So Things 3 looks sort of nice... (help!)

So Things 3 looks sort of nice... (help!)

(Wilson Ng) #22

I like testing and then posting my initial discoveries. Then I invite people to poke at at my post and bring up questions and offer alternative viewpoints. That will help me improve and fine tune a workflow. Then I re-iterate and put it out again to see if I can improve something. That was what I do when I go deep and put up a post in these forums. We look forward to seeing something from participants join in and share some workflows and experiments. I actually look forward to seeing a Things user put up a post. Hope to hear from you when you’ve gotten the time to gather your thoughts, :+1:t2:

I visited Things 3 and 2Do for a while to see if I can emulate some of their workflows. I was able to get fairly close to T3’s Today and Scheduled. It wasn’t an exact match but I understood the concept well enough to create my own custom perspectives.

I do like T3’s but ultimately stayed with OmniFocus. I suspect that Cultured Code has lit a fire under their collective butts and are working hard to eventually match OF3. I view T3 as a version 1.0 product because it was rewritten from the ground up. So it will be exciting to see what Cultured Code has coming up. They just don’t seem to be as forthcoming about future versions. It did take a while for Omni to unwrap and share some details about OF3. But it’s gonna be great to see OF3 when it finally arrives.

My Things 3 Setup and Workflow
(Joe Buhlig) #23

2 posts were split to a new topic: My Things 3 Setup and Workflow

(Brad Wright) #24

I’ve been using Things 3 for 2 weeks now after using OF for literally years (since early version 1, and pre-iOS).

Things I like about Things:

  • It’s super fast on iOS. Launching OF takes several seconds even on a brand new iPhone, whereas things is instant. This is a huge deal for entering new tasks or checking things off
  • It places project views front and centre by making the project notes prominent. Opening a project in a Things window makes it really feel focused (vs OmniFocus’s really poor treatment of notes in general - they’re totally an afterthought IMO) - see attached screenshot for an example of how well this is treated
  • The keyboard shortcuts are awesome (OF has good shortcuts too, but Things has nailed the usability aspect)
  • It has checklists that are embedded in tasks in a non-clunky way (I always found nested tasks in OF to be pretty unusable). In particular, this made my repeating Daily Review a single task with a checklist attached, which feels a lot more natural than OF could do it
  • Sync is very quick and reliable. OF is very reliable, but not quick

Things I miss about OF:

  • Custom perspectives, but I’m missing these less and less as my brain conforms to the way Things works
  • URL schemes on iOS (Things has crappy integration/share panels as well)
  • I prefer OmniGroup as a company
  • Actual “Waiting” contexts
  • Sequential projects. Projects are all parallel.

Things I’m on the fence about:

  • Structure vs freedom. I’m finding myself caring less about the freedom of OF because of the frictionless experience of Things
  • Tags vs contexts - so far I haven’t really used tags much at all, and it’s been fine because I use Areas to narrow my worlds (so adding these in OF3 wouldn’t be a major thing for me)

(Pavel Novikau) #25

Hi, here is my workflow scheme for Things3 - dropbox link

Create Your Personal Productivity Wiki
(Martin) #26

I recently switched to things 3 from using omnifocus for years and haven’t looked back.

My time spent doing weekly reviews and monthly reviews has actually halved!

This may sound weird but my main teething issue of using Things 3 initially was actually how easy it was. I was so used to setting up complex projects in omnifocus that when I switched to things the lack of friction was jarring.

I’m around 2 months into using Things and I’m not going back to Omnifocus. It also only took me around a week to adjust to using things, not a solid full week, just an hour here and there.

Also if you’re thinking about switching they have an AppleScript to migrate all your tasks to it.

(Martin) #27

Little update:

I’ve since ran into a problem with Things.

When I used omnifocus I constantly used the complete and await reply script however to keep track of leads. (I work in Fashion in London and constantly chasing people to create new connections is a huge part of the business as it’s very competitive).

However, I can’t do this on things.

This has meant I’ve had to use a sort of manual system to find out who I’ve been contacting and it’s not worked out so great. People are slipping through the cracks.

I’m trying to find a solution for the above but nothing is seeming to stick.

I won’t be shifting back to Omnifocus, as this small niggle isn’t enough to do a full system shift, I just need to find a solution to this.

(Wilson Ng) #28

I thought Things 3 has scripting capabilities? Of course that means you’ll have to figure out scripting or pay someone to do it for you…

(Mat) #29

Easiest thing would be to simply set a reminder or a specific tag for your leads to follow up on.

(Martín) #30

Being a longtime OmniFocus 2 user, my beans goes right now for Things 3. Why? Because OmniFocus allows me to effectively manage medium-to-big projects, Things has a so refreshingly agile workflow!

While I absolutely like OF capabilities I always felt friction when using its interface – not to mention the iOS version which, for me is a deal breaker. On the other hand Things 3 feels so natural and swift in both its versions for macOS and iOS! And I specially love the extensive keybinding provided for the macOS version.

When I think about it, I should have started my migration to Things 3 months ago but having at the time so much fun with OmniFocus and the $$$ spent for the extended version were the two main reasons I didn’t jump boat earlier.

