Jumping out of Things

I find it very distracting, that when I open the Things for iPad - it always opens the Next focus first. I want to see the Today focus first, why the hell would I want to check my Next list first?? Even better - open the page that I have been looking at last!

Really? Mine already does that: it opens to whatever I last viewed. I just performed a test to see where it would open if terminated completely and it opens to Today.
@richelieu, I always kill the apps on the iPad from the background after using them.. Things for the iPad will go onto the last page you visited ONLY if you keep them running in the background..

Otherwise it will always go onto the Next focus.
You're wasting your time by killing suspended applications on a regular basis - there's no need to.

[daringfireball.net]

[speirs.org]
@richelieu I'm not wasting my time, I am saving memory from my iPad for it to function much snappier (you can study this by downloading a software to monitor the memory usage on your iPad). But no point of arguing about this here as it is over the topic..
You're right, no point arguing about it, you can read the full technical description here:

[developer.apple.com]

However, I don't know why yours would be returning to the Next focus after killing the suspended app. I tested it here and on the iPhone, after killing it, it returns to the area that was previously being viewed. On the iPad, after killing it, it always returns to the Today focus.
Perhaps it is an exclusive feature only to iPad 2 or something, but in my case Things will always return to Next focus after killing it..

P.S richelieu, as I said - you can download a memory check program for iPad and see yourself how it behaves when you don't kill the apps vs if you would kill them from the background. Perhaps it doesn't matter much with iPad 2.
The iPad always returns to the last view for me as well...

(and I do find the iPad snappier if I close the programs, but I never do. If you don't close them then iOS will sometimes need to shutdown an app in the background when the forground app requests memory... not too slow, but not nothing)
I'm using an iPad 1, so it's not a feature exclusive to the iPad 2. Devastat, are you running the latest version of iOS and TiP?
Manually killing background applications is a waste of time. 90%+ of the time, you're not killing anything, as the app isn't running anyway.

Have a watch. This is Frasier instrumenting what's going on. If you watch the video and pay attention, it should become very clear:

[speirs.org]

The task bar does not indicate what's running. It's simply a LRU list of what has been run.
I like to think that the reason the development of Things 1.x is so slow is because they are hard at work on 2.0 behind the scenes. But you know, I'm an optimist.

Seriously though, what is killing me right now is the lack of ability coordinate to do's with my staff. I figured it was only a matter of time once they installed the "Teammate" feature... but over a year later, I'm still waiting for my teammates to be anything more than just a list of things I am delegating (which I then have to do manually, and check up on them manually, with is a giant PIA).

But you guys are pointing out a lot of other features that, now that you mention it, I would really like! Good thing you are also pointing out some alternative software options!
@richelieu Yes i have the latest TiP and iOS (5.0.1).

@catone Even if the app is on a frozen state in the background, it will use the memory of the iPad and slow things down - at least my iPad is much snappier if I don't have 30+ apps in the background. And some apps DO have processes on the background. For some people tho, the difference might be so small that it is not worth bothering..
Ok the reason why my TiP didn't go to Today focus upon launch is because I didn't have any tasks there so it will show the next focus instead. Would still much prefer for it to go to the last Focus I have been looking at - like it does in OF.
The iOS multitasking issues aside, I think Devastat's original points are valid.

Cloud Sync is great, no question. But despite having beta access for quite a while and despite extensive test-driving, I never switched entirely to Things because of it. And, for me that's the key point. Even before I got access to the beta, I asked myself: if Things had a perfect cloud sync solution, just seamless syncing, would it be my application of choice? Would I return?

No.

The new Daily Review is indeed an example of the bizarre path CC is charting. While it may seem nice or functional, it should not have been a priority. The issue at play here is that, in the hierarchy of features frequently requested by users, I can't recall anyone saying: "Gee, I'd wish there was a Daily Review implementation." Yet Daily Review was the first new feature in a long time. Other features should have taken precedence.

