Things for iPhone Review

Let me start off by saying that the fact Apple does not have To Do list syncing on the iPhone and Mail is crazy.   It should be one of the items synced through the MobileMe service.   But since Apple is running a little behind on this, let me tell you about Things.

The first time I saw things was on an airplane.   The guy in the seat next to mine had the Things desktop app loaded up to full screen on his Macbook Pro, and I couldn’t help but be nosey.   I was always looking for a good To Do list organizer, and Things looked very interesting.

I have had a rocky relationship with To Do apps.   I envy all the Getting Things Done (GTD) people.   I read the book, and I totally dig the idea.   Unfortunately it feels like it takes someone who is already organized to get this uber-organized.   Apps like OmniFocus just look to me to take up more time than they would save.   But Things is nice and simple.   Things power comes from it’s simplicity.   And they brought that simplicity to the iPhone.  

Things for iPhone syncs very well with the desktop and offers the ability to have all your tasks list right on your phone.   I would like to see some features added, but to be honest, I can’t think of how to add them without taking away the insane simplicity of the software.   Things is a must have for the iPhone.


  1. For implementing GTD you might try out this web-based application:

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
    A mobile version and iCal are available too.

    Hope you like it.

  2. I’m a GTD’er and I love Things for the desktop and iPhone. The problem with many GTD’ers is that they follow David Allen’s methodology too strictly, even though in his book, he encourages people to adapt, modify, and improve the system.

    Things offers flexibility so that it can be used in many ways, including strict GTD, so that anyone can use it without having to be a GTD practitioner. I was so disappointed with OmniFocus because it’s way too rigid, even for me.

    The crew at Omni Group makes killer Mac products but I think they made a big mistake by building OmniFocus on top of OmniOutliner instead of looking for more simplicity in the UI like Things. A to-do application is supposed to make your life easier, not more complicated.

    I’ve also been checking out LifeTick which has a gorgeous web UI on the desktop browser along with a nice iPhone app. LifeTick throws GTD out the window and forces you to look at your tasks in a new way, by your core values instead of context and project. It’s a refreshingly different way of looking at your tasks.

    For now, I’m hooked on Things, big time.

  3. Dean, I totally agree with you on GTD and tools like OmniFocus. By making the platform too rigid, they have made GTD a complicated commitment that most just can’t take.

    I’m going to check out LifeTick.

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