"Things 3" For Getting Things Done

Posted by David Chism | Wed, Aug 1, 2018

 "Things 3" For Getting Things Done

Ever­note, Remem­ber the Milk, Google Tasks, Apple Reminders…

There are a pletho­ra of pro­duc­tiv­i­ty apps avail­able on the mar­ket. In fact, just about all the big play­ers out there have their own apps to help you get things done and remem­ber the lit­tle details of life. Over the years I have tried dozens of these options, always on the hunt for the ever-elu­sive per­fect app!” Well, I have yet to find it.  About a year ago, how­ev­er, Things did a major over­haul on their app. I had tried the orig­i­nal ver­sion and found it clunky and unhelp­ful, but thought I’d still give the new one a spin. To my sur­prise, the design final­ly looked more like some­thing I would actu­al­ly use. It also inte­grat­ed with Siri (I love using Siri and Alexa voice com­mands) and with all my Apple devices: watch, phone, lap­top, and desk­top. The com­pa­ny called the new Things app Things 3.”

5 Things To Love About Things 3

Here it is, a year lat­er, and I am still using Things 3 as my 7‑days-a-week tasks app. I can­not live with­out it! Briefly, here a few of my favorite things about Things 3, and rea­sons why you might want to give it a try if your pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and orga­ni­za­tion need a boost.

1: Cap­ture Your Thoughts

Because my brain is always going a mile a minute, and not always in pro­duc­tive direc­tions, my short term mem­o­ry stinks. This is where I use the app a lot. I don’t want to dwell on a thought when I should be focused on some­thing else. As soon as some­thing of inter­est enters my mind and I start to dwell on it, I’ll pull out Things 3 and jot it down (this new ver­sion makes it super easy). You can fol­low the Get­ting Things Done” guide­lines and put it into the Inbox” and file it lat­er, or just put it into the Today sec­tion. What­ev­er is eas­i­est for you and how you do things! I have found this to be one of the best ways to keep my stress lev­el low as well. Once it’s cap­tured and I know I won’t for­get it or lose the thought, I can move on with my day!

2: Skip the To-Do’s

I use project man­age­ment tools for my busi­ness. Those big tasks have start and end dates as well as dis­cus­sions with my team. Yet for the misc. tasks, ideas, and so forth that hit me through­out the day, both busi­ness-relat­ed and per­son­al, I need a good place for a brain dump! The prob­lem I had with many of the oth­er pro­duc­tiv­i­ty apps I tried over the years is that I would get over­whelmed see­ing all the tasks I did not get done that day. It would make me feel guilty! You for­got to take out the trash for 3 days now.… You nev­er did read the last chap­ter of that busi­ness book, did you?” As a default, Things 3 is just a sim­ple tasks man­ag­er that orga­nizes what needs to get done today, tomor­row, or some­day. If you want to throw in a dead­line and know when some­thing is com­ing up and/​or over­due (must-have dead­line), you can do that.  Most of the time, how­ev­er, I don’t use that fea­ture. I am a list guy. I just like to review the things I want to get done each day. I absolute­ly love check­ing the com­plet­ed but­ton too! Who does­n’t like check­ing off com­plet­ed tasks??? 

3: Today Screen

The Today screen is based on the book Get­ting Things Done.” It encour­ages pro­duc­tive peo­ple to use a Today list. A per­fect and pro­duc­tive start to a new day would have you open up Things 3 and spend 1 – 2 min (5 max) orga­niz­ing your Today menu. You’d quick­ly move things from your inbox (thoughts from the pre­vi­ous day) into the Today, Tomor­row, or Some­day sec­tion of the app. Then you’d drag up or down whichev­er tasks will be done in a cer­tain order (if you want). That’s basi­cal­ly it! If some­thing is not a high pri­or­i­ty and will just clut­ter up your Today screen, click and move it to some­day.” It’s that sim­ple. By the end of the day, I nor­mal­ly have a cou­ple tasks left. I also have got­ten into a good habit of look­ing at it a cou­ple times a day, but if I need a nudge about a reminder, I’ll opt-in for that and get it at a cer­tain time. 

4: Recur­ring Tasks

There are so many things in my life that are recur­ring, but I don’t like to be guilt­ed into com­plet­ing tasks that real­ly are not impor­tant, espe­cial­ly if they’re more of a goal than a strict to-do. As an exam­ple, I have a dai­ly goal of walk­ing for 20 min­utes, on top of any exer­cise I do at the gym. If I don’t do it, it does­n’t get marked over­due. It’s just there the next day wait­ing for me to view it, do it, and check it off. You might end up using it to write a sales goals down like Sell $10k today!” What­ev­er floats your boat or helps you feel good about your day!

5: Things At Home

To pig­gy­back on recur­ring tasks, I use Things for home main­te­nance and per­son­al bills, too. I have it set up as a reminder for cer­tain times dur­ing the month or year when I need to check things, like chang­ing my AC fil­ter, adding salt to my water soft­en­er, oil change in my car, etc. Because I have spent the time putting these tasks into Things 3, I can rely on the app to help make my life so much more sim­ple. It real­ly has helped free up my mind to focus on my busi­ness or what­ev­er I am doing at the moment. I’d much rather quick­ly toss things off my mind and into the Inbox to think about lat­er. Let me know what app(s) you all are using to help you be more pro­duc­tive and get things done. Have you tried Things 3? What do you think about it?

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.

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