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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 -GTD apps for Mac

‘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.

Things - GTD Application for MacsPriority 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.

  1. waynerrr
    April 28, 2009 at 9:40 am

    I tried 20+ GTD apps..and then had a GTD methology crisis

    The App that has given me most productivity to date is ImOnTime
    For MY style it seems to be the best way to organise (although it’s not for all) as it’s an active management system (or should i say re-active ???)
    Once your in a mindset that any system is a chore and will require maintenance then the “pop up ” reminders that I.O.T. throw up will be accepted as part of the pay-off

    I tried GTD on omifocus for 6 months
    I never got anything done

    I think GTD is over-rated

    I think it starts to crumble once your data swells. Inevitably your entries will grow and it will become harder and harder to constantly order and manage tasks.

    Also maybe a creative mind is always changing and adapting by the minute. That’s where the GTD system is too rigid

    A good article on the subject(link below) talks about why more creative people may have a problem with GTD….That’s me (too much coming in at once & a need to be totally flexible)…heres the article

  2. baker
    January 11, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Hello, in regard to this post I will state I use this app everyday and it has become an exceptional addition to my workflow.

    However, the purpose for this comment, and many more to follow is to "get your attention" from your invitation callout in your latest post: "20 sites every mac user should bookmark."

    So quite obviously I am doing this for the purpose of achieving an invitation to the site brokenstones.

    As I plan to write a short comment on each article Mr Chung has written over the course of his Makeuseof Career.

    Oh by the way, my email is: baker at

  3. Elena
    July 24, 2008 at 3:38 am

    Hi! Do you know if there's any Windows equivalent to this Things app? Thanks! :)

  4. Dan
    May 20, 2008 at 10:44 am

    For implementing GTD you might try out this web-based application:

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
    A mobile version is available too.

    As with the last update, now Gtdagenda has full Someday/Maybe functionality, you can easily move your tasks and projects between "Active", "Someday/Maybe" and "Archive". This will clear your mind, and will boost your productivity.

    Hope you like it.

  5. John B. Kendrick
    March 10, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    I've recently learned of GTD and have written about my experiences as a switcher from Covey to Allen at I'll have to check out this application, although I've recently adopted another that lets me take my GTD wherever I go, on my desktop at home or work, and even on my iPhone. J.

  6. Mark O'Neill
    March 5, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Yes, we've decided to start branching out a bit. Jackson is going to start covering Mac applications and we are also exploring the possibility of covering other things such as Linux. But it's still early days and we are not sure yet how we are going to go about it. But when we decide, you'll be the first to know about it! :-)

  7. Jackson
    March 5, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    I'm glad you liked it!

  8. Marco
    March 5, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Thanks. Loved it.

  9. Brainiac
    March 5, 2008 at 8:40 am

    Hey, I just noticed that this is the first MUO post for Mac users only. Finally :-)

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