Things for iPhone, iPad, and Mac review

Things is a detailed task manager by Cultured Code that will help you organize your very busy life. Things isn't just a simple to-do list, it's a serious "get things done" (GTD) tool that allows you to create projects, each with their own set of tasks, assign tags and specific areas, and much, much more. With versions for iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and a sophisticated syncing service called Things Cloud, you can keep and update all your projects and tasks wherever you go.

One of the great features of Things is that the interface is very consistent across all devices. Jumping from your Mac, to your iPhone, to your iPad is completely seamless and natural.

Every day, Things will present you with a list of items that it believes you need to get done so that you can confirm that they should be on your "Today" list. If you want to push the due date back on an item, simply choose to start later.

To use Things to it's fullest capabilities, you must invest a little time organizing list items by tagging them, moving them to an area (like a category), set up recurring to-dos, and adding notes. But there's no denying that sometimes you just want to quickly add something to your list without going through a long, drawn-out process (because even 30 seconds can feel like a long time when you're in a hurry), and that's exactly what your Inbox is for. The Inbox is where you put to-dos that you're not ready to organize, yet.

On the Mac, you can also setup shortcuts for Quick Entry that will open a window to add a new task regardless of which app you're currently using. If you download Things Helper, you can upgrade the Quick Entry with an Autofill feature that will automatically add useful information from the app you're currently using. For example, with Mail, it will create a link to the email you're reading and copy any text you've selected.

When you are ready to organize, each to-do can be assigned tags and an area. An area is a user-defined category that makes it easy for you to sort for something specifically related to, say, work, family, or errands.

Things also includes a different way to organize, and that's with Projects. A project is a task that involves subtasks in order to be complete. This is great for work projects, putting together a job application, planning a vacation or event, and more. You can assign a due date to each project as well as to each individual task.

One of the really great features included with Things is Things Cloud. Things Cloud is how you'll keep all your devices in sync, and it's super fast, very reliable, and included in the price of the apps.

The good

  • Today, Next, Scheduled, and Someday lists
  • Categorize with Areas
  • Tags
  • Quickly add tasks to Inbox
  • Shortcut for Quick Entry on Mac
  • Link with one list from Apple Reminders
  • Things Cloud is super fast

The bad

  • Can't change a scheduled to-do to a recurring one. Have to delete and select recurring from the start.
  • Even though an area can be tagged, it won'y automatically add to-dos with that tag. For example, if I add "go grocery shopping" and tag it with "Errand". It won't automatically move to the "Errands" area. The could be a great time-saving feature.
  • Would be great to be able to assign a photo to a task
  • Can only sync with one Reminders list
  • No alarms

The bottom line

If you're looking for a simple to-do list app, Things is not for you. But if you're in need of powerhouse task management system that supports detailed projects, tags, categories, and more, Things may be exactly what you need. The price can be a little off-putting, so Cultured Code has a 14 Day free trial for the Mac version so you can give it a good spin before taking the plunge. For those of us with super busy lives who aren't blessed with a focused, organized brain, Things is totally worth the price.

Leanna Lofte

Former app and photography editor at iMore, Leanna has since moved on to other endeavors. Mother, wife, mathamagician, even though she no longer writes for iMore you can still follow her on Twitter @llofte.