Not on my to-do list

Writing this blog post was not on my to-do list, but given I have – through the adoption of a more efficient to do list app suite – got more done today than I otherwise might, I thought I’d allow myself the luxury.

In the time I’ve owned an iPhone I’ve switched to-do apps more frequently than  postboxes across the country are turning gold. I was hardly searching for the holy grail: cloud-based syncing across multiple platforms (phone and desktop especially), a flexible and intuitive interface, good stability and decent functionality.

But this turned out to be a rare and – so it seemed – unobtainable combination. I began with the iPhone reminders app (just as horribly slow and unstable as the native calendar), tried the Google tasks app GoTasks (mobile was fine but clunky desktop version), then settled for a while on the style-over-substance Any.DO, but got frustrated with the way it automatically bumps tasks from ‘next week’ to ‘tomorrow’ and so on (and there’s no desktop app).

In a fit of mounting desperation, I even tried using apps that weren’t designed to be to-do programmes, like Evernote and the iPhone Notes app (when the latter appeared on desktop with the Mountain Lion upgrade). But nothing worked the way I wanted it to.

Then a few days ago I decided to take the plunge and forked out almost forty quid for the iPhone and then desktop versions of Things. And I’m enormously happy I did. Things boasts, in no particular order:

  • Seamless cloud syncing which takes seconds.
  • Flexible and intuitive allocation of tasks to different statuses (inbox, today, next, scheduled, someday).
  • A brilliant keyboard shortcut set-up, including – on the desktop version – the ability to create a new task without switching programmes.
  • The ability to create projects and ‘areas’ (e.g. ‘personal tasks’) to cluster to-dos of different categories, and an equally handy tagging system.
  • A single ‘logbook’ where all of your completed tasks go at the end of the day.

In short, it’s brilliant.



2 Responses to Not on my to-do list

  1. I always wanted to like Things, but it just over-complicated my todo list for me, if I am honest. I’ve been using Remember the Milk which keeps action lists just about simple enough for me to be bothered with them!

    • Phil says:

      Totally with you on that risk! Hadn’t seen Remember the Milk before, does look impressively simple, but for me the Mac desktop version of Things is the decider… been using it loads last few days and it’s really slick.

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