All Things Speed

Apple Shortcuts, Keyboard Shortcuts, and Major Performance Gains – Things 3.15 is here for macOS Monterey and it’s all about speed. 🚀

All Things Speed

Apple Shortcuts for Mac

Life-hacking corner-cutting super-nerds rejoice! Apple has brought the Shortcuts app to Mac and we’ve built integration with Things. This means you can run shortcuts seamlessly across all your devices. 🎉

For those who haven’t tried the Shortcuts app yet, here’s a simple example. Say you want to do something over and over, such as create a to-do in your “Personal” list and apply the tag “Errand”. Instead of filling out the details every time, you can create a shortcut that fills it out for you. Use Things’ Add To-Do action in the Shortcuts app to set this up:

Shortcuts app
Set up a shortcut to quickly add errands.

Give your shortcut a name, like “Add an Errand”, and then try running it:

  • On iPhone, you can say “Hey Siri, add an errand.”
  • On iPad, you can hit Cmd Space and type “add an errand”.
  • On Mac, you can assign a keyboard shortcut, or use the new Shortcuts menu at the top of your screen to quickly get at your favorites.
Shortcuts Menu Bar
Quickly run your favorite shortcuts from the menu bar on macOS Monterey.

Try it yourself

We’ve created a few example shortcuts for you to download and try out. Click one to add it to your Shortcuts library. Once you’ve added a shortcut, you’ll be able to customize it to suit your own needs.

Add an Errand

Quickly create a new to-do with your Errand tag already applied.

Pack for Flight

Create a packing list instantly and set the deadline for when you fly.

Shop for Essentials

Create a list of essential groceries with just a few taps.

Save My Location

Save your co-ordinates to revisit later. Handy when exploring new places.

Show My Work Deadlines

Open the Deadlines list filtered by your work tag.

Do Weekly Review

Split your screen between Things & Calendar to do your weekly review. (Mac & iPad only)


Of course, you can also create your own from scratch in the Shortcuts app. Have fun experimenting and looking for ways to speed up your workflows – but beware! 🤓

For more information about the Shortcuts app, see Apple’s documentation.

Major Performance Gains

Over the past months we’ve put a ton of work into improving performance. We’ve changed how lists operate under the hood and unified large portions of our Mac & iOS code. The resulting speed boost will be most noticeable for those with very large databases and many projects, but the app will generally be snappier for everyone.

Performance
Things is now significantly faster across the board.

There were also a few situations where Things would behave differently on Mac & iOS. As an added benefit, our work on code unification has eliminated such quirks, providing a more consistent experience across devices.

International Keyboard Support

Another improvement in this release is for shortcuts of a different kind: keyboard shortcuts.

With the release of macOS 12 Monterey and iPadOS 15, keyboard shortcuts can adapt to your specific keyboard layout. Apple’s own apps have adopted this behavior on Mac and iPad, and we’ve now built it into Things.

If you have a US keyboard, your shortcuts won’t change. On non-US layouts, shortcuts involving letters will mostly stay the same, but shortcuts with special characters will now be easier to type – and some that were previously impossible to use can now be typed for the first time!

Check out our updated keyboard page for your layout. You can also look in the menus on Mac, or hold down Cmd on iPad.

Further Improvements

We’ve also brought many of the great new improvements from our recent iOS release to the Mac:

  • Widgets let you choose which list the “+” button saves to.
  • Things uses time-sensitive notifications so your reminders get through even when you’re in Focus mode.
  • When importing from Reminders, Things also imports your tags.
  • Things integrates with Quick Note: View a list in Things, then switch to Apple Notes and click the “Add Link” button.

All these improvements are available now in Things 3.15 for Mac and Things 3.15.5 for iPhone & iPad.

Don’t forget that if you want to use Apple Shortcuts on your Mac you’ll need to upgrade to macOS 12 Monterey first. We hope you enjoy using Shortcuts across your devices and look forward to seeing what you build with it!

Things for iOS 15

This is our big fall update for iOS 15. It’s packed with great improvements, including two new widgets for iPad, widget customization, support for Live Text, and much more! Available now in Things 3.15 for iPhone and iPad.

Things for iOS 15

Two New XL Widgets for iPad

We’ve added two new extra-large widgets for the iPad’s big screen, and they’re delightful:

  1. The first, called “Up Next”, helps you stay on top of your schedule. It shows your to-dos for Today, Tomorrow, and the two days after that.
  2. The second is the extra-large “List” widget. It shows a single list, but in two columns so you can see more to-dos at a glance.
Two New XL Widgets for iPad
Stay on top of your schedule with the extra-large Up Next widget (top). See more to-dos at a glance with the double-wide List widget (bottom).

