Thousands of disparate thoughts fly through our heads every single minute of the day.
“I need to do laundry this week.”
“I have a big project coming up for work, I should spend some time on that.”
“I should make tacos for dinner tonight.”
“Oh, I forgot to call my mum yesterday.”
There are plenty of apps to categorise your various to-dos, but there aren’t many apps that can help categorise your whole life: including your to-dos, but also your random thoughts, ideas, projects, and areas of your life, like work, friends, and family.
Things 3, from the Germany-based software startup Cultured Code, is a 2017 Apple Design award-winning app for organising your life that’s both simple and robust. It works across Apple devices only right now (sorry Android and PC users), but if you have at least one-Apple made product it’s probably worth your consideration.
Thanks to Cultured Code, which provided me with review codes to try Things 3 on my Apple devices, I can confidently say that Things 3 is remarkable organisation tool. It’s great for jotting down quick thoughts that come along, but it’s really best for tackling more complex projects – like planning vacations, learning a new language, and especially prioritising your various work tasks.
I’ve spent a few months importing my entire life into Things 3 – here’s what it’s like to use the app, and why you should consider buying it:
First <i>thing’s</i> ????first: Let’s talk about price.
Things 3 can sync all your information across your various Apple devices, but you still need to buy the app for each device. Things 3 works the same way across all platforms, but Cultured Code put a lot of thought into designing each interface specifically for each device.
So, Things 3 costs $US10 on the iPhone, $US20 on the iPad, and $US50 on the Mac.
Mac users also get a free 15-day free trial, so you can see if you actually like Things 3 before dropping a 50-bomb.
My advice: Consider which devices you use the most, and go from there. Personally, I use my iPhone and MacBook more often than my iPad, so if you’re like me, I would highly recommend getting Things 3 for those two devices at least – to keep yourself organised while at work or on the go. But if you love your iPad, Things 3 works great there, too.
Here’s a look at what my Things 3 looks like on my Mac. The left sidebar shows how Things 3 organizes all your information, and the folders at the bottom are divisions that I created myself, for Life, Work, and Projects.
The main part of the screen shows my Inbox, which has nothing in it at the moment.
The Inbox tab is where you can create tasks with unassigned due dates. Drop in any free thoughts you have lying around and organise them later.
A nice bonus: With a single button press, you can also import all of your calendar events and reminders if you use Apple’s Calendar and Reminders apps, respectively, which is a very nice feature.
The Today tab shows you everything scheduled for the day. As you can see, I have a meeting at noon, and I also need to write my Things 3 re— oh man that’s right now! I should do that!
OK, since I realise this story is due today, let me quickly show you how to use Things 3. Basically, to create a new to-do, just click the Plus sign button.
Here’s an example of what a basic to-do can look like.
Sadly, there are no options to bold or italicize text, or change text size or font. But you don’t really need that stuff unless you’re writing very complex notes.
The most important part, of course, comes after you write the note itself. It’s all about the organisation options.
Here’s an example of what one of my real to-dos looks like: “Improving the den”
What’s nice about Things 3 is the ability to also create headers, or different divisions within a larger project or area like this one.
In this case, I created headers for “Things to buy” and “Things to move,” since re-imagining my den is going to require both of those tasks.
With the ability to create multiple projects with different to-dos, headings, and checklists, you can do some pretty fancy organising with Things 3.
Things 3 makes it easy for you to organise your thoughts so it’s easier to address your various to-dos, and cross them off your list.
And it’s also nice that Things 3 provides different perspectives — like this calendar view — in case that’s more helpful for you in addressing to-dos.
I spend most of my time adding my to-dos via the Mac app, but I love how Things 3 looks on the phone. It’s simplified so you can see everything on the tall display.
There are plenty of other things to like about Things 3, like its Quick Find ability that lets you quickly find and search any word you’ve ever typed in Things 3, or the ability to create alarms and notifications for your various to-dos.
Overall, Things 3 is a worthy investment if you’re looking for a tool that can help you organise your life.
What’s nice about Things 3 is that it has more tools than you might need. For example, I rarely use the scheduling tools right now – but if I ever encounter a time-sensitive project, this feature will absolutely come in handy.
Still, despite the abundance of tools, Cultured Code has managed to simplify the art of organisation and make it work for categorising small thoughts and big projects alike.
If you want to dip your toes in, try the iPhone version for $US10, or the 15-day free trial for the Mac. If you ever wish you could be more organised, Things 3 provides an excellent canvas and some very clever tools to make your life feel a little less cluttered.
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