Personal task management tool for macOS We are happy to introduce a full-featured Mac OS app that does everything you expect from Chaos Control: handling your goals, task management, setting reminders, planning and much more. The desktop format is perfect for the "tree" navigation which helps you to categorize your goals using folders. Please note that you can create nested folders to make your project structure more convenient, e. Here is an example of a set of goals related to public speaking.
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In fact, the options are plentiful enough that choosing just one productivity app to use is not easy. And for those of us who naturally focus more on process than outcomes, it can be downright debilitating to land on the best productivity app.
There are a couple of factors to keep in mind when choosing the best productivity app for Apple users. First, thanks to the focus from development teams, this has been a competitive space. Second, how knowledge workers manage their work has had a lot of attention. Since David Allen first published Getting Things Done in , personal productivity became a household term. As a result, there are a lot of other styles of tools available to choose from today. Some folks make a case for ditching your task manager and using the calendar instead.
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Others swear that habits are more important than goals and projects. And no matter what system you use, Pomodoro timers can help maintain your focus and energy levels while you work. Choosing a tool to meet your needs in requires a level of self-awareness about how you do your best work. If you struggle to keep up with all your tasks, we can show you some organization tips that may help you. But knowing what they are and how they all work will help you be more organized, save time, and ensure you are using Things in the way that suits you best.
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You can get it right now. A task manager needs to be easy to get our ideas into, it should offer several organizational options, and it needs to be available on all our devices. However, other considerations have melted into the background. Do we need to look for apps that offer syncing? And although some of the newer alternatives to this space deserve a look, our recommendation will be limited to those tools that are genuinely focused on managing projects and tasks.
Here are the criteria we considered in more detail. To be sure, there are plenty of other options.
The 6 Best GTD® Apps For Getting Things Done
The productivity category of the Mac App Store is full — ridiculously so — but there is a lot to sift through, and not all of it is high quality. There are also plenty of web-based applications that may suit your needs best see Asana , Basecamp , Flow , Remember The Milk , or Trello. Many of these are more focused on teams and less on personal productivity. While not as customizable as some of the other options, Things is just so well-designed and hits enough of our criteria that it comes out as our top choice. However, this is a difficult choice to make. There are really no wrong choices here.
While Things is our choice as the best option, you cannot go wrong with any of the contenders. While not quite as powerful as OmniFocus, 2Do offers more flexibility and options than Things wrapped in a nice interface. And Todoist is a very solid option that works well with a team and gives a consistent experience across devices.
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While aesthetics were at the bottom of our list of criteria, the look and feel of Things 3 is so good that I want to start there. To be clear, the design of this app goes far beyond how it looks. Things has always been a pretty app, but Things 3 brought that aspect of being pleasing to another level. A lot of apps use animations to add cues to their interface; Things makes it buttery smooth. Animations are tricky. When done right, they can add context, give subtle hints about what is possible, and add delight. Cultured Code nailed the balance between subtlety, utility, and delight with the interactions included in the latest version of Things.
When we talk about the design, we should also include the navigation of the app itself. Any good Mac app includes keyboard shortcuts that enable the user to be more efficient. Things 3 nails this as well. Open the app and just start typing. Rather than force you to open the Quick Find modal, Things starts displaying search results when you type anywhere in the app that is not an input. Why not just show people what they need immediately?
A pleasure! One has to search to find a piece of functionality that is not available via the keyboard.
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When it comes to design, there is one characteristic of Things that got my attention more than any other. That is…. When I first gave Things 3 a look, this is the feature that sold me. A long time ago, Things was my first task management tool as a new Mac user, but with the slow development times at Cultured Code and a lack of sync support, I made a move to OmniFocus. For the better part of 5 years, I never gave Things any further consideration. When I first tried Things 3, something clicked for me. I wrote about it in my initial review :. There always needed to be a secondary piece of software required.
Things 3 is the first tool that made me think there was a chance I could handle it all in one place. And indeed, a project in Things feels very much like a blank document rather than a rigid checklist. There is space for notes and reference information that does not feel like a simple free-form text field that is a second-class citizen in the apps UI.
Things, as well as many of the apps in this space, do a good job of making it easy to get stuff into it. Using the Quick Entry dialog, you can quickly type a customizable shortcut and enter in a new task. Most task management apps offer this feature, but what I like about Things is, again, the usability. The form includes all the necessary fields, while also including excellent support for using just the keyboard. Even better, with the Things Helper, you can create tasks from a currently selected item in other apps.
Using this, Things will include a link back to the original item. Using one master inbox for all your inputs becomes a lot more feasible with this type of functionality. On iPhone and iPad, Things is increasingly supported by other third-party apps thanks to its behind-the-scenes URL scheme. Our favorite email app for the Mac and increasingly for iPhone and iPad as well plays nicely with Things; inside Spark, you can simply swipe an email in your email list to send the entire email message or just a link to your Things inbox so you can act on the email as though it were a task.
One of the aspects of Things that has always been important is how it structures the tasks that make up your life. One of the primary tools you will need for your GTD implementation is a list manager. This is a place to store your lists and is most often what people mean when they ask what the best app is for GTD.
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