Things 3 Review

Things received an Apple Design Award in 2009 and today it’s on its way to a second such award. Things 3 is even more user-friendly than its predecessor. Feature-wise the new version gains a new design, improved interaction, a day planner with the ability add your Calendar events using huge dates so you can’t miss them, a week planner, headings to subdivide your task list, checklists, a Plus button that allegedly is magical (I only tried the macOS version briefly; the Magical Button is iOS only) and time-based reminders. Furthermore, the Mac version knows about split screen and multiple windows and lets you get rid of the sidebar.

None of the previous version’s features has been phased out, so you’ll still have immediate access to the Quick Entry panel and Things will easily integrate with most email apps, including AirMail 3, which I’m using these days.

The Things Cloud is also still available and in charge of synchronisation. It’s still blazingly fast.

The main thing that’s different for existing users is how you interact with the app. Let me just say that will be much easier and more natural. For example, dates can now be entered using natural language. If you have a project, a nicely designed icon will show you in real-time how much progress you’ve made.

You can drag tasks up and down to place them where you want. This works even in the week planner (Upcoming list). The Magical Bullet is something truly special, but as I said I didn’t test the iOS version. From the demo, though, it looks great and will save you a couple of trips to the keyboard.

Things 3 needs less typing, less button clicking, less anything else other task managers require you to think about. Some features of the only other task manager I consider to be robust enough to use for work (2Do) aren’t in Things, though. For example, Things doesn’t let you save searches and it has no smart folders or smart sets. That seems like a shortcoming, but it doesn’t mean that — if you want to view your entries from different angles — you will have to create duplicate tasks. You can create areas and projects and enter your tasks in there and they will appear automatically in the week and/or day planner. 2Do users will just have to reverse their thinking about saved/smart searches/folders.

There’s one thing that I would have liked differently: the reminder alerts. You can set an alert when you enter the task’s date, but you can also set a deadline. What you can’t do is set an alert for the task date and another for the deadline. I for one would like to have the ability to set an alert for a deadline as well. That way, I can be warned when to start a task and when it has to be finished.

Perhaps Cultured Code will add that feature in, in a future update. Perhaps they won’t. Perhaps I’m the only one using that. I don’t know. What I do know is that Things 3 is poised to remain the most used task manager on macOS.

The apps will be available in the App Store as one-time purchases for Mac ($49.99 USD), iPad ($19.99 USD), and iPhone/Watch ($9.99 USD). These are the same prices the company was charging for Things 2.

Existing customers can take advantage of a 20% discount on all apps during launch week (offer ends on May 25). A fully functional 14-day trial of Things for Mac will be available from our website. Things Cloud accounts are free.

Things 3 needs macOS 10.11+, iOS 10+, or watchOS 2+.

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