There are many Getting-Things-Done (GTD) apps for the Mac. Some, like Midnight Inbox and iGTD are just too complicated for everyday use and require too much planning for GTD-beginners. Others, like Actiontastic are very multi-functional, but most of us just want something that simply works. This is where Things steps in and it’s my favorite.
‘Things’ is essentially a straight-to-the-point task manager. You won’t need to compile all of your information, emails, images, PDFs, etc in preparation for this application. Basically, all you need to do is: recall your To-Do’s and start entering them in. Like most GTD apps, new entries automatically go into the Inbox. After you’ve emptied your brain of your daily, weekly and monthly chores, you may begin start to sort them out according to priority, and this is where Things shines.
Priority of your To-Do’s are divided by its due date, which makes it much simpler than color-coding tasks or assigning importance from 1-10. If your task needs to be completed today, just click and drag it into ‘Today’s Focus’. Tasks which you need to complete after the more important ones are done go into ‘Next Focus’. And tasks which you might want to do, but are just too lazy, go into the ‘Someday’.
For every To-Do, you can assign tags, notes and due dates (which I think is just all you need to get something done). Once a task is done, just add a check to its box, and by the next day, it will automatically be transfered to ‘Completed’.Another feature of ‘Things’ is the ability to organize tasks by Projects.
A Project is a group of tasks required to produce a result. So inputs like:
- Buy a diary
- Buy a pen
- Start writing my thoughts
- Repeat daily
may be collectively added into a ‘Writing a Journal’ Project.
Besides Projects, there is a broader collection of tasks called ‘Areas’. Let me explain. Let’s say after writing a journal, I’d like to publish it. So, the Project ‘Writing a Journal’ and the task ‘Go to the printers’ may be added to an Area called ‘My Autobiography’. This category is generally for larger, long-term accomplishments.
Currently, ‘Things’ is available as a free preview until Spring 2008. You may download it from CulturedCode’s website. And oh, it’s Mac only.
(By) Jackson Chung is a full-time med student attempting to perform a juggling act with relationship, studies and his future.