June 20, 2017

Things 3 mini review

Things 3 had a notable release a few weeks ago. I’ve been using the Mac and iOS apps since launch.

Sections

Good
Not so good
Comparative aspects that matter to me
End

Good

  • Design is visually appealing. Animation is smooth.
  • Upcoming view is well done.
  • Sync is quick and solid.

Not so good

Repeating tasks
Repeating tasks are implemented in an odd way (and this only became apparent with use over an extended period of time). There are templates” that reside at the bottom of some views. Repeats cannot be dragged up or down and have their due date change (which seemed like an obvious funtion to have given the smooth interface).

(I did the following experimentation on the Mac app).

Changing a repeat due date in the Upcoming section goes like this (on a repeat-every-so-many-days-after-completion-task):

  • tap on the repeat section in the task
  • choose stop”
  • the task is completely gone now from the database

2nd try in Upcoming list and going to Area

  • see the repeating todo on a due date
  • look for the template near the bottom. Not there.
  • Go to the Area” within which the task resides
  • tap on the repeat section in the task
  • same dialogue comes up for Pause, Stop, etc.
  • choose stop”
  • the task is completely gone now from the database

3rd try starting in an Area

  • Go to the Area” within which the task resides
  • right-click on the task and select When”
  • same dialogue comes up for Pause, Stop, and with the repeat schedule at the top of this dialogue box. Click on the repeat schedule. A new dialogue box comes up with Next:” followed by a date field. Increment the day by one and hit ok.
  • the task is rescheduled but with the month incremented by one. (This is repeatable).

Creating a repeat is odd as well.

Creating a repeating task from the Upcoming List

  • In upcoming list, I highlight a task on a day next to which I want to create a repeating task (to start that same day)). The task box that opens has the right due date listed.
  • (….the app crashes), restart
  • In upcoming list, I highlight a task on a day next to which I want to create a repeating task (to start that same day). The task box that opens has the right due date listed.
  • right-click and select repeat. A dialoge box comes up with Repeat after completion” at the top. I go with the default 1 week” and hit OK.”
  • the task vanishes from the day on which it was created and has now appeared on the Today section (!).
  • right-clicking and selecting when” brings up a dialogue box that allows the selection of a date. I select the originally desired date and the repeating task is transferred back to that day.

Creating a repeating task from the Today List

  • in the Today List, I create a new today and give it a name. I right-click and choose repeat. A dialoge box comes up with Repeat after completion” at the top. I go with the default 1 week” and hit OK.”
  • suddenly the view changes to the Upcoming List and I see the task at the bottom as a template (I assume). Going back to the Today list the repeating task is there.
  • As in the prior instance, a due date can now be set.
  • (….the app crashes again)

I think it is widely known by now that there are no repeats that can reside within a Project.

Repeats cannot be checked off in advance of the due date.

Culturedcode track record
I basically have no confidence that meaningful changes will happen within a reasonable time-frame. If you don’t know what I amd talking about, research the deployment of Things Sync and then the arrival of Things 3.

Comparative aspects that matter to me

  • Compared to 2Do and Omnifocus, Things 3 has better calendar integration.
  • Compared to most other apps with such functionality, repeating tasks are a mess in Things 3.
  • Things 3 allows multiple tags per task like 2Do but unlike Omnifocus.
  • Things 3 proprietary sync appears better than the sync of every other sync I have seen in this category (Omnifocus, iCloud-syncing apps, Dropbox syncing apps, etc).
  • Speed of app development: Omnifocus > 2Do >>>>> Things (all versions).
  • No collaboration exists in Things 3 like in Omnofocus. 2Do allows sharing of tasks if using iCloud sync. Apps like Asana and Trello allow collaboration but don’t do repeat tasks, calendar integration, and other funcionalities well, if at all.

End

Things 3 looks nice but continually frustrates me with the scheduling/editing of repeating tasks, inability to check off repeats early, lack of repeats in projects. I am not optimisitc that much will change anytime soon due to the dev track record. I am strongly considering seeking refunds. In my opinion this app was launched too soon.

  • review
  • productivity
  • iOS
  • mac

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