Moving to Things 3 As My Task Manager

A couple weeks ago I realized I needed a change. Due dates, contexts, and projects all became overwhelming. OmniFocus has been my task manager of choice for the past 3 years and it’s done quite a good job of keeping me on track in my professional and personal life. In all honesty, it has been much more than I actually need and I only scratched the surface of its full capability. I decided it was time to reset and evaluate if OmniFocus was still the best choice for me.

Out of all the task managers, Things 3 caught my eye for its design alone. On the surface, it’s a beautiful iOS and Mac app. Both versions are nearly identical which is a positive in my book. I’ve been using Things 3 for about two weeks now so in no way is this a full review but I wanted to talk about a few things I like and don’t like.

Likes

  1. Design Matters: When you’re preparing for the day, I found it very beneficial to look at visually appealing app. It does help relieve some of the stress that comes along with all the tasks you’ll be preparing to complete.
  2. Less Overdue Task: While setting deadlines is mostly for myself and not a hard deadline, when I fell behind it was quite stressful. Anything in your “Today” view in Things 3 just moves to the next day without showing anything is overdue.
  3. Evening Tasks: There’s many tasks I would need to get done at night when I got home. It’s nice being able to separate those tasks from my daily work tasks. I’ll even push some less important tasks to the evening and focus on what needs to be done that day.
  4. Drag and Drop on iPad: While it was possible to drag and drop from Airmail to OmniFocus, it would always create a PDF of the email as an attachment. What I really wanted was a link back to the original email and this is exactly how Airmail and Things 3 interact on iPad. I don’t like to keep email in my inbox, instead I create tasks from my email and if there’s a response needed I can return to the original email right from Things 3.
  5. Headings in Projects: I’m not sure if any other task manager does this but in projects you’re able to separate tasks with headings. This is great way to organize projects for me.

Dislikes

  1. No Attachments: In OmniFocus you could attach just about any file to a task but there’s no attachment support in Things 3. My workaround is uploading the attachment to Droplr and linking to it in the task. Not perfect but it gets the job done.
  2. Tags: So far I haven’t found a great way to utilize the tag system. I tried to think of it like contexts in OmniFocus but it hasn’t clicked yet.

Overall it’s been a great experience moving to Things 3. It allowed me to go over just about everything I had in OmniFocus and refine the way I did things. I had a lot of tasks sitting in contexts that I never got to and most likely never would. I was able to focus on the items that really mattered and got rid of the junk I had in OmniFocus. I advise everyone to go over your workflows every so often and see where you can improve. It will save you time and stress in the long run if you take some time evaluate your situation.

Things 3 is available now in Mac and iOS app store.