1.7.0 • Public • Published

Remember The Milk API Interface

node module: rtm-api
GitHub repo: beauraines/rtm-api

This Node module provides a wrapper around the Remember the Milk API.

You will need your own RTM API Key and Secret, available from the Remember the Milk website.

This is a fork of dwaring87/rtm-api so that I can maintain, modernize and add features. Your contributions are welcome!

Main Features

  • Two-step User Authorization procedure

  • Direct RTM API Requests

// Requests are automatically signed and include the User's Auth Token
user.get('rtm.method', {param: 'value'}, function(err, response) {
  if ( err ) {
    return console.error(err.toString());
  • Basic Error Handling and Response Parsing

  • Per-User Rate Limiting (following RTM API guidelines)

  • Helper Classes and Functions for Lists and Tasks

// Optional filter selecting tasks with a priority of 1
user.tasks.get('priority:1', function(err, tasks) {
  if ( err ) {
    return console.error(err.toString());
    // task is an RTMTask instance


This module can be installed via npm:

npm i @beauraines/rtm-api

or downloaded directly from the GitHub repository.


Full documentation is available in the /docs/ directory of this repository.

dwaring87's documentation is still online, but not updated at https://dwaring87.github.io/rtm-api/ or on his wiki pages.


Set up your API credentials by specifying your API Key, API Secret and the requested account permissions.

const RTM = require('rtm-api');
let client = new RTM('API_KEY', 'API_SECRET', RTM.PERM_DELETE);   // An instance of RTMClient

Account permissions can be granted in one of three categories:

  • read – gives the ability to read task, contact, group and list details and contents.
  • write – gives the ability to add and modify task, contact, group and list details and contents (also allows you to read).
  • delete – gives the ability to delete tasks, contacts, groups and lists (also allows you to read and write).

User Authentication

Almost all RTM API methods require an authorized user's Auth Token. This is kept in the RTMUser class which can be instantiated manually if you already have the User's information with a valid Auth Token:

let user = client.user.create(id, 'username', 'fullname', 'authToken');

Otherwise, an Auth Token can be obtained via the API using the steps outlined in the following sections.

Generate an Auth URL

First, generate an Auth URL that the RTM User will open in their browser. This will direct the RTM User to the Remember the Milk website where they will log in and authorize this program to access their account.

// Get an RTM Auth URL that will ask the RTM User to grant access to your client
client.auth.getAuthUrl(function(err, authUrl, frob) {
  if ( err ) {
    return console.error(err.toString());
  // Have the User open the authUrl
  // Save the frob for the next step

Generate an Auth Token

Once the RTM User has opened the authUrl and granted access to the program, pass the frob from the first step to the getAuthToken function to get an RTMUser with an Auth Token to be used in future API calls.

// Get an Auth Token for the User once they've authorized the frob
client.auth.getAuthToken(frob, function(err, user) {
  if ( err ) {
    return console.error(err.toString());
  // If successful, the returned user will include the property `authToken`
  // Save the user for making authenticated API calls via user.get()

Verify the Auth Token

The Auth Token can be verified at any point using the verifyAuthToken function.

client.auth.verifyAuthToken(user.authToken, function(err, verified) {
  // verified will be true if auth token can be used for API calls

API Requests

To make a request to the RTM API, a method name and callback function are required.

If the RTM API method requires any parameters, they should be provided as an object with the parameters set as key/value pairs. For example, if the method requires the parameters: abc=foo and xyz=bar then they should be provided as:

  abc: "foo",
  xyz: "bar"

If the API Method does not require a User's Auth Token, the request can be made using the get function available from the RTMClient.

client.get('rtm.auth.getFrob', function(err, resp) {
  if ( err ) {
    return console.error(err.toString());
  // Handle the Response

However, most API Methods will require a User's Auth Token. This can be provided directly as an auth_token parameter or by calling the get function available from the RTMUser instance, which will automatically provide the Auth Token.

let params = {
  list_id: "list id",
  filter: "tasks filter"
user.get('rtm.tasks.getList', params, function(err, resp) {
  if ( err ) {
    return console.error(err.toString());
  // Handle the Response

API Responses

The arguments returned in the callback of the get function will include an RTMError instance (if the RTM API returned a status of 'fail') or an RTMSuccess instance for successful requests.

Debugging API Responses

The debug package is used to dump the API responses from the get or fetch functions, by setting the DEBUG environment variable when executing the client that uses this API.

DEBUG=rtm-api-fetch <yourclientscripthere>

DEBUG=rtm-api-get <yourclientscripthere>

DEBUG=* <yourclientscripthere>

Error Responses

An RTMError response will have code and msg properties set based on the RTM API response.

Additional error codes are added by rtm-api:

error code error description
-1 Network Error: rtm-api could not connect to the RTM API Server.
-2 Response Error: rtm-api could not parse the response from the RTM API Server.
-3 Reference Error: An RTMTask index is out of range or RTM item could not be found with the given reference.
-4 Rate Limit Error: The RTM User has reached the API request rate limit set by the RTM API Server.
-5 Server Error: rtm-api encountered a problem with the RTM API Server. Try the request again later.

Successful Responses

For a successful response, the API response properties can be accessed directly from the RTMSuccess properties (resp.tasks, resp.tasks.list, etc). All response properties are available via resp.props

Helper Functions

rtm-api includes a number of helper classes & functions for commonly used API methods used to obtain and modify RTM Lists and Tasks. These functions are available via an RTMUser instance's lists and tasks properties.

The following list functions are available:

  • get(): get an array of RTMLists
  • add(): add a new List
  • archive(): archive a List
  • rename(): rename a List
  • remove(): remove a List

The following task functions are available:

  • get(): get an array of RTMTaskss (with the Tasks's RTMList added to the list property)
  • getTask(): get a specific Task (specified by a Task Index)
  • add(): add a new Task
  • remove(): remove a Task
  • complete(): mark a Task as completed
  • uncomplete(): mark a Task as NOT completed
  • addTags(): add one or tags to a Task
  • addNotes(): add one or more notes to a Task
  • removeTags(): remove one or more tags from a Task
  • priority(): set the Priority of a Task
  • decreasePriority(): decrease the Priority of a Task
  • increasePriority(): increase the Priority of a Task
  • move(): move a Task to a different List
  • setDueDate(): set the due date of a Task
  • setStartDate(): set the start date of a Task
  • postpone(): postpone the due date of Task by one day
  • setName(): set the name of a Task
  • setURL(): set the URL of a Task

See the RTMUser entry in the Documentation for more information on the Helper Functions.

Examples using the helper functions can be found in the repository's wiki pages.

Advanced Configuration

The API configuration (such as the URL and connection rate limiting parameters) are defined in the config.js file. In addition, the location of the cache file used to associate specific tasks with their Task ID numbers can be specified in the file or by setting the RTM_INDEX_CACHE environment parameter.

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