Hey, things:///

Things 3.4 has just hit the store with three fantastic new features: Linking to Things, Powerful Automation, and Handover from other apps – all made possible by our brand new Things URLs.

“Hey, things:///”

Things now supports a special kind of link (or URL) that starts with “things:”. These links are just like the ones you use every day on the web, except they allow you to send a variety of commands to Things.

Here’s an example: things:///show?id=today. Tapping this link will open Things and tell it to show your Today list. Try it now if you already have Things 3.4 installed.

These Things URLs enable three great new features. Let’s take a look at what each can do!

Linking to Things

You’ve already seen how to link to your Today list, but you can link to any list in Things: Upcoming, Logbook, one of your projects or areas, and so on. You can even link to a specific to-do buried deep inside a list. Some examples:

Getting a link is really easy:

  • On your Mac, right-click any to-do – or list in the sidebar – and choose ShareCopy Link.
  • On iOS, in the top right corner of a list, tap ShareCopy Link. For a to-do, tap to expand it, then tap ShareCopy Link.

You can now paste the links anywhere you like. Manage a project in Things, but keep your writing or brainstorming in another app? No problem: paste your project’s link into the other app and quickly jump back to it in Things. Of course, you can also link related to-dos and lists inside of Things itself.

Powerful Automation

Beyond using these links for simple navigation, they can also be used to execute a broad range of powerful commands from outside of the app – to create to-dos, show tag filters, perform searches, and so on.

Here are a few examples (if you’ve already updated to 3.4, you can tap to execute them):

  • Add a new to-do to your Today list. (Try it!)
  • Add a new to-do with a start date of this weekend. (Try it!)
  • Add a new to-do with the “Errand” tag. (Try it – this only works if you already have a tag with that name.)
  • Search your to-dos for “Weekly Report”. (Try it!)

Creating these commands yourself is a bit technical, but if you’re adventurous and willing to experiment a little, they allow you to automate many of the things you frequently do. We’ve built a little tool to help you get started: Launch Link Builder

Incredible Machinery

Once you’ve built your custom links, you can paste them into apps like Launch Center Pro or Launcher for easy access. Or you can use apps like Workflow to chain multiple commands and apps together into clever workflows.

Tech journalist Federico Viticci has been playing with this feature for several weeks already, and you can read about what he got up to over on MacStories. Also be sure to check out the workflows from the guys over at The Sweet Setup.

Handover From Other Apps

The final feature made possible by Things URLs is to create entire projects from other apps – complete with notes, headings, and to-dos.

The fantastic mind-mapping tool MindNode, for example, now allows you to brainstorm new ideas on an empty canvas and then “hand it over” to Things as a project when the time is right.

Handover from Mindnote

We’re happy that Drafts has also built this feature into their upcoming version, and hope to see more apps with integration soon. Any other developers wanting to export data to Things can easily do so with our open source Swift library. Just have a look at our documentation.


Things 3.4 is available now as a free update for all our users. We hope you find some creative and useful ways to wield your new linking power! 🤓

Mail to Things

We’re excited to announce a new feature: Mail to Things! A powerful new way to create to-dos from other apps, services, and platforms. Available now in Things 3.3!

Mail to Things

The Critical First Step

Corralling all your to-dos into one place – Things’ Inbox – is the critical first step in getting control of a busy life and staying organized. For this to be effective, you need to be able to capture everything – only then can you be confident that nothing important has slipped through the cracks.

Until now, Things has provided four easy ways to do this: Quick Entry, Siri, 3D Touch, and the Add to Things extension. The problem, for some people, is that these methods are only available within the Apple ecosystem – and many of our customers have asked for more ways to create to-dos from more places.

So today we’re introducing Mail to Things – a new feature that opens your Inbox up to all sorts of new workflows that were previously impossible.

Let’s take a look at how it works.

Outbox to Inbox

Mail to Things is extremely simple to use. You send an email to Things Cloud, and it appears as a to-do in Things.

Try it out:

  1. Open Things Cloud’s settings.
  2. Enable Mail to Things.
  3. Send an email to your new @things.email address.

It’s that easy. The email’s subject becomes your to-do’s title, and the rest goes into the notes.

Email to-dos directly to your Things Inbox.

Email to-dos directly to your Things Inbox.

Thanks to the ubiquity of email, you now have “Quick Entry” everywhere. Here are three ways you could use it:

  1. Send to-dos to Things from other platforms, like your PC at work.
  2. Forward an email to Things from your iPhone; Things will link back to the email so you can find it again later.
  3. Give your @things.email address to a trusted partner or colleague so they can delegate to-dos to you.

Since any workflow that sends an email can create a to-do in Things, there are literally hundreds of ways to use this feature. Really – you can get seriously nerdy…

Powerful Workflows

Mail to Things is more powerful than it might seem at first glance. Thanks to various apps and online services – such as Workflow, IFTTT, and Zapier – you can use Mail to Things to build workflows that create to-dos for you automatically.

The possibilities for these workflows are so many and so varied that it’s too much to cover here – but we’ve prepared a support document with a few examples to show you what’s possible. You can adopt them into your own setup, or build your own.

Finally, just a tip for all our developer friends out there: GitHub allows you to set an independent email address for notifications, so you can use Mail to Things to have Issues delivered directly to your Things Inbox, with a link.

Funny that an email feature... creates less email :)


As 2017 draws to a close, we reflect on what has been a remarkable year for us. We shipped the long awaited Things 3, which has been received exceptionally well, and even won a second Apple Design Award. In the seven months that followed, we kept busy adding some great new features and improvements: repeating to-dos in projects; Siri integration; support for third-party app links; drag & drop for iPad; support for iPhone X; and now Mail to Things. All the while, our heroic support team has handled just over 44,000 inquiries. What a year! Thank you all so much for using Things and supporting its development; we truly appreciate it.

More great improvements are already on their way for 2018, so we’re really looking forward to the coming year. Happy Holidays to you all, and see you in 2018!

Hello, X!

The iPhone X is here and Things looks great on it.

Things on iPhone X

When we designed Things 3 we got rid of as much of the app’s ornamentation as possible. As a result, the app is already perfectly suited for the iPhone X’s new edge-to-edge display – we only had to make a few small adjustments, which are available now in Things 3.2.4.

One of the changes we made for Things 3 actually turned out to be quite splendid for the iPhone X: the removal of the row of buttons along the bottom of the screen. Because this is gone, your to-dos now flow all the way down to the bottom of the device. It kind of looks like you’re holding a piece of paper (which is what we designed Things 3 to look like) and it feels really great in your hand. We think you’re going to love Things on iPhone X.


By the way, we’ve also released 3.2.4 for iPad, which adds some basic shortcuts for external keyboards. We hope you enjoy these updates!

Exciting New Things for iOS 11

We’ve just shipped Things 3.2 with three awesome new features: Direct integration with Siri, drag & drop for iPad, and link detection for third-party apps. This update also provides full compatibility with iOS 11 and watchOS 4. Let’s take a look at how these new features work.

Siri & Things

In iOS 11, Things is directly integrated with Siri. We emphasize “direct” because we’ve actually had a Siri-to-Things feature for years – but it has been using the Reminders app as a go-between. With Things 3.2, you can now speak directly with Things – it’s an entirely new way to interact with your task manager.

You can speak naturally when using Things, making requests in two general categories: creating tasks and viewing lists.

Adding a task with Siri

Creating tasks is quite easy. Here are a few examples:

Add a task in Things.
Add “buy milk” using Things.
In Things, remind me to “buy milk”.

You can include a date or time:

In Things, remind me to “buy milk” tomorrow at 10 AM.

You can add a task directly to a list:

In Things, add “buy milk” to my “Shopping” list.

Viewing a list with Siri

You can also view any list. Simply refer to your projects or areas by name (or part of their name).

Show my Today list in Things.
Show my “Presentation” list in Things.

This also works great for tags. So when you’re running errands in town, say:

Show my “Errand” list in Things.

You can even query the Upcoming list to see how your week is looking:

In Things, show my list for this week.

Siri saves you from having to type, and makes task management with Things effortless.

Drag & Drop

Our second feature for iOS 11 is drag and drop for iPad. It allows you to drop content into Things from other apps – either as new to-dos, or into the notes of existing to-dos.

For example, you might want to link to emails you need to get back to later. Simply drag the email with your finger – from Mail into Things – and let go. The new to-do will include a link to the email so you can easily open it later:


Dragging emails from Mail into Things.

To add something to an existing to-do, simply open the to-do first and then drop the dragged content into its notes. For example, you might want to add a series of links while researching something:


Dragging links or texts from Safari into Things.

Third-Party App Links

Finally, Things 3.2 delivers one of your most-requested features: support for third-party app links! In the past, if you created a link to another app, such as Ulysses, you would see a string of text like this:

ulysses://x-callback-url/open?id=imkX-yOF9WgAT5pNg0P7Pw

The problem was, Things didn’t know this was a link to a file in Ulysses, so it just displayed it as plain text. But in 3.2, Things now understands that it’s a link and makes it tappable for you:

Third-party app links

This feature makes it possible to reference files from a myriad of other apps and then access them later with a quick tap. We haven’t tested it with every app, so if you notice any links that don’t work as expected, please let us know.


Things 3.2 is available now as a free update for all our users – we hope you enjoy the new features! Stand by for a Mac update on September 25th, which will bring full compatibility for macOS High Sierra.

Have a great and productive week!

Things 3.1: Repeating To-Dos & Date Parsing

Things 3.1 is out! It introduces repeating to-dos in projects, and improves the parsing and formatting of dates in many languages.

Repeating To-Dos in Projects

Since the release of Things 3, we’ve had loads of great feedback. One of the features requested the most is for repeating to-dos to also work inside of projects – and now they do! It’s great for long-term projects where you have daily or weekly tasks that need to be performed until your project is complete.

Play

To support this feature we also had to upgrade Things Cloud, so make sure you update to 3.1 on all your devices to continue syncing.

The date parser is now fluent in 7 languages

Things’ natural date parser makes setting dates and times extremely easy. For example, it converts relative terms like “in 5 weeks” or “in 35 days” into a precise date like “August 7”.

In 3.1, the parser is now fully aware of your device’s Language & Region settings. If your system is set to a language Things is localized in, it not only understands what you type, e.g. “15 jours”, “15 días”, or “15 Tage”, but it also presents the calculated date properly formatted: “lun. 17 juil.”, “lun, 17 jul”, “Mo. 17. Juli”, etc.

Natural Language Date Parser

Finally, this update also adds full support for both parsing and displaying dates in Japanese. 楽しんで!

Things 3.1 is available now for Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch.