The new feature in Things 1.3 has become known to us internally as “Mixed Projects”. This feature is quite simple and once you have used it, it is hard to believe it hasn’t been there all along.
Previously, we required any given project to only contain items of the same type. This was a deliberate design decision, and one of the few we came to regret though. Still, it has shaped both the structure of the database and the logic that was implemented in both the Mac and the iPhone and iPod touch apps. No more. Having removed this restriction not only makes Things more flexible, it also prepares the ground for bigger things to come like cloud sync and other projects (“Troy”, I am looking at you). ;)
So what is new? Before Things 1.3, an active project, for example, could only contain next action steps. Of course, those would all show up in the Next list. Now, active projects can have someday and scheduled to-dos as well. Someday or scheduled items of active projects will not show up in Next, giving users the ability to add nice-to-have but not strictly required items to a projects, or to-dos that cannot be started until a certain date.
All scheduled to-dos, whether contained in a project or not, will appear in the Scheduled list, giving you the complete timeline of all to-dos that have a start date. Similarly for someday items in active projects. These will appear in the Someday list in a new collapsable section. To create someday and scheduled to-dos in active projects, simply use drag and drop or the commands from the “Items” menu.
When you cannot or do not want to continue working on a certain project, you can deactivate it, e.g., by moving it to the Someday list. Even if you do so, the project will retain its structure. Next time you’ll re-activate it, your previous choice of what should be a next action step, someday, or scheduled to-do will be preserved.
Inactive projects will be removed from the source list, but they will still appear both in the Someday list and the Projects list just as they always did. This way, projects you cannot do something about anyway, will no longer clutter up your source list. Similarly for to-dos contained in inactive projects, they will no longer appear in any list until the project is re-activated again.