To Things or not to Things (3)

I’d suggest to send a message to the Things devs at
Solutions that seem feasible that do not clutter the interface would be:

  1. Adding a keyboard shortcut modifier to the existing ⌘L shortcut to log all itmes. ⌘⌥L seems logical to me. As it would be an optional/alternate way to move only the selected items to the logbook.
  2. Allow drag and drop to the logbook on macOS/iPadOS, as well as allowing the logbook to be selected as a move to destination on all platforms.

Those seem not too demanding in my opinion.

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For many tasks it’s very useful to know when you need to start working on something vs when something is truly DUE.

I understand the importance of “due” dates. I also understand the reality of life that in order to get something “done” it must be “started” (and “spent-time-on”). Sometimes I separate a deliverable into two “tasks” in Things:

  1. start and work on report on such and such. Start 3 Jan, Due 4 jan
  2. complete report on such and such. Start 31 Jan, Due 31 Jan.

Sometimes I’d put the start date for the complete task a few days before the due date to remind me to finish/check it.

It’s at least the way I work. I think because I got used to defer dates years ago from OF. It’s also why I struggle when I’ve tried Todoist. I use a PC at work so Todoist would be ideal, but the defer date thing gets to me.

Yep. See my work process in a reply further down this list.

FYI Francesco D’Alessio, who has one of the bigger productivity-app YouTube channels, reviews pretty much every task manager in existence, and has contacts at all the major dev shops, predicts it’s almost certain that within the next 12 months (probably summer '21) Things 4 will add or switch to a subscription.

I use the Today view for tasks I want to have in front of me each day. I won’t do all of them or even most, but I want them there to keep them in mind.

I use due dates for things I really need to get done THAT DAY. Often I set the due date in the mid afternoon for the same day.

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Cultured Code’s statement is that they don’t have any new major release in the foreseeable future.

I’m sure Francesco knew that, which is why he said probably summer '21

I think it is a smart policy for any company to not prematurely announce anything. The best expectations that can be made is an annual road map like what Omni does which talks about things hoped for in the next 12 months. Any announcement of the next major upgrade is just speculation at this time.

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Or course no company wants to Osbourne itself, so they’re not going to pre-announce any upcoming changes. But again, D’Alessio has contacts with every major productivity app developer and he says in that video he believes “100%” that the app will go or add subscription by summer 2021.

I agree. I won’t be surprised if they drop Things 4 and put a subscription tag on it. But I’m not really worried because they’re currently so many competitors in this space. I probably would just go to OmniFocus if they still have one-time purchase.

I think the Fantastical move might make devs more cautious about the way they do subscriptions. I hope things will improve.

Things 3 gets updated regularly. I’m fine with no major release until 2021.

I think you are being somewhat pessimistic. I am sure Cultured Code have said they are not planning a subscription model.

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Do you know where they said that?

Undoubtedly those tweets are older. However, most of them only mention “subscriptions” in the context of bundling the three platform’s apps into one purchase. Since Apple now offers cross-platform app-bundles incl. macOS this is solvable without a subscription.

Things 1 was released in 2007 to the Mac, 2008 to the iPhone and 2010 to the iPad.
Things 2 (with Things Cloud sync) followed in 2012 for the three platforms. Watch support was added in 2015.
Things 3 followed in 2017 and is still seeing frequent updates.

If they would be sticking to their pattern of releasing a major update every 5 years, we might see Things 4 in 2022. I highly question 2021, maybe even 2022. Things 3 is design-wise still way ahead of the curve. It is one of the best designed cross-platform apps and the interaction design incl. keyboard interaction is uncontested. They also haven’t designed themselves into a corner, yet.

So far Cultured Code seems to sustain themselves very well. It seems to be a deliberately small, but very focussed team.

I could however see them releasing Things 4 as another stand alone purchase with a slightly discounted cross-platform bundle price. I also could imagine Things 4 being rolled out with an entirely optional low-priced monthly/yearly subscription to add a collaboration feature, which would require a lot of additional effort on their server side. Personally this wouldn’t be of any use for me, though.

I really wish there was an Android app and web app for Things. Such a beautiful app.

Once you have a web app you have a platform for subscriptions. I know of very few apps that have web components that aren’t subscription apps.

As for Android, it’s a big market but developers find the costs involved in coding and supporting tend to be difficult, largely because Android users tend to be allergic to spending money on apps. I recently read about how the developer of one app (I think it was Hello Weather, but I’m not positive) bemoaned that something like only 10% of revenue came from Android, with 90% from iOS.

Nevertheless, as competition intensifies in the productivity space, it seems that developers generally have found that they need to make their apps more cross-platform, and they need to integrate some sort of subscription. There are lots of gorgeous web-service-first apps out there now (ClickUp, Taskade, and ZenKit come immediately to mind) so an app that restricts itself to sales (and having to stockpile new features in order to prove itself worthy of user upgrades) on fewer platforms is going to have to thread a needle with an increasingly small eye.

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Not to mention that the diversity of devices and platforms is hard to keep up with in the android market.

Well, they are hiring in that rough direction now:

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