Things (application)

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Things for Mac 2.5.3 New App Icon, Mar 2015.png
Things for Mac 2.5 on OS X Yosemite, Nov 2014.png
A screenshot of Things’ main window
Developer(s) Cultured Code GmbH & Co. KG
Stable release
2.8 / September 29, 2016
Development status Active
Operating system macOS, iOS, watchOS
Available in English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese
Type Task management
License Proprietary

Things is a task management app for macOS, iOS, and watchOS made by Cultured Code, a software startup based in Stuttgart, Germany. It first released for Mac as an alpha that went out in late 2007 to 12,000 people[1] and quickly gained popularity. The following July, when the App Store launched, it was among the first 552 apps available for iPhone.[2] It was then released alongside the iPad in April 2010,[3] and became one of the first apps available for Apple Watch in March 2015.[4]

In December 2013, Cultured Code announced that they had sold one million copies of the software to date,[5] and in December 2014 the company announced that downloads had increased by an additional three million.[6]


Things has won multiple awards over the years. It first won the MacLife Editors' Choice Award in 2008, and then in 2009 it went on to win the Apple Design Award,[7] the Macworld Editors’ Choice Award,[8] and the Macworld Best of Show Award.[9] In 2012, after the release of Things 2, Apple selected it as Editors’ Choice, named it among the App Store Best of 2012, and inducted it into the App Store Hall of Fame.


Main features[edit]

Things allows to-dos to be subdivided into several sections, which correspond to parts of the Getting Things Done methodology:


  • Inbox is used to temporarily collect to-dos which have not been filed in a specific place yet.


  • Today highlights to-dos which are due, or scheduled to begin, on the current day; they are the user’s priorities.
  • Next is an overview of upcoming to-dos across all of the user’s projects and areas.
  • Scheduled contains to-dos and projects that have been postponed to a specific date, as well as to-dos that are automatically generated based on repeating patterns chosen by the user.
  • Someday is used to store to-dos which need to be done, but are not time critical.


  • Projects are collections of to-dos that contribute to the completion of a larger goal (e.g., "Plan Holiday"). Once the project is finished, the user marks it complete and it moves to the Logbook with all the to-dos it contains.
  • Areas can be used to organize projects and to-dos which correspond to the same, ongoing theme (e.g., "Work"). Unlike projects, areas are perpetual, do not have a checkbox, and are never completed.
  • Logbook is where projects and to-dos are stored for future reference after they’ve been completed.

Additional features[edit]

  • Quick Entry is an extension on the Mac that allows the user to create a new to-do while working in other programs. Activated by a global keyboard shortcut, it invokes a small pop-up window which automatically includes links to files or websites, and any text that was selected.
  • Add to Things is an extension on iPhone and iPad that, like Quick Entry, allows the user to send to-dos to Things from other apps. When saved, the new to-do is sent to Things’ inbox in the background.
  • Siri integration allows the user to speak to-dos to their iPhone, Apple Watch, or iPad, and have them automatically appear in Things’ inbox for later review.
  • Repeating Tasks are automatically generated by the app based on flexible recurrence rules, such as the last day of every month, every other Thursday, or two weeks after the last one was completed, etc. – whatever the user chooses.
  • Today Widget allows the user to quickly access their Today list from the Notification Center, either by pulling it down from the top of the screen on iPhone or iPad, or in from the right side of the screen on Mac.
  • Tags allow the user to further describe to-dos using the popular tagging organisation paradigm; lists can then be filtered by these tags to search for and focus on specific types of tasks.
  • Global Search allows the user to search through all their to-dos across projects, areas, and the logbook.

Things Cloud[edit]

Things Cloud is a sync service that stores the user’s to-dos and automatically keeps them updated across all their Apple devices. It was developed to replace the app’s original sync technology, which only worked over a local network. The company began alpha testing the new service in 2011 and, after an extended beta period, launched it publicly on August 9, 2012 with the release of Things 2.[10] A user can create a free Things Cloud account from within the apps’ settings.

In 2015, the company announced "Nimbus"[11] – an update to Things Cloud’s architecture which introduced push sync through the cloud (in addition to the push sync it already had across the local network[12]). The main benefit of the new push technology is that it delivers sync to iOS devices when the app isn’t actively running, by utilizing APNs.

Latest releases[edit]

Cultured Code publishes the status of Things’ ongoing development on their Arrivals Board and details each change in the release notes.

The latest stable releases are:

  • Mac: 2.8.8 — September 29, 2016
  • iPad: 2.8.8 — September 29, 2016
  • iPhone & Apple Watch: 2.8.8 — September 29, 2016

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Blanc, Shawn. "A Review of Two Things: One For the Mac and One For iPhone". Shawn Blanc. Shawn Blanc. Retrieved 13 September 2016. 
  2. ^ Arrington, Michael. "iPhone App Store Has Launched". TechCrunch. Retrieved 9 October 2016. 
  3. ^ Viticci, Federico. "Things for iPad, Reviewed". MacStories. Retrieved 9 October 2016. 
  4. ^ "Apple begins releasing the first set of third-party Apple Watch apps". 9to5Mac. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  5. ^ "Cultured Code Sells 1 Million Copies of Things". iClarified. Retrieved 9 October 2016. 
  6. ^ "'Free App of the Week' Brings Things 3 Million Downloads". iPhoneBlog. Retrieved 9 October 2016. 
  7. ^ "Apple Design Awards ceremony celebrates great iPhone, Mac apps". Macworld. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  8. ^ "25th annual Editors' Choice Awards: the complete list". Macworld. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  9. ^ "Macworld Best of Show 2009 awards". Ars Technica. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  10. ^ Blanc, Shawn. "Things and Cloud Sync". Shawn Blanc. Retrieved 9 October 2016. 
  11. ^ Hall, Zac. "Productivity app Things adds push sync feature to keep task lists auto updated across devices". 9to5Mac. Retrieved 9 October 2016. 
  12. ^ Bowell, Phil. "Things Cloud and Local Push". Retrieved 9 October 2016.