It isn’t often that we get overly excited over something new for the Mac that is so new you can’t buy this Thing yet.
Things is an exciting, fun, simple, elegant, easy to use personal management utility for the Mac. Things is so good you need to see it and use it, but you can’t buy it. Yet.
Mac OS X Leopard will be the launching pad for a new generation of personal tools, utilities, and applications that make the complex and mundane actually simple and fun to use.
Apple’s success with the iPhone should be a warning to every non-Mac software developer. Complex does not have to be difficult. Elegant is good because people actually use the features in good software.
Thing is, or, rather, will be good software. Things is a personal To-Do utility that is at once elegant and simple, yet does those very complex things that keep most of us from using more complicated and capable software to keep ourselves organized.
We’re big fans of iGTD, the Getting Things Done utility for the Mac. After all, one of the reasons we use our Macs is to get things done, right?
Mac users have dozens of personal organizers, to-do list managers, and project managers.
Some of us have one of each, and seldom master all three. Why? The tools to help us are sometimes more complex than the problems they’re trying to solve.
iGTD makes more effective use of context settings to get things done. The new TaskPaper is a good to-do list manager that makes it easy to manage and track what you need to do. Until Things comes along it’s a challenge to find a simple Mac utility that would combine all three functions.
Getting things done, project management, to-do list manager. Yet that’s exactly what Things does well. Elegant task management.
Things is intuitive. Create a simple task, a to-do list. Or, create a simple project which combines tasks. Or, create a GTD-like context to accomplish tasks, which help to complete projects.
Track all the tasks and projects using Mac tools you already know how to use. The left column has a library which contains everything. There’s also a Focus area. Set a deadline via the built-in calendar with an alert. Drag and drop tasks into projects. Even assign tasks to other people and track their progress.
Things is smart enough to remember details so you don’t have to, and displays only the information needed, using multiple tags, dates, notes.
Things left column Focus area could not be easier. Create to-do items, tasks, for Today, for the thing you work on Next, or Someday, or Postponed until later.
Each task, or to-do item contains only the information you need. Name, tag, action, due date, and reminder alert. Each item on your list can be stand alone, making Things ultimately as easy as possible, but tasks can also be added to a project’s task list, or delegated to someone else.
The left column in Things is also used to manage Projects and assignments if you want to step into a little more complexity without having your head explode while trying to figure out how to make it work. Create the task or to-do, then drag it to a Focus area, or to a Project, or both.
The left column Area section performs the basic GTD context function. Again, Things simplifies and integrates the basic methodology of to-do lists, task and project management, and context efforts.
We’ve been using Things for some time now in alpha-near-beta release. It’s worked flawlessly in Leopard. You can’t buy Things. Yet. But you may be able to try it out, which we recommend if you’re looking for new Mac software to help with managing your tasks.