Using Things on Apple Watch

Things for Apple Watch shows your to-dos on your wrist so you can mark them complete on the go. Here’s how it works.

We’ve designed the Apple Watch version of Things to be suitable for quick interactions on your wrist. Rather than being a full-blown app for task management, it’s a smaller version focused on task accomplishment. That’s why it shows your Today list and nothing else – so you can focus on what you’re doing now.

Install Things on your Apple Watch

Things for Apple Watch is included with your purchase of Things for iPhone. It requires watchOS 5 or later.

Once you’ve installed the app on your iPhone, you can proceed to install it on your Apple Watch, too.

Once the app has finished installing on your Apple Watch, you can press the Digital Crown on the side of your watch to locate the app and run it.

Connect to Things Cloud

The first time you run Things on your Apple Watch, you’ll be prompted to connect it to Things Cloud. This is necessary because Things Cloud is what keeps your to-dos in sync across your devices. If you don’t already have an account, you can create one for free.

When you tap Connect, your Things Cloud data will be transferred over to the Apple Watch from your iPhone. This could take a few minutes. Once it’s finished, your Apple Watch will begin syncing directly with Things Cloud.

Get things done

Things for Apple Watch is meant to be a simple companion to the main app you have on your other devices. Rather than being a full task manager, Things for Apple Watch only shows your Today list so you can focus on what you’re doing now.

So when you rise in the morning, open Things on one of your other devices and arrange the to-dos in your Today list in the order you want to do them. That order will then be reflected on your wrist, and you can go about your day, marking them complete as you go.

As you complete to-dos, you’ll notice that your progress is recorded in a ring in the top left corner of the screen inside the app. Just like with your activity rings, your goal for the day is to close this ring.

If you decide you won’t complete a to-do today, you can reschedule it directly from your watch:

  1. Tap a to-do to open it.
  2. In the top right corner of the screen, tap the arrow button.
  3. Choose a future date.

If you would prefer to simply remove the to-do from your Today list – and thereby remove it from your Apple Watch – tap Clear in the date picker. (This will put the to-do in the Anytime list on your other devices.)

Add new to-dos

You can use your Apple Watch to create new to-dos. When you create a to-do on your Apple Watch, it will sync to Things Cloud and appear on your other devices as well.

There are several ways to create to-dos with your watch: from inside the Things app, via a complication, or via Siri:

Inside Things
  1. On your Apple Watch, open Things.
  2. Tap the + button.
  3. Tap to speak your to-do’s title, or tap if you prefer to scribble it with your finger.

At this time, there’s no way to set dictation or scribble as a default input method; it will prompt you each time.

By default, your new to-do will be saved to Things’ Inbox, which means you won’t see it on your Apple Watch. If you plan to do it today, just tap the animation that appears and the to-do will hop over to your Today list instead.

Via Complication
  1. On your Apple Watch, add the + complication.
  2. Tap the + complication on your watch face.
  3. Tap to speak your to-do’s title, or tap if you prefer to scribble it with your finger.
The new + complication on Apple Watch

The “Add complication” requires watchOS 7. At this time, there’s no way to set dictation or scribble as a default input method; it will prompt you each time.

By default, your new to-do will be saved to Things’ Inbox, which means you won’t see it on your Apple Watch. If you plan to do it today, just tap the animation that appears and the to-do will hop over to your Today list instead.

Via Siri

You can use Siri to create new to-dos by speaking. Simply press and hold the Digital Crown on the side of your watch and say something like:

Using Things, remind me to buy milk at 5 PM.

Keep in mind:

  • Siri is an Apple service and requires an internet connection.
  • Siri requires you to speak with a specific syntax. If you don’t speak your phrases correctly, Siri will have trouble understanding you. Check our guide for some tips on what to say.

Add to-dos to Today by default

This setting will be applied to new to-dos created inside the watch app itself, or when using the Add complication.

  1. On your watch, open Things.
  2