Up until a few days ago I still thought that I would probably kept using OF for big projects and stuff that needs a good deal of detail; however after like a two weeks with Things 3 I know now there’s no coming back for me, lol.

Yes, I miss some stuff like the Forecasting feature - that I hope they add sometime in the future - but truth is Things 3 became a second-skin without even noticing it – and to me this is the best selling point. No need of more words =)

(John) #31

Think things 3 will ever get location reminders?

(Wilson Ng) #32

Location reminder doesn’t seem to be on the Things 3 status board. It looks like they’re currently focused on updates for Mojave and iOS 12.

It’s hard to tell what they’re up to. Does anyone else know if Cultured Code has a road map or are they just very tight lipped?


The status board is about as good as it gets. Omni is the only one doing any formal roadmap that I’m aware of.


They became much less transparent and a bit fascist after their forums morphed into a torch and pitchfork wielding mob because of the glacial development pace of Things 2.

You’ll also notice they don’t have forums anymore.


Yes, I noticed. It’s one of the reasons I stick with Omnifocus - their forums are very helpful, there’s direct access to support and they’ve set up Slack channels for development discussions.

CC has none of that and I don’t consider Reddit and Twitter to be adequate support channels for a professional product.


Did you go back to OF?


No not yet. I’m still not happy with how much of the UX works in OF anymore. The nice thing is you can make OF work almost however you want with their automations. But that’s functionality that has to be built as a user and I’m just not interested in rebuilding UX features that should be built-in. :confused: I may change my mind when OF JS automation comes out and users build interoperable stuff for Mac and iOS.

All that said Things has annoyances too. Right now I don’t need tags or the more complex project structures so I’ve been doing fine with Things.

Literally the only thing I miss with OF is Focus mode on the Mac. That made it so easy to dive into any area and see all things “to do” and “completed” for a project. But I don’t find that’s enough to put up with all the other annoyances I have right now.


Same here… I really wish T3 would add a saved search or filters or something. I don’t think it would add complexity, you just wouldn’t use them if you don’t want/need them.

As far as my work tasks, I’m on a PC at work all day and can’t really use my phone too much because of what i do. That being said I’ve been using Todoist for work related tasks and it’s been working well. We are on Office 365 at work and later this month they are actually approving use of Microsoft To do which I plan on using for work tasks.


For saved searches / filters… if you’re primarily on macOS you could use Keyboard Maestro or Alfred to trigger those. On iOS, you could use Shortcuts, Drafts. Right now I have a few select ones in each area.

On macOS I have a keyboard shortcut for Things (HYPER+G) in Keyboard Maestro. Then it shows me a list of a few saved filters that launch a search via their URL scheme.

Same concept for iOS, but I use Drafts for it and have a few in an action group that I can relatively quickly jump to if necessary. These are used much less.

(Wilson Ng) #40

This is why I like using tools outside of my task manager. Sure, it would be nice to have features built-in but automation tools such as Keyboard Maestro, AppleScript, OmniJS, and Siri Shortcuts allows us to expand our apps beyond the built-in features.

No app will ever be perfect. But using these external automation apps bridges the gap between what the developer has offered and what we really want our app to do.

For example, I love using Drafts and TaskPaper to automate project templates. Yes, I’d prefer a built-in solution but Drafts + TaskPaper does the job good enough for me.

I resisted buying into Keyboard Maestro for a long time. Then I said screw it, take it out for a trial demo and slowly started realizing how I could expand my apps with this.

Applescript also helped with expanding Things and OmniFocus to create features that would normally be time-consuming.

I wouldn’t turn a blind eye to using external solutions if it is available.


Totally agree. I make heavy use of automation tools for as much as I can.

As I’m thinking about it more and more, I think my mindset has just shifted on my task manager. I do like OmniFocus, I feel like I have to preface my statements with that. I think the tool does work. What I’m finding though is that I have a few small needs for my work:

  • Some nesting of tasks into projects + groups.
  • Quickly move tasks where they need to be.
  • Quickly schedule, or unschedule, tasks.
  • See an overview of my day.

What I don’t need (my life is just not that complicated):

  • Tagging different office locations and people that I need to meet with (Office, Bill / Office, Karen).
  • Multiple views of the same tasks based on where I’m at in my day (all tasks tagged High Energy, Afternoon, and Home Office).

All that to say, when I break down my needs, I started thinking what is the task manager that handles my simpler use case with greater precision and less work from me? That turned out to be Things.

  • Do I lose out on functionality that would offer me more? Sure.
  • Could I eek out some additional productivity by getting more systems in place for different areas / people in my life? Maybe.

The bottom line is that I started to feel like I was managing my tasks instead of getting done what I needed to get done.

I could create AppleScripts that handle quickly moving tasks into different projects, adding/removing tags, shifting dates around. But as I dove into that, I just asked myself, “why?” Why do I want to do this if another tool does this well and I don’t feel like I need the additional features under the hood?

So I hope that helps clarify my situation.

I don’t think OmniFocus is a bad tool at all, but I just had to boil it down to core features and the core features that OmniFocus does well aren’t ones I’m all that interested in anymore. :blush: