Differences Between Things 2 and Things 3

Last Updated: Dec 06, 2019 02:06PM CET

If you’re an experienced Things 2 user, you might notice that some features are a bit different in Things 3.

Things has changed quite a bit, both visually and functionally. As a result, some features you’ve used in the past may have been removed or replaced with something better. Here we outline some of the key workflow changes.

My keyboard shortcuts don’t work the same

A number of keyboard shortcuts have changed to accommodate new features. For a full list of Things’ macOS shortcuts, see this page.

My Next & Scheduled lists are gone

Two of the main lists have new names:

  • Next is now called Anytime
  • Scheduled is now called Upcoming

We feel these names more accurately describe the purpose of the lists.

My “Projects” list is gone

We no longer have a single list to view all Projects because it wasn’t consistent with Things’ new design.

If, on the Mac, you used to drop to-dos onto this list to convert them into projects, that’s no longer necessary: just right-click the to-do and choose Convert to Project (or do it on iOS).

Areas reappeared in my sidebar

It’s no longer possible to hide Areas by suspending them. We decided to remove this feature because it wasn’t widely used and would’ve been complicated to bring to Things 3. If there is strong demand for it, we may consider bringing it back.

Daily Review has changed

We’ve simplified Daily Review to make it less imposing on your workflow. The improvements make it possible to rearrange to-dos freely, complete them in place, and filter by tag. The only functionality that has been lost is the ability to postpone the entire group in a single “start all later” action.

Deadlines no longer have a date offset

Deadlines used to have a relative offset, such as “show in Today 3 days before”. We’ve removed this feature and you should just set a normal start date instead, via When. Learn more about using dates here.

A bunch of overdue items appeared in Today

In Things 2, if you put an item with a due date in Someday or a suspended area, Things would not alert you. We’ve changed this for Things 3, so any past-due items will surface in Today.

Due items removed from Today don’t alert me tomorrow

In Things 2, a due item that was removed from Today would reappear the next day. We now remember that you’ve removed it from Today and don’t pester you by bringing it back. If you want it to reappear tomorrow, use When and choose tomorrow’s date.

Inherited tags don’t show on my to-dos

In Things 2, Tags inherited from Projects or Areas would appear directly on to-dos when viewed in other lists. To reduce clutter in the interface we no longer show these inherited tags on the to-dos themselves. But the change is merely visual – they still appear in the filter bar at the top of a list and you can still filter by them.

I can’t filter for items with deadlines

In Things 2, some lists included a button to filter by due date. That button is gone. We may find another way to solve this in the future if there’s strong demand for it.

I can’t change the font size

The font size in the Mac app has been bumped up to make it more legible on modern screens, but there’s no setting for changing it further. We may consider adding a font-size preference later.

I can’t sort my sidebar alphabetically

In Things 2, all projects in the sidebar were listed together in a single group, so ordering them alphabetically made it easier to find things quickly. In Things 3, Projects are nested under their Areas – this breaks them up into easily identifiable groups, so alphabetical sorting is gone.

I can’t see a timestamp inside my to-dos

In Things 2, it was possible to see the date a to-do was created or modified. The button that revealed this information has been removed, so we are not currently displaying this info. However, there is a way to reveal these dates with AppleScript.

I can’t create repeating to-dos for Calendar events

This feature was not widely used and has been removed. If you previously created a repeating to-do based on a calendar event, its template will be paused and you’ll need to adjust its recurrence rule manually at the bottom of the Upcoming list.

I can’t set a Daily Notification

Since you can now set reminders individually for each to-do, the once-daily notification has been removed.

Spotlight doesn’t find my to-dos

We decided not to integrate with Spotlight for now, but we may consider doing so later.

“Star Mode” is gone

In Things 2, there was a button on iOS to go into “star mode” and tap all the to-dos you wanted to put in Today. In Things 3, this has been replaced with general multi-select: swipe left to select all the to-dos you want, then tap When > Today.

We feel that all of these changes have made Things easier, faster, and more powerful. If you have any questions about the issues we’ve listed above, if you want advice on how to implement a workflow, or if you feel like it’s impossible to accomplish what you want due to these changes, please feel free to contact us!

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