Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with the app ‘Things’ in any way.
There are people in the world whose ability to sort tasks and manage their time is a nightmare. I’m one of them.
My desk at home is always a mess, I’m prone to remember things at the last minute, and I also have very little free time outside my day job.
When I’m at work, it’s an entirely different story. I’m a software engineer, and I treat coding much the same as I treat solving riddles. The coding language doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things — only if the algorithm suits the problem.
I have Parkinson’s Law working for me, I have our company’s task management system, and I’m in a different context because the goal is obvious — implement X by this design. But my personal dreams are not so lucid as those from the company. I want to be a fantasy author, but the road to get there is not so clear.
I’ve tried many apps to get my writing tasks done. I used a notebook; I used the iPhone’s reminders, calendar, and notes. I used other productivity apps, too. But Aside from Agenda — which I liked but didn’t fully connect with — I didn’t find an app that would help me get my tasks done. I’ve also tried to use a regular paper ledger. It usually doesn’t end well as I find them somewhere in the room some months later and decide that I’ve given up on them because I missed so many months in them.
And then I found Things on the app store. Now, not many people know this about me, but I’m a very Apple oriented person (yeah, haters gonna hate, I know). I have a Macbook Pro, which I write on, an iPhone XS Max as my smartphone, and an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil which I doodle on sometimes.
Getting Things on both my iPad (which comes with me to almost everywhere) and my iPhone (which is with me literally everywhere) seemed like a no-brainer. Paying the fee for the app both for my phone and my iPad left a little sour taste in my mouth, but I did it anyway because I recognized the app’s potential. It has a cloud feature, you see, so everything is synced.
And then managing my tasks started looking very different! When I had an idea for a blog post, short story, Medium piece, thought piece, newspaper item, or any creative work idea — I simply threw it up into the app’s inbox area. It’s like here on Medium when you have lots of drafts that will never become actual stories, but they are still there because you needed to offload them from your mind.
The app Things also has an integration with my calendar so I could literally take tasks and assign them an event. That allows me to look at how full my week is becoming and manage that better.
Overall, I think that Things have literally changed the way I work at home, and I can finally plan out tasks and offload thoughts from my mind towards a productive and creative writing career.
Don’t take away from this that Things would be the solution to your problems. It’s a solution to increase my productivity. But perhaps, you haven’t found the right app for you yet. Keep looking.