One of my first posts for ProfHacker—a guest post, in fact, before I was a regular contributor—was a detailed review of Cultured Code’s to-do manager Things. I said then
Things has become an essential part of my workflow. I value its flexible structure—the GTD elements give shape to an often-overwhelming mass of tasks, but the software can bend outside of GTD walls and allow me to manually tweak the urgency of tasks when I need to. I’m a forgetful person, and Things helps me to be productive and thorough anyway.
and this has remained true over the past two-and-a-half years, though some of the task managers my ProfHacker colleagues have written about have tempted me to switch. Though it’s been long in coming, Things 2 has been released for Mac, iPhone, and iPad, and it’s a worthy update to my favorite task manager in the Mac ecosystem.
Cultured Code’s announcement of Things 2 explains most of the salient updates in the new version, so I won’t belabor an explanation of each here. Most importantly, Things 2 adds (long overdue!) cloud syncing to Things, meaning you can run Things on multiple Macs and mobile devices simultaneously. When you use Things Cloud, new tasks added on one device will automatically appear on other devices; items crossed out on one device will automatically be crossed out across your fleet of machines. Though other task managers have included cloud sync for awhile now—which is one reason many switched away from Things in the past year or so—Things does sync beautifully. I’ve been using Things Cloud for a few months through the software’s beta testing program, and have experienced no issues moving between machines. I run Things on my home desktop, my work laptop, and my iPhone, and I can move between devices seamlessly.
Things 2 also adds a “daily review” list for tasks coming due. I like this feature, which allows you to easily prioritize or postpone tasks with a current due date. This is perhaps a small tweak, but I do find that deadlines often shift between the time I create a task in Things and the date I first assigned as that task’s due date. The daily review feature allows me to easily shift deadlines in the app when real-life deadlines have shifted. There are other small tweaks to the program, but for me Things was nearly perfect two years ago; the addition of cloud sync adds the only additional feature I really needed.
I applaud Cultured Code for making Things 2 a free update for all registered users. Given that Things is a fairly pricey to-do solution, and given how long many users have been waiting for cloud sync, it seems right to add the new feature for free for those who have already bought into the Things system. Indeed, the free update might lure back some users who bought Things but switched to a competing app for cloud sync. If you’ve never tried Things, I recommend you give the free trial a whirl. If you bought Things years ago but have moved away, you might give it another shot. If you’ve been using Things all along—download the update and start syncing your to-do lists now!