What do you love about Things 3?

I’ve been using Things 3 after being a big Todoist user for a few years at this point. Things was one of the first things I was really excited about checking out once I became a “Mac guy” because I’d heard such good stuff about it.

I have to say… after my month with it, I’m not super impressed! I don’t hate it, but I found Todoist was so much more functional. The natural language support was killer and overall, it just seemed a bit more intuitive.

I like how pretty Things is and the fact that it seems “opinionated” about how it should be used, but I find myself missing lots about Todoist. So… I’d love to hear from you! What do you love about Things 3? I want to get hyped about this pretty task manager!

why, if you are happy with Todoist?

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Same experience here, I used the free trial a while back but honestly preferred Reminders (and now Trello). Felt underwhelming. Like the design but the functionality seems a little off, for me. But clearly they’re doing something right, because so many people love it…

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because I love productivity porn and like playing with my systems more than doing work, LOL

I definitely had some beefs with Todoist as well. They dropped their education discount. Sometimes it felt like they had too much flexibility. Other little odds and ends.

MOSTLY I really like the idea of culling apps I have with subscription fees in favor of one time purchase apps.

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Which is one reason I like Things but I’ve settled on Reminders as my default task manager. It is working well for me.

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I am constantly bouncing back and forth between things and omnifocus. What I love with Things is the IOs app - namely, how well integrated the keyboard is. I can fly on the IPad with Things in a way that I couldn’t with omnifocus. And yes, aesthetically I do find it quite calming :wink:

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The way the app works in general. Also it’s one of the few real managers with defer dates.

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Omni focus is too scary to me! I think if I really sat down with it I could make some good progress, but every time I try the trial I become intimidated and quit.

“Productivity porn” is such a perfect way to explain the entire ecosystem that exists online right now around certain products/YT channels etc.

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The intimidating thing about OmniFocus is that it doesn’t have a set method for task management. It has been advertised as a great app to use if you’re into GTD though. It’s up to the user to figure that part out. OmniFocus lets you create your own task management system which can be crazy wild if you don’t really have a solid task management system to begin with.

Things has an opinionated idea of task management is perfect for users who don’t want to build their own setup. Just follow the way the app does task management and you can just get on with work.

I’ve slowly adapted different parts of GTD into my own Frankenstein GTD setup which works for me but most definitely won’t work for someone else.

I’ve used Things in the beginning as a starting point. What workflows did I like? What workflows do I think needs improvement? Can I do it in OmniFocus (my preferred task manager)? I’ve been able to mimic some Things 3 workflows into my life and discarded some other workflows that don’t fit my situation. I had tried this as an experiment a while back just to see if I can integrate some Things ideas into my OmniFocus workflow. It’s been a while since I’ve looked at Things 3 but I’ve stayed in the OmniFocus ecosystem. I don’t know what’s changed since the last time I looked.

If Todoist works for you, I’d rather focus on that app and see if I can find workflows that will address a deficiency in your current workflow.

I don’t think there will ever be an app that will fulfill 100% of anyone’s needs. It’s not about the app, it’s about the system. We can switch to different apps to see which app fits most of our needs. If it can fulfill 80% of your needs, stick with it and find additional workflows that can hopefully fill in the remaining 20%. I’ve stuck with OmniFocus as my second brain and used a bullet journal and Fantastical for my daily driver.

I’d rather have an evergreen productivity system that can adapt to whatever tool I choose. I imagined something about what Bruce Lee wanted to do in martial arts. He explored different martial arts and took what he needed to address deficiencies in his own fighting style.

brucee_lee

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I made this exact switch a month ago. I’m loving that projects and areas are different things. I have an area for each client and projects are intended to be completed now, rather than just being buckets for my tasks related to each client.

I’m also really liking recurring projects - I used to store a set of lists inside apple notes and create a new set of projects each month from apple notes. Now they always live inside things 3.

I’m also loving keyboard shortcuts.

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I love the UI. I like the way it is organized and helps you get organized. I sure didn’t appreciate paying for it three times. But no one forced me to do so. Things 3 is very intuitive and I haven’t even got into using commands a la Mac.

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As a Things user, I used Todoist in conjunction with Fantastical for several weeks. The major gripe I had was the app felt like a web app, à la Electron. My priority may well seem questionable to many, but I really want a native app when it comes to a personal GTD system.

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Heh, yeah. Some people get really down on this fact, but I think as long as you acknowledge that’s whaat you’re up to there’s nothing wrong with it. I dig “organizing” and noodling around with gadgets and tech and I dig listening to people talk about doing the same.

Definitely. And in a way, that’s what I wanted. I often was getting bogged down in tweaking my Todoist setup. In that way, Things 3 is great - it basically is what it is. I’m a GTDer as well and overall, both apps work great for GTD.

My biggest pain point for Things 3 is repeating tasks. Core to my system is a set of two repeating tasks for each of the courses I teach. Right now I teach 3 classes, so that’s six tasks. Each class as a task, “Prepare lesson for Class X” and “Prepare materials for Class X”. With Todoist I was able to easily set up weekly “due by” dates via natural language support. With Things I had to kinda do a weird workaround where I have those tasks encased in a repeating project and manually assign deadlines when the project pops up every Friday.

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How does reminders handle doing a task early? One thing I really dislike about Things is that they don’t make this easy. In Reminders can you just check off a task early?

I like Things, I don’t love it. I would jump ship in a second if there was something better.

100% agree… I do it, so not judging but I do find some of the language out there almost cultish. I have tired every app and keep doing it mostly because I love technology and less about how it makes me more productive.

Yes.

I am also able to create a simpler form of OF perspectives using the Smart List feature. For example, I have a “Due in a Week” Smart List.

The only real power user feature I find missing for my workflow needs is a start date, which is Things is “When”. I like that feature but I use Flags in Reminders for that purpose. Flags are not really a start date but they tell me I need to be working on those items–a common example is a writing project that I may want to start two weeks before it is due. in Things I can set that start date but in Reminders I just create a flag. Because I consistently do a weekly review this is not a problem because I spot the item that I need to start working on and flag it.

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Comparing Things to Reminders … IDK it just seems that Reminders is just that- reminders and little else. And I like the way Apple has finally dedicated some time to it.

With Things, you can work on projects. You can track books you’ve read, places you’ve been… Software you are interested in, Free movies on YouTube. It is very open-ended. Perhaps I am not using it the way it was intended. As a reminder app, I think it is lacking. I have to remember to go there to check out my to-dos and I rarely do it. (I’m retired and stir crazy. I don’t recommend it. Ha!) But I still use things a lot. In fact, I was not going to pay all that money to get it on my Mac. But I didn’t have the patience to work around it. So I finally got it with a gift card. Yet I wish it had “nagability”.

Now I imagine Reminders could handle any of what I said but I prefer Things for some things and Reminders as a terrific reminder.

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@Katie I’m not trying to convince you of anything :grinning: but as a long-time user of OmniFocus and Things, I can tell you that Reminders does all of the things you mentioned and more. Reminders lacks some features other apps have but has other features the others don’t. I manage projects in an organization of 200 employees with multiple divisions with Reminders and I’ve not missed a beat. I also manage all of my personal stuff from books to read, to a book to write, to a graduate course I teach.

I think Reminders is sometimes sold short–in part because for so long it WAS a significantly inferior app but that has changed over the last years. I’m NOT suggesting Reminders will work for everyone–it will not but I believe it will work for more people than it is given credit for. :grinning:

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I’ve just purchased Things to use instead of OmniFocus, and I found this was fairly straightforward once I found the repeating option in the menu bar, so there didn’t appear to be a need for any workarounds? I’ve two tasks I want reminding to complete monthly, and was able to sort without issue.

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