Using Remember the Milk as a Basic CRM Tool

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RTM and CRM - A powerful toolBefore you think CRM, think ToDo List.  In a earlier post I have a quick overview and review of Remember the Milk (RTM) as a ToDo list package.  It is very powerful and has grown up over time so that it now has almost every feature you might need.  I love it.  For $25 as year it will synch everything between your smart devices and your desktop.

RTM wasn’t designed to be a CRM tool, but it handles the “Customer Relationship” tasks very well.  You have to cheat a little to get meaningful reports, but so far it has worked very well for me.

Background:   Here is my situation:

I am running a Lead Co-op using Internet Marketing strategies to generate leads for the Network Marketing business I own.

Step #1.   I start with a fairly standard Squeeze Page and an Ethical Bribe:

Squeeze Page and eBook on Network Marketing
RTM- Data Source -Squeeze Page

Step #2.  I drive traffic to this page using Solo Ads, PPC, Ad Swaps, JVGiveaways, etc.

Step #3.  The information about the leads is collected in AWeber

Step #4.  AWeber shines at sending pre-set follow-up emails and one-time broadcast emails.  I use AWeber to send the leads a  series of pre-created emails about Dr. Hale, Network Marketing, the company I work with, etc.

Step #5.  I need to track the results from my various ad sources and my phone calls, one-on-one emails etc.

Step #6.   I want to call those people who left their phone number

Steps 5 and 6 can’t be done in AWeber and that is where Remember the Milk (RTM) comes in.

I’m not going to try to write out a full manual, but I will show you how I use RTM to help me handle reaching out to prospects and leads.  This is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) function that usually you pay a lot for.

I’m going to walk you through my process.

NOTE:  You can use RTM as a CRM even if you aren’t using AWeber.  A lot of what follows is how I convert the AWeber export into something I can bulk import into RTM.   You can certainly do the bulk import part without AWeber.

BTW – I am assuming that Excel is fairly new (or completely new) and I’ll try to explain each step in detail.  You can Google for deeper explanations if something is confusing.  If that fails, contact me and I’ll help you.

I collect emails addresses and phone number from squeeze pages on my web sites.  Some of these leads I want to follow-up with using the phone.  Here is how I do that.

                   Pick the List You Want To Export
RTM and CRM Pick a List

#1 – Pick the list you want

#2 – Click on Manage Subscribers (note that the drop down has hidden the count J .  It is much higher than “3”)

Click on the Export as CSV Button
RTM and CRM - Click on the Export Button

At the bottom of the screen there is an Export as CSV (Comma Separated Values) button.  Click that.

Open the File in Excel (or an equivalent)
AWeber - Open in Excel



If you don’t have Microsoft Excel – LibreOffice or Open Office are free and have an Excel compatible spreadsheet built in.

What I want to do is create a text file formatted so that I can insert my rows into RTM automatically.

Here is what I want is lines that look like this.

Pattern:  Name phone state http://email_address

Example: Joe smith 555 555 5555 FL

This will create a task called “Joe Smith 555 555 5555 FL and put the email address into a slot called URL.  I cut and paste the phone number into Skype to make calls.  (I do have the $60/year version that lets me have unlimited calls in the US and Canada.  I have modified my Skype setting so that it reports my cell number as the Caller ID when I call people.   I use the State info to tell me what time zone the people are in.

AWeber to Excel to Email to RTM

NOTE: If you are not using AWeber, you can skip down to the place when I have a text file to put into an email.

Here are the steps I go through to get my text file.  There are a number of steps here, but if you know Excel (or are willing to learn) they become pretty natural and they take MUCH less time than manually entering the information for each lead.

  1. Reformat the Phone Column (See Below)
  2. Find your last version and sort on column D.  Figure out the last leads in that group (If you don’t know how to sort, make sure the “Home” tab is clicked and then click on the column header for Column D  – it has a “D” in it.  That will highlight the whole column.  Now up in the right corner of the menus is a button called “Sort and Filter”.  When you click on that you will be offered an option to expand the sort to include the whole table.  You want to do that.  Sorting one column by itself would mess up the table and you wouldn’t be able to see when an individual signed up.)
  3. Take your current version and sort on column D.  Delete everyone you already have in the earlier version. (Highlight the whole area and right click in the area and choose “Delete the entire row” from the options offered.)
  4. Reorganize the columns so that you end up with name, phone, region, email and country at the left side of the table.  (See Below)
  5. The “Region” column contains the “State” in the U.S.  It will be blank for non-USA.  Manually insert something like XX or UK or Foreign in those that are from countries.  These are ones you don’t want to try calling on the phone.
  6. Insert a blank column to the left of the email column (Click on the header for a column so that the whole column is highlighted.  Right click and choose the “Insert” option.)
  7. Click on the Formulas Menu option.  Click on “Insert Function” at the very left.  Choose “Text” as the Category and Concatenate at the function.  Press OK.  Type http:// in the text 1 box and +F1 in the second text box and then click OK.  You should have a column with the email addresses preceded by http://    BTW  I know that this should really be mailto:\\  but RTM will put this into a slot called URL and recognizes it as an email if you click on it.
  8. Highlight the name, phone, region, email columns and click on Copy button.
  9. Paste these into Notepad.
  10. Manually remove spaces from any lines that are very long.
  11. Copy and paste all the lines into an email and send it to RTM.  You can find the email address in RTM under “Settings” à “Info.  Use “inbox” as the Subject line of the email.   I’ll talk more about what I do inside RTM later.
  12. Save the File – use a name that tells you the source and the date.  You need to be able to find this file later.

Here are some of the steps in more detail.

Make Columns Wider in Excel

An important feature is how widen a column.  The default is about 10 characters and that isn’t enough for columns like the Email Column.   If you mouse over the header of a column, you will see the cursor change to an icon with arrows pointing left and right when you go over the line separating columns.  Hold the left mouse button down and drag the icon to the right to make the column wider and to the left to make it narrower.


Reformat the Phone Number Column

RTM and CRM - Reformat the Phone Column

Click on the T Column header.  That should highlight the whole column.  Right Click somewhere on the column and choose the “Format the Cells” option.   This screen will pop-up.  Choose “Special” and “Phone number”

Moving a Column.

To Move a Column

  • Click on the header which highlights a whole column.
  • Click Ctrl-X or right click and choose CUT.   You will see a dotted line around the whole column.
  • Click on the header of the column to the right of where you want the original column moved.  This will highlight the second column.  The original column still has the dotted line around it.
  • Right click on the column and choose “Insert Deleted Cells

Move a Column
RTM and CRM - Move A column

#1 – Click on the area with the A to highlight the whole column.  The click Ctrl-X or right-click and choose CUT

#2 – Click on the area for another header – like D here.  This will highlight a second column.

#3 – Right Click on the column and choose the “Insert Cut Cells” option.  The column will move.

Modify to Email Address to include http://


Insert a blank column to the left of the Email Column
RTM and CRM Create a blank column

#1 – Click on the header (near the D) to highlight the whole column)

#2 – Right Click on the column and choose “Insert”

Excel will insert an empty column to the left of the one you highlighted.

Put http:// at the beginning of each email address.
RTM and CRM  Concatenate http:\\ and email

Not Shown – Click on the header of the Empty Column you just Created so that it is highlighted.

#1 – Choose the Formulas Menu option

#2 – Click on “Insert Function”

#3 – Choose “Text” as the category

#4 – Choose CONCATENATE – as the junction

#4 – Click on OK

Finish the Concatenate Formula
RTM and CRM - Finish concatenation

If it just enters the value for the first Cell Do this.

Copy Formula to The Rest of the Column
RTM and CRM  Copy Formula to Entire Column

#1 – Click on the cell with the formula in it and press Ctrl-C or right click and choose Copy

#2 –  Click the cell below the cell with the formula and drag the mouse down to highlight the rest of the column

#3 – Click “Insert Copied Cell”     The “+” you put in front of the +E1 tells Excel that it should change the number to match the row number when you do things like this copy.  So Row 2 becomes +E2, three becomes +E3 etc.


Copy and Paste Into Notepad (or another text editor)

NOTE:  Start here is you are not using AWeber.

Use your mouse to highlight the first four columns (name, phone, region and the modified email address column we just created).  If you are not using AWeber, you may copy and paste this data from somewhere else.

Copy and paste into a Notepad file

Manually remove spaces in long lines.  Your email will wrap very long lines.  RTM will see that as two lines and create two tasks.  Neither one will be complete.

Again you want lines that look like this   John Jones 555-555-5555 CA

You don’t have to have the elements in this order.  I just like to have the name first.


RTM Email Address to Send “Tasks” to


Import Email Address
RTM and CRM  Find Email Address to Send To

#1 – Click on Settings

#2 – Click on Info

#3 –  Copy the “Import Email Address

You need to put this into your email system as a Contact.  I called mine “RTM Import”.

Send Tasks to Remember the Milk


  1. Start an email to your RTM Import address
  2. Enter “inbox” in the Subject Line
  3. Copy and paste the contents of your Notepad into your email
  4. Erase any extra lines including your signature block.  You are going to get one task per line, so make sure that each line is one of your leads from AWeber.
  5. Send the Email.

Final Preparation Steps In Remember the Milk.


The tasks will arrive in the Inbox, which is not where you want them to be.   However it does let you finish your prep work.   Here are my final steps.

  1. Select ALL (will put a check mark on all of them)
  2. Tag them all with a tag that describes the source (e.g. solo-9-13 for a solo ad run on 9-13)
  3. Make them all due on a particular date.
  4. Move them to the Tab where you want them.

Here are some screen shots

Send the Email:  Subject Line Inbox

Email to Inbox
RTM and CRM  Send Email to RTM

#1 – Send to the email address we got from Settings à Info

#2 – The word in the Subject Line indicates which Tab to put the tasks in

#3 – Wrapped lines will show up as two tasks.  Don’t have any!

Once The Tasks are in Remember the Milk


Select All – Tag – Due Date
RTM and CRM  Tag All

Not shown – Click on the Inbox tab at the top.

#1 – Click on ALL (this will check the boxes for all the entries)

#2 – See the checks and the lines turn yellow background

#3 – Click on the little icon beside the work “Tag” and enter a code for the source of these leads.

#4 – Enter a date – it will be added to all of the leads.  You can enter something like “Wed” and RTM knows that is Wednesday and RTM will find the date.

Move the Leads to the Proper Tab


Move the Leads
RTM and CRM  Move to Proper Tab

#1 – Click on More Actions

#2 – Choose a Tab  (Note RTM lets you add your own tabs as I have done here – Settings à Tabs has an “Insert Tab” Option)

#3 – Note: All of these tasks now have a date of Wednesday

#4 – Note: All of these tasks have a tag of solo9-1


Before I move the leads to a different Tab, I sometimes go through and mark selected leads and check mark just those.  I can then mark them as Priority 1

RTM also has a feature where you can share tasks with other users of RTM.  I haven’t used it yet, but it is there.

One more thing, RTM will send you an email every day telling you what is due for the day.  If you use Gmail, they even have an add-on that uses the Right Panel of Gmail to show you your tasks for the day.

RTM will also synch with Google Calendars.


We are Finished with the Preparation – Now it is Time To Work

Remember the Milk as CRM in Action

What I Do With RTM
RTM and CRM  CRM in action

Before I start making calls I usually Click on one particular tab at the top.  In the screen capture it is set to “All Tasks”.  You can do this, but it helps me to choose one Tab and get my head into those calls.  Once I finish one Tab, I more to another.  At the end I click on All Tasks to make sure I didn’t miss something.

#1 – I copy and paste the phone number into Skype and make the call.  The state (.e.g. TX in the sample) tells me the time zone.)  I look at RTM’s Notes before I make the call.  Being able to talk to prospects about something that was mentioned in the last conversation gives you a massive credibility boost.

#2 – I tagged Adam Smith a “Quit” – I have stopped working this lead – no success. This lets me track and count success, bad leads, or anything else I want to know.  Create a set of tags for each thing you want to track (e.g. sentemail, webinar, 4msg&quit, badphone, success, checklater)

#3 –  I can set the next contact date, either by clicking the Postpone button or by editing the Due Date at the right.

#4 – I can see notes I made from earlier calls

#5 – I add a new note (or edit the earlier) note.  Each note is automatically dated

#6 – I change the Due Date to show when the next call should be made.

#7 – I add Tags when appropriate.


Reporting and Tracking


There are two reasons I am doing this.  One is to keep track of when calls are due and who I have called and what the results were.

The other reason is to track the quality of various lead sources.  In order to track, I need to be able to isolate and count.

I pick a person and click on the tag for a particular source.   RTM will show me everyone with that Tag.  I can see all entries – their tags, their name, their phone number etc..  This lets me count successes and bad leads to rate the source.  This is critical for working leads from different sources.  Note that you really need to tag leads as you go along with “your” system of tags.   If you don’t, you’ll need to go down and look at the notes for each person and tag them when you are ready to report.

You can also highlight all the rows and copy and paste them into Word or Notepad to show each person and the results for that person.

Note:  For Leads I very rarely mark them as “completed”.  I just put a due date of six months or a year to check back with them.  I do mark those who have said “go away” and those from foreign countries as completed since I will never call them.

Note;  I purchased an upgrade to Skype.  It lets me make calls anywhere in the US and Canada for free.  I went into the settings and changed the phone number that appears to the person I’m calling.  Their caller ID shows my cell phone number.   Using Skype this way allows me to use a headset and is easier for me that using a cell phone to make lots of calls.

I can also use Skype’s “Recent Calls” list to count how many calls I’ve made today.


I have shown you how to export a list from AWeber into Excel.

We went over how to reformat the spreadsheet.

We looked at how to move the columns we need from the spreadsheet into a text file and edit that.

We then emailed the list to RTM to create a bunch of tasks at one time.

The next step was to process the new leads and put them in the proper tab.

I then went over how I make calls and process them.

At the end we talked about reporting.

There are lots of other things I can do with RTM.  This just scratches the surface, but it is a pretty good scratch  🙂

Remember the Milk  was not designed to be a CRM tool, but it does pretty well.

Until next time, you have a Great Day!  Oh Hale Yes!  🙂

Dr Hale

↓ ↓ If this post gave you some ideas – Go ahead & comment below.  ↓ ↓

Hale Pringle

Hale Pringle Ed. D.


Hale Pringle – Hale Yes!

Skype hale.pringle



 Connect with me of Google+, Facebook or Twitter

P.S. If you are working to move your business online and it all seems overwhelming, I can help!  Take a look at, or sign up for the free coaching call. You can email me or give me a Skype call. I’ll give you the benefit of my years of experience and many thousands of dollars in training and searching the rabbit hole called Internet Marketing and Network Marketing. I can help you with Lead Generation, the feeling of overwhelm, blogging, and even career change. Add that to the finest mentoring on the Internet (Ann Sieg’s Team and Inner Circle) and you have a Winner!

About Hale Pringle

Dr. Hale is an Internet Entrepreneur and Network
Marketing expert. His greatest pleasure is
helping people and he does just that, drawing
upon the immense resources that he has gathered
over the years in his unquenchable thirst for

Dr. Hale lives in beautiful, sunny Florida with
his wife, two dogs and a cat. His four children
are grown and are scattered around the state.

An eternal optimist you will hear him say
regularly: “Is this a Great Day?” The answer is
always, “Hale Yes!”

If you need help with your online marketing or a
network marketing opportunity Dr. Hale is the go
to man. “Hale Yes!”


  1. Thank you for putting so much into this post Hale. I went a spent the time to play around with RTM based on your article here. I have set it up, just with the free version so far as a CRM. I like the versatility of RTM to be able to add your own tabs, etc.

    Thanks once again for your great advice about good tools to use. Hope to catch you again on the small group webinar.

    Ross Freiberg recently posted..Why Do We Need To Do Business Planning?My Profile

    • Ross,

      I’m glad you like it. I’d love for it to have a “more professional” name, but it sure does the work.

      Talk to you Thursday (errr make that Friday for you 🙂 )

      Dr. Hale


  1. […] post Using Remember the Milk as a Basic CRM Tool appeared first on Hale Pringle | Take Your Blogging and Internet Marketing to the Next Level […]

  2. […] wrote a post recently about using a nice To Do List system called Remember the Milk as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. Remember the Milk (RTM) allows me to schedule calls and record my […]

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