My job sees me making a lot of to-do lists. Let me dramatically emphasize the important elements of that previous sentence: my job sees me making a lot of to-do lists. My day-to-day revolves around making sure things are getting done and ensuring that everyone knows what they need to be doing and when they need to get it done. That is why the Things app was a lifesaver.
Things is a to-do list app. When I downloaded it for my desktop, I quickly discovered the premiere service for keeping track of my to-do lists. I could move items and lists around with a lovely drag and drop system. I could assign lists to specific schedules. I could build to-do lists for myself and other employees, which can be sent out via email through the app. You could tie lists to subjects. To call Things super, super, super helpful is an understatement: it was what finally allowed me to reitre my trusty old paper planner after years of loyal use. That was really hard.
I had no problems with Things until I was going on vacation and had to work remotely. I downloaded the mobile version for my phone and while it was initially very similar, I quickly realized that it’s not the same experience. While I understand that there are limitations when you move into the mobile realm (after all, it’s a phone screen versus my giant iMac screen), the drop-off in level of convenience between mobile and desktop was massive. It wasn’t necessarily one big problem. Rather, it was many little problems that just started to add up and get on my nerves.
For example, if you finish a task, you can tap it and it grays it out…but it stays on the list. That really, really bothers me: why won’t it just go away? That may seem like a bizarre, OCD gripe, but for organizational purposes, it’s a pain. It doesn’t move out of the way, it just stays where it is. The app eventually removes it at the end of the day, but it messes with me.
There’s an irony here: the organizational app is unorganized.
My other major issue is with a recent update, which removed auto-syncing from the app. This means that changes I make on my phone will not automatically change on my desktop. The new system employs cloud storage for “continuous updates,” but it’s clumsy compared to what came before. To put it much more simply: I don’t like it. (*This has recently been fixed, but Kelly wants to make it clear that she still hates the app. -ed.)
I should reiterate this: I love Things. I use it every day on my desktop. The app, however, is not an appropriate representation of this terrific service.
I’m no designer and I’m not a developer, but there are handful of potential changes that would appease me, the loyal user. When you check something off, at least give me the option for it to be removed immediately. Also, you should be able to reorganize your lists on the app through basic drag-and-drop: it’s what makes the desktop version so appealing and having to enter a separate “edit” page on the app to change things is a pain.
These may sound like tiny things, but when taken together, they were frustrating enough that I stopped using the mobile version altogether and started keeping a word document with everything I needed to get done. There’s a huge problem when your to-do list app is outdone by a word document.
The desktop version of Things is $50 and is worth every penny. If I had given it a test run on my phone first with the $10 mobile app, I never would’ve given it a second chance. Those little problems just added up and painted a great product in a negative light.