Widget Customization

Things’ widgets have proven super popular. Many of you have written in to say you’d like more customization options, so we’ve added two improvements that we think you’ll enjoy:

  1. Plus Button Behavior. By default, the + button saves a new to-do to your Inbox. You can now change this to the currently-displayed list. Simply tap and hold the widget, choose Edit, and change the “Plus Button” setting. You can also hide the button entirely.
  2. Custom Themes. By default, Things’ widgets follow the system’s light/dark setting, but many of you told us that you prefer your widgets to be always dark or always light. You can now control this behavior in Things → Settings → Appearance. We’ve also added a beautiful Black theme.
Widget appearance
You can now change your widgets’ theme in Things’ settings. If you have a black wallpaper, the new Black theme looks slick.

Live Text

There are many ways to quickly get content into Things – via the Share extension, Quick Entry, Siri, Mail to Things, and more. Today a new option called Live Text is added to the list, and it’s awesome! It lets you capture text simply by pointing your iPhone’s camera at it.

Try it out: Open a to-do, tap in the notes field, tap again to bring up the menu, and activate Live Text. Now point your camera at some text and voila! It automagically appears in your to-do. ✨

Live Text uses your camera to insert text in your notes.

Improved Notifications

iOS 15 provides more ways to control your notifications and there are two improvements for Things:

  • Announce Notifications. If you receive a text message while wearing headphones or driving in your car, Siri will read it to you. This now also works for reminders you’ve set in Things. You can enable this feature in iOS Settings → Things → Notifications.
  • Time-Sensitive Notifications. iOS 15 introduces a new feature called Focus that cuts out distracting notifications. Since notifications from Things are time-sensitive, we’ve made sure they can still get through. You’ll be prompted to allow this when your first notification is delivered.

Shortcuts Work Across iPhone and iPad

If you’ve been using Things with Apple’s Shortcuts you’ll know that actions created on the iPhone don’t work on the iPad (and vice versa) without a complicated workaround. We’re happy to report that once you upgrade to iOS 15, this limitation is gone. 🎉 Simply add a Things action to a shortcut from either device and it will work everywhere.

Great External Keyboard Support for iPad

Things has had outstanding support for external keyboards for a while. The app is fully navigable from your keyboard, and there are many powerful shortcuts. With iPadOS 15, it gets even better:

Keyboard shortcuts menus
Things’ many shortcuts are now neatly structured into menus.
  • Keyboard shortcuts are now neatly structured into menus. Simply hold down the ⌘ Cmd key to see what’s possible.
  • While in Split View, Things can now show if it has keyboard focus. Certain elements in Things will dim when it doesn’t have focus, and brighten when it does.
  • There’s a handy new shortcut: with a to-do selected, hit ^ Ctrl Return to bring up the context menu. You can then navigate the options with your arrow keys.

And More

  • Support for the new Apple Watch Series 7.
  • If you have an Apple Watch with an always-on display, Things will now stay visible when you lower your wrist and nicely dim the screen’s contents.
  • We’ve added support for the iPad’s new Quick Note feature. Invoke Quick Note while viewing a list in Things and you’ll see an option to link to that list.
  • If your iPhone or iPad is locked and you swipe right to reveal your widgets, your to-dos are now redacted for privacy.
Apple Watch Always-On display
Things’ complications look great on the new Series 7 (left). Things now dims when you lower your wrist but your to-dos remain visible (right).

Things 3.15 is available now for iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch. We hope you enjoy these great new features!

*Remarkable* Notes

We’ve got a terrific update for you today, and it’s all about your notes. Four great new features go hand in hand to elevate your note-taking to a whole new level:

1. Bullet Lists
2. Markdown
3. Find in Text
4. Things Cloud “Fractus”


When you open a to-do, your notes take center stage. It’s where you capture any extra info you need to get the task done. While many of your notes will only be a line or two, some can grow quite long – with detailed plans, reference material, brainstorms, and so on.

The longer a note gets, the more important it becomes to have a way to structure it. That’s what today’s update is all about. It’s the biggest change we’ve made to notes since Things was first released, and we think you’re going to love it.

Let’s take a look at what’s new.

Bullet Lists

Things now supports bullet lists and they couldn’t be easier to use. Simply type - followed by a space. But wait, couldn’t you already type bullets in your notes? Indeed, but now they get the treatment they deserve:

  • Text that wraps to a new line is neatly indented.
  • When you hit Return a new bullet is inserted; return again escapes the list.
  • And you can now create nested lists!
Bullet lists are now perfectly structured and easy to use.

To nest a list, simply insert spaces in front of a bullet. You’ll notice that the bullet lines up perfectly with the text on the previous line, as if by magic! Try it, it’s cool 🤓

In addition to using - for bullets, you can also type *, +, or 1.. If you’ve already written lists with any of these characters, there’s nothing you need to do – they’ll automatically look great when you update to 3.14.

Together, all of these little touches make working with bullets a pleasure, and they’re so much easier to read.

Markdown

As many of you requested, you can now use Markdown to structure and style your notes. 🎉

If you already know Markdown, go ahead and try it out. Things detects a wide range of commonly-used syntax and renders it in a unique blend of proportional and fixed-width fonts. It looks and feels great!

If you don’t know Markdown, here’s how it works. To emphasize a word, simply surround it with asterisks, like so: *emphasized*. Things will detect this and render the word in italics. If you remove the asterisks, it goes back to normal again. Here are a few more examples:

  • Use two asterisks to make text **bold**.
  • Use colons to ::highlight:: text.
  • Insert a hash at the beginning of a line to make a # Heading.

Here’s how it looks in Things:

Markdown lets you style text while you type.

If you’re new to Markdown, this will all seem a bit quirky at first – but we encourage you to try it out! Many people love Markdown, and you might end up liking it, too.

To learn more, be sure to check out our Markdown Guide. We’ve also added many great keyboard shortcuts for Mac and iPad. On iOS, you can double-tap a word, then tap Aa and choose a style from the popover.

Markdown and bullet lists are also great on iOS.
Markdown and bullet lists are also great on iOS.
Light
Dark

Find in Text

Things’ Quick Find feature does a great job of searching across all your lists. But sometimes you want to narrow the search to the note you’re writing, especially if it’s a long one. For this, we’ve added a new option called Find in Text.

Simply open a to-do and hit ⇧ Shift ⌘ Cmd F. On iOS, open the to-do and tap •••Find in Text.

You can now search inside a note.

Things Cloud “Fractus”

Last but not least, we’re happy to announce Things Cloud “Fractus” – a smart new method for syncing text.

Only the text you modify is synced.

Until now, each time you modified a note – say to insert or remove a few words – the entire note would be synced again across all your devices. With our new method, only the fragments of text you modify are synced. This drastically improves the speed and efficiency of the sync, and allows for smarter resolution of conflicts.

There’s nothing you need to do to enable this – we’ve already rolled it out.


We’ve been testing these features internally for a while now, and it’s hard to imagine writing our notes without them. We hope you enjoy this update, and look forward to hearing what you think!

Things 3.14 is available now as a free update for all our customers. Get it now for Mac, iPad, and iPhone.

New Things for macOS Big Sur

macOS 11 Big Sur is here and Things is ready to go, with great new Widgets, Rich Notifications, and design tweaks to make Things look just right. Today’s release also brings full support for new Macs with Apple Silicon chips ✨

Things on macOS Big Sur
After careful tuning, Things’ design and layout look great on macOS Big Sur. It also comes with a beautiful new icon for your dock.

The New Widgets

The powerful new widgets that recently came to iOS are now available on your Mac, giving instant access to your most important lists. You can add as many as you want.

To set them up, swipe the Notification Center in from the right side of your screen. The default widget will show your Today list, but you can configure it to show any list you like: right-click the widget and choose Edit Things to flip it over.

You’ll notice that you can also use tags to filter the list you’ve chosen. This is useful if you want to focus on particular types of to-dos, such as Errands you need to run, Work items, and so on.

Widgets filtered by tags
Sharpen your focus with tag-filtered widgets.

Rich Notifications

Notifications are so much better now.

Rich Notifications

Before, you could only snooze an alert for 10 minutes, but now you can choose how long: 10 minutes, 30 minutes, or 1 hour. There’s also an option to complete your to-do directly from the alert. Perhaps best of all, the app no longer jumps to the foreground when you hit snooze! 🙃

Apple Silicon

Apple has announced three brand new Macs running on their very own Apple M1 chips – a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini. As of today’s release – 3.13.2 – Things fully supports the new architecture in these machines.


This update is available now for download on the App Store. We hope you enjoy it!

Newer Posts