started using Trello (thanks to Alex), as here at FireCask my projects are managed as cards. Some of the larger FireCask Projects are their own boards as well. I’ve grown to like Trello so much that I’ve moved many of my personal projects to it as a separate board, so that Remember The Milk is my weekly to do list, and Trello is my longer term to do list.
However, neither of them play particularly nice with each other straight out the box, so once a week I used to take a look at my Trello board, see what needed to be finished in the next week, and then import them – by hand – into Remember The Milk.
That was until I came up with a method of importing Trello Cards into Remember The Milk, and in this blog post, I’m going to show you how to import Trello Cards into Remember The Milk on a weekly basis.
It’s not perfect and it’s a little fiddly, but this works for me. To do this, you need a PHP server that allows the use of the mail() function, an account on both Remember The Milk and Trello, and a small amount of PHP knowledge wouldn’t go a miss as well.
1. Sign Up For Trello Calendar
François de Metz has developed a brilliant Trello Calendar application, that turns your Trello board into a calendar. Even more usefully, it can turn your feed into an ICS feed, which can be imported into Google Calendar, Outlook, Thurderbird or many other calendar applications.
To get the feed, authorise the app with Trello. If successful, you should see your Trello cards on a calendar, organised by their due dates. On the left hand column click “ICS Feed”. Click on the URL by your board’s name and copy it to a safe place.
One thing it doesn’t import into though is Remember The Milk, nevertheless save the URL for later on.
2. Get your Import Email Address from Remember The Milk
Remember The Milk doesn’t really have many options for importing lists. However you can email lists to a special email address and they will be added to your to do lists. The email address, with the domain @rmilk.com, is personal to you. You can even add Smart Add syntax to your messages so they appear in tasks.
To get your email address, log into Remember The Milk. Click on “Settings” along the top and then the “Info” tab.
You need the “Import Email Address”. Copy that to a safe location.
3. Download and Setup The PHP Script
I have written PHP file, which you can download below.
If you do so and run the file, it won’t work. There are three variables you need to put in (one of which is optional). Open in a text editor the script file and find the following lines:-
// EDIT THESE THREE VARIABLES $icsURL = ""; // The ICS URL obtained from https://trellocalendar-francois2metz.dotcloud.com/ $rtmemail = ""; // Your Remember The Milk E-Mail Address $listtouse = "Inbox"; // Optional, the list your (defaults to "Inbox")
Within the speech marks, place the following variables:-
- $icsURL – the URL for your Trello ICS feed obtained in Step 1.
- $rtmemail – your Remember the Milk email address obtained in Step 2.
- $listtouse – The Remember The Milk list your tasks will go into (defaults to “Inbox”).
When you have edited these three values, save and upload to your server space.
4. Test & Set Up Cron Job
When you have uploaded the script, it’s a good idea to test to see if you have set it up correctly. If you go to the script in a browser, you should receive either a “Message Sent!” or “Message Failed!”. If you receive the former, then check your Remember The Milk account to see the added tasks. By default they will go into your Inbox and tagged with “trello”.
If everything works as it should, it may be worthwhile to set up a cron job, so that automatically once a week the script runs, updating your Remember The Milk with your Trello tasks. In cPanel, click on Cron Jobs, and half way down the page there is a “Add New Cron Job”. In the common settings drop down box, choose “Once a week”, and then in the Command Box, type in the full server path for the script (it doesn’t begin with “http://”, ask your host what it could be).
It’s a good idea to begin with to set the Cron Job to run every 5 minutes, to test that it’s working. When you confirm that it is working, then decrease the frequency to once a week.
Please note, code and services above are provided “as is” and I cannot offer support on them. Here are known issues though.
- If you deauthorise the Trello Calendar and then reauthorise it, your board’s URL will change, so you will need to re-enter it into the PHP script.
- You cannot import any cards that are lacking a due date.
- If you have a “Done” list, and the due date hasn’t passed, then the script will still import the task.
- It will only import the card names and the due date. If you have any labels, or any task lists within the cards, these won’t import.
- Thanks to Jem Turner (@jemjabella) from WAHMweb for being a fresh pair of eyes over my PHP code.
- Thanks to Gary Buchan (@garybuchan)for telling me about the Trello Calendar application.
Categories: Tips & Tricks