I can recall people asking for more crucial features. Just to name a few: subfolders, sequential tasks, better usability, Projects in Areas, a modal window in the Tag Editor, better team mate support, canceling tasks on iOS, etc. Some of these aren't hard to implement at all. Yet, we get a Daily Review. I'm not a software developer myself, but I assume it's good practice to order priorities by user requests.

And it doesn't mean Things has to succumb to feature bloat, to preempt that criticism. Rather it means making the software better. Devastat pointed out: "Things haven't evolve [sic] much for a very long time." And time is merciless on features that are broken or absent.

Finally, the question is: now that cloud sync is here, what's next?
I also wanted to comment on GTD Guy's comment (from the first page):

[qoute]I also find that the Things interface can actually become too complex! Although, it seems to be simple and intuitive, it doesn't scale up very well for my needs.[/quote]

Absolutely. If you have a few decent projects going, I urge you to take a look at Things's Next View. Then take a look at TT's Next View, where the number of Next Action Steps cannot be limited. It's overwhelming.

I also find Things becomes visually complex with a lot of tasks entered: there's colours, stars, Area prefixes, Due Dates, tag icons, notes icons, etc.
Guys,

I feel what's happening to Things is what's happening to a lot of small developers. Technology is developing faster than ever in this field. Only those companies large enough with the resources necessary will stay on top of it. Unfortunately for them, CC is not one of them. We don't need to see their sales or their ledger in order to know that. It's noticeable. The Omni Group has the resources. Others do too. CC doesn't.

When a huge company like Apple is on a lightspeed search for constant improvement, it becomes nearly impossible for a smaller company to keep up.

Look at how many apps there are. How many have gone onto oblivion without ever having been even noticed? Things is a very nice app but it can't keep up. Will CC deliver the sync? Sure. But it took them too long. The words now are 'create tasks via twitter', 'communicate with social networks and integrate your events there', etc. CC will simply not keep up with it.

OF as ugly as it is, is a powerhouse. I read so many comments of people in this forum finding ways to improvise in Things what's been available in OF forever. Once again, technology (OF) proves it doesn't have to be pretty to be functional. But, in my case, it so ugly it impedes my performance. Think early PCs vs an iMac.

Things is beautiful but limited. OF is limitless but I found myself wasting more time trying to integrate all the many functions OF offers. I am sticking with Things and taking it at face value, not expecting more than it currently offers. I like Things fro its simplicity. If more levels and subfolders are added, it would lose its simplicity.
"OF is limitless but I found myself wasting more time trying to integrate all the many functions OF offers."

Which has to do with you and your methods than anything else. Blaming the software for your inability to focus is like blaming a menu for having too many items to choose from.

"I like Things fro its simplicity. If more levels and subfolders are added, it would lose its simplicity."

Then Things will die. I don't believe Things needs as many features as OF, but to believe that Things should stand still while other applications grow because they might lose 'simplicity' is a joke. Hopefully Culturedcode believes differently.

Things is beautiful, but as already stated, once you start throwing everything at it it breaks down, and suddenly the simplicity turns into a mess.
"Blaming the software for your inability to focus is like blaming a menu for having too many items to choose from. "

Dude, have you tried OmniFocus? If it were a menu, you'd have to manually click on a bunch of food items, sort things perfectly and set-up a custom view just to see the Appetizers section.

I will agree that OF is more flexible, but it makes you work pretty hard to enter your 'to do's', doesn't allow much flexibility for working with stand-alone action items and is a visually cluttered mess. Its missing critical features too like SCHEDULING for crying out loud.

I tried really hard to jump onto the OF bandwagon this weekend, but its just too much of a PIA to enter items when I'm 'downloading' my thoughts, too complicated to sort so that they show up they way I want to see them and WAY too visually cluttered. Things does all these things better. Planning my work shouldn't be work in and of itself.

Neither program is perfect, neither has matured to a rich feature set yet, and I wasn't sold on any of the other task managing alternatives I was researching either. Neither Things nor OF does what I need; to be able to sync tasks with my employees in my office. For now I'll stick with Things since I managed to kludge together a solution using iCal sync that keeps my workflow method stable, prevents me from having to port everything, and at least gives my employees some tools for organizing their workflow. But as soon as I find a good desktop-based realtime sync solution, I'm out. At least this feature is on the radar "holding" in Things... but I have been waiting for over a year now since the "teammate" feature came to be.
@Arisaema dracontium

I see we agree on some points. There is an app that is web-based, has desktop companions for both PC and Mac and allows to sync tasks with collaborators. It is around $10/mo. but well worth it in my opinion. It also has an amazing interaction with Evernote and Dropbox. The name is Nozbe. I have used it and love it. That's all I use for work. Things I use for personal stuff only.


jakeg is one of those poor lost souls who hangs out here hoping for someone to pay him some attention. There, I mentioned you. You are important. Your life has meaning. You have been acknowledged!
I will agree that OF is more flexible, but it makes you work pretty hard to enter your 'to do's', doesn't allow much flexibility for working with stand-alone action items and is a visually cluttered mess. Its missing critical features too like SCHEDULING for crying out loud.

@Arisaema

Dude, have you really used OF? I've created all the focuses I have in Things (Scheduling included) and it did not take me very long to do that..
I will agree that OF is more flexible, but it makes you work pretty hard to enter your 'to do's', doesn't allow much flexibility for working with stand-alone action items and is a visually cluttered mess. Its missing critical features too like SCHEDULING for crying out loud.

Dude, have you really, really used OmniFocus?

Because you can do all of that and way more.
I will certainly say that I have not "really <i>really</i>" used OmniFocus. Obviously, there are a lot of ways to set it up to meet someones particular needs. But I have pretty simple needs, Things has been serving them well for a while. Its just that now, those needs include sycing.
I think OmniFocus is just as complex as you make it out to be.

Some people get by without ever opening the Inspector, without ever using custom perspectives, etc.
I said it once before and some will agree.

Things is a great task manager OF is a great project manager.

OF can do everything Things can. Things cannot do everything OF can. For complex projects that require subfolders, alarms, recordings, I use OF. For everyday tasks, I use Things.
I think that's very well said.
You know what's a great task manager? Pen and Paper.

Things should be a great project manager, but it's not. So close. I can't imagine using two applications for tasks/projects, and most people aren't going to bother. Right now I use Omnifocus for both, and I haven no problem with it.

I'm a big fan of Things, but it needs more flexibly.
I think it's a great analogy.

But I can manage tasks with Reminders, too. No need for Things then.
I have made the transition to Orchestra now that it has repeating tasks. Syncs beautifully and has a great iPhone app. Desktop and iPad apps are in development. In the meantime I am using the webapp with Fluid.

I wish Cultured Code the best of luck.
@ gary

Things should be a great project manager, but it's not.

This is an opinion, not a fact. I, and I imagine many others, do not see nor want, Things to be a "Project Manager". For one thing, it's not a person! ;)

Seriously, If I want project management capabilities, and I don't need Critical Path capabilities (a la M$ Project), I use TD, which is what I do at work. Of course, they make the same complaint, that it doesn't have PM capabilities, there). I don't believe that the original vision for Things was as a PM tool. It appears to be intended as a task manager, a role it fills fairly well. From what I read, OF is a much better PM tool, and I'm very happy it's out there for those who want all that horsepower. I don't, and I don't want to have to navigate something as complex as that to manage my personal task list. For that, Things is at a pretty nice level. It has what I need, and little else.

I'm guessing, and inviting others on both sides of this issue to weigh in, that the majority of Things users do not want Things to be a PM tool. There are plenty of them out there, with a range of features from simple (relatively speaking, but starting out much more complex than Things, more like OF) to labrynthine, like Project. Take your pick, and leave Things as a task manager, please!

