First off – kudos to ‘Things’ for the descriptive name. It’s a task manager with simple, tag-based organisation tools, currently available as a free preview. An open categorisation system enables you to create to-do lists for any kind of project at all, track them, tick them off as you go and generally sort out your life.
That there’s very little to learn when using Things is a major selling point. From the moment you first sign in, you’re prompted to create a new ‘thing’. A thing is simply something that you have to do. Once you’ve given that thing a title, you can add tags, notes and a due date. That’s pretty much all you have to do.
There are further ways to organise things; ways that make this software more than just a jotter for your computer. You can drag any task into one of two organisation categories. Projects are collections of tasks with a distinct timespan and structure, such as building a website or getting ready for a holiday. Areas are for continuous jobs like tending to the allotment or doing up your house. In either case you can set up specific categories for a list of things.
Then there are several distinct ways to prioritise task lists. Instead of setting a due date for a ‘thing’, you can drag it into the ‘Today’ Focus category, or assign it the more nebulous description ‘Someday’. ‘Scheduled’ items are tasks that are repeated regularly, while the next thing on your list will always appear, predictably enough, in the ‘Next’ category.
Although Things is still in preview stage, which means features and its appearance could still change, it feels close to complete already. In fact, its open simplicity is exactly what leads us to recommend it to anyone with a Mac.