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Things 3 is released

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Posted by MadaboutDana
May 22, 2017 at 08:46 AM


For those interested in playing with Things 3, a trial version is available from the Cultured Code website (https://culturedcode.com/things/).

It’s a very cleverly designed app - the more I’ve played with it, the more I realise how much time and thought has gone into analysing how people use task management software. Playing with the trial version is definitely a good idea if you’re havering over the (comparatively high) price (it’s worth remembering how much OmniGroup charge for their various apps, however!)

I confess (reluctantly, because I’ve already got a perfectly good task management workflow) that I really, really like Things.

But then, I am an inveterate CRIMPer - I’ve just managed to (finally) persuade myself out of “investing” in the gorgeous but as yet unproven reMarkable “paper tablet”, a new device that uses eInk not just for reading, but for notes and sketching too (for interested CRIMPers, more details here: https://getremarkable.com). No doubt I’ll have to re-dissuade myself once it’s actually launched…



Posted by Hugh
May 22, 2017 at 09:57 AM


MadaboutDana wrote:
Things has two different date settings: a “When” date and a “Deadline”
>date. If you set the “When” date only, it assigns the task to the
>specified date. So I’ve got a couple of tasks arranged for Wednesday,
>for example, and they appear on Wednesday in the “Upcoming” view.
> >But if you set the “Deadline” date, while the task itself is assigned to
>the “Deadline” date, you also get a little note alongside each task with
>the number of days to go (so “Due in 2 days”, for example).
> >You can use the “When” date as a way of keeping track of tasks that may
>have a deadline in two weeks’ time, but need action now. So for my tasks
>with a Wednesday “Deadline” date, I could set a “When” date of today,
>meaning they need attention today, but the actual deadline isn’t until
>Wednesday. And Things will show this in its display: the task will
>appear in the “Today” view, but with a note saying “Due in 2 days”.
> >This is an interesting compromise on the concept of starting date, and
>personally, I find it quite user-friendly, but then I’ve never been able
>to get on with start dates etc.; I prefer to assign a “When” to tasks
>when I know I’m going to have time to do them. Being able to specify an
>end-deadline is a nice extra; previously, I’ve always put the task’s
>end-deadline in notes, which is less than ideal when trying to keep an
> >I hope that’s helpful!

Thanks for the elucidation, Bill.


Posted by Hugh
May 22, 2017 at 10:20 AM


For me, I suppose the other big issue hitherto with Things has been “hinterland”, or “ecology”. One or two other task managers, at least on the Mac, are surrounded by groupings of scripts and associated applications that enable them to run, sometimes automatically, in ways that the original developers probably did not intend. For me, this gives them additional flexibility and versatility. Omnifocus is quite rich in having such add-ons in the ecology that surrounds it; Things less so. Possibly this is a consequence of Things’ earlier somewhat hesitant development. (Although there are exceptions to every rule: I use Übersicht to place my Today perspective from Omnifocus on my desktop, and I believe that the same can be done with Things 2.)

Generally, I find such functionality useful. Time will tell whether a similar ecology of add-ons will develop around Things 3.


Posted by MadaboutDana
May 22, 2017 at 11:28 AM


Judging by the enthusiastic reception, I suspect it will.

As a non-script-oriented person, one of the little things I find nicest about Things 3 is the way you can easily open projects or areas in new windows. So today, for example, I’ve got my normal “Today” list open in one window with the usual list of bits and pieces in it, next to another window showing the detailed checklist of stuff I need to churn through for the latest stage in a large, ongoing project. In a third window I’ve got briefing notes for a background project I need to think about while doing various foreground things…

It’s a small but immensely helpful change; similar, I suppose to what you describe about Übersicht (don’t know that one - time to CRIMP!). It’s probably time to admit that I’m a heavy user of multiple Mac “virtual” desktops; I’ve got about 13 of them spread across various monitors. But all the Things windows are on a single desktop, honest!


Posted by Paul Korm
May 22, 2017 at 11:35 AM


I agree.  I believe the value task-manager app is amplified when its task data can be integrated with other apps - especially in macOS.  Things has always been more a stand-alone app than OF, and v3 is not different in that respect.  Importing is supported in the interface, but exporting is not.  The URI scheme supports adding tasks using a things://add? URI, but not linking to tasks—which I find is important because I want to use apps like Tinderbox or Curio to augment my task list.  Things is a good citizen and recognizes other apps’ URI schemes.  And on iOS Things has a share extension for capturing info from Safari, etc., and creating tasks.  Things 3, like its predecessors, continues to eschew iCloud syncing in favor of Cultured Code’s own “Things Cloud”, which is not such a bad thing.

On the other hand, Things 3 (and predecessors) has a small but efficient scripting dictionary that can be used to create AppleScript or JXA tools—to create CSV or other exports.

So maybe there can be more evolution and development of useful participation in Hugh’s “ecology”.

Hugh wrote:
>For me, I suppose the other big issue hitherto with Things has been “hinterland”, or “ecology”.


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