I encourage others to weigh-in here. How many want Things to have PM capabilities, and how many of you like it pretty much as is, with, of course, a few of your favorite enhancements?

Just for clarity, I would consider, at a minimum, the following features to be considered a PM tool:

1. At least 5 levels of tasks, including "Projects" themselves

2. Task dependencies (When a task is marked completed, another task automatically moves to the Today list)

3. Delegation and tracking capabilities

4. Task durations & summaries of durations at the level above.

5. Gantt Chart, or some sort of time-based view

Others may think of additional requirements I haven't thought of or don't consider necessary in my "minimum" list.

So who wants this kind of complexity in Things?
1, 4, 5 no
2 maybe
3 yes
My experience with similar applications that allow task delegation and tracking (e.g. Flow), is that the level of complexity increases substantially. Once it gets to this level of complexity, it's better to use a dedicated project management system likeTeamWorksPM or BaseCamp.
Hmmm...

Guess I wasn't very clear in my post. I wasn't just looking for critiques of my list, but also

HOW MANY OF YOU WANT THINGS TO BE A PROJECT MANAGEMENT APPLICATION!

Thanks.
@JMTee

Then Things is a Project Management tool already for you!
@salgud

I would like it but for that Things need nested projects and parallel/serial tasks/projects at the very least.

Gantt maybe (for big picture visualization)

Delegation: not necessary
@Salgud

I guess it is, albeit a very lean one. However re-reading the above, I think I have misinterpreted what you meant with 'Delegation and tracking capabilities' in your point 3. I just want to be able to better 'track' the tasks I have 'delegated' to others and which I'm now waiting for; i.e. I hope the People feature will eventually evolve to cater for this.
This is an opinion, not a fact. I, and I imagine many others, do not see nor want, Things to be a "Project Manager".

How in the world would that be a fact. Of course it's an opinion, and it's my opinion, that's why my name is beside it.

Your list of what makes a project manager, believe it or not, is your opinion. I generally disagree with absolutely everything you say, but I don't need you to tell me your comments are your opinions. I just tend to ignore whatever you're rambling about.

FWIW, and in dealing with you I know it's not much, my reference to a project manager was in regards to what cod said:

OF can do everything Things can. Things cannot do everything OF can. For complex projects that require subfolders, alarms, recordings, I use OF. For everyday tasks, I use Things.

There's no reason Things can't do complex projects just as well as OF, and yet as much as I like Things, I return to OF because IN MY OPINON it does complex projects, especially when dealing with many projects, much better than Things.

COD says he only uses Things for daily tasks, and it should be much more capable than that. My comment had nothing to do with your views of Project Managers from the 50s.
There's no reason Things can't do complex projects just as well as OF,

OK, try creating subfolders on Things, setting alarms, flagging tasks.

If you do this with Things, let us know how you do them.
@gary

Bad time of the month for you? ;)
gary, salgud,

How about the both of you growing up a little? This was a worthwhile thread and could be again. If you want to throw darts at each other, take it somewhere else, please.
I think the strong opinions and frustration in this thread is directly caused by the lack of communication or transparency by the Cultured Code to their client base.

We as customers have paid for this tool, which they have marketed as a solution, yet what we try to discuss/suggest/get help on our purchase, we recieve silence back. They refuse to provide a roadmap with dates or versions, and the basic statement on their product as see it:

It is what it is.

I continue to try to find a better solution, or hope that the project will go open source. I am incredibly frustrated, yet have become so accustomed to the Things software and may various kludges and workarounds that transitioning to another software would be a laborious, time consuming, and perhaps costly process.
As a longtime user of Things, I share many of the frustrations expressed above. Wunderlist has been a welcome option for all my Team related tasks. For all personal work, Things continues to be my [reluctant] favorite! Looking forward to Things 3 soon……

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