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The Details» Blog Archive » Things: The Best Mac To-Do Management Application

Things: The Best Mac To-Do Management Application

ThingsFor a long time, I’d been looking for a solid to-do list application for the Mac. I’d found a ton of them, but none of them seemed right. They were either too ambitious (Midnight Inbox) or completely bare bones and lacking in the most simple of features (Check Off). They all seemed to be built well, they functioned amazingly inside of their targeted goals. The big thing among the to-do list crowd right now is David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD). I’ve read his book and it’s great. There are a lot of great ideologies within it, but I find it too all-encompassing. Every aspect of your life becomes managed. Contexts, multiple lists, time allotments, too much clutter used to free you of clutter.

A few weeks ago I received an alpha invite to preview Things. I had seen screen shots of it and liked the look of it enough to sign up for the newsletter in hopes of trying it out for myself. I’m glad that I had the foresight to do so. Things is the perfect balance of control over everything you need to get done and an easy to use application.

Things is basic in it’s setup. Everything boils down to and is structured around your to-do item. Where do you put your to-do item? One of three places: in a Project you create, in an Area you create, or your Inbox. Projects are things that can be finished off. Building a birdhouse, landscaping the front yard. Areas are just that, areas. I’ve got a few areas set up right now, one of which is named “Work.” All my work projects go into my “Work” area. Your Inbox is a holding stage until you figure out where you want to put your to-do. Did you just remember you have to invoice a client? With one system-wide shortcut command you bring up the Things to-do entry box and send that to-do item right to your inbox. Come back later and organize it when you’re good and ready.

Once you get started on your items, you can assign them to any time frame you wish, or Focus as they are referred to in Things. Today, Next, Someday, or Postponed. Simple, yet broad and thoughtful enough to cover almost any item you may want to remember. It’s tagging system is what I think will make Things even more valuable and scalable. A smart folder system is in the works, from what I’ve read in the future features listing at Culture Code. Future plans for iCal integration, Quicksilver integration, importing and exporting, integration with Apple Mail, and iPhone support do nothing but excite me for it’s full release. If Culture Code builds a native iPhone to-do app that integrates and syncs with my computer I will pledge to have Culture Code’s babies. (Hopefully application synchronization will be something Apple decides to put into it’s iPhone SDK.)

I’m falling more in love with Things each time I use it. It is still in it’s alpha stage so I assume that the coming features will improve Things much more, and that excites me. So if you’re looking for a really great, well built task manager that isn’t a task to manage in and of itself, I suggest Things from the boys over at Culture Code.

More Things links:

http://www.culturedcode.com/things
A good screen cast walk through
Newsvine: A Preview of Things: Mac GTD at its Best

Written on December 31, 2007 at roughly 4:24 pm. And by roughly I mean at that exact time.

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