My approach to productivity is wrapped up tightly with lists. I make lists for just about everything, from the week ahead at work to the books I want to read next. Lists are how I remember the small things and prioritize the big things. For over eight years, those lists have been kept in Things from Cultured Code.
I've used Things longer than any other app. The UI is simple and efficient, with thoughtful touches throughout. I'd be surprised if I've encountered more than two bugs altogether. Most importantly, the data syncing and integrity has been flawless. When you're storing years of ideas, notes, and tasks in one place, you have to be able to trust it. I rely on Things every single day and it's never let me down.
Flawless isn't easy, though. Cultured Code is notorious for shipping only when it's ready, which mean long breaks between major versions. The long-awaited Things 3 arrived today after being announced in December.
Many people have stopped using Things due to the lack of major updates and they often write about it. I've rarely seen someone mention a significant bug that hasn't been fixed or essential features that are missing. Mostly, people are frustrated at waiting so long for something new.
To be clear, the app has never been stagnant. Improvements are delivered regularly, including support for new OS features and Apple Watch. I, too, would hesitate to continue using an essential app that was no longer supported.
Sometimes, though, we demand change because we want the distractions that come with it. It's fun to tinker with new features and complain about what's wrong with them. I'm as eager as anyone for a new version of Things, but while waiting for Things 3, I've never once opened the app and not been able to do what it's designed to do. I've never had an unpleasant experience or lost information.
In other words, Things lets me focus on being productive instead of my productivity tool.
We have to try out new apps and new versions of old ones, of course. Who knows when you might stumble upon a clever idea that makes you more productive or the app that you'll use for the next eight years. I'm going to fully enjoy exploring Things 3 this week.
Then, I hope I forget about it again for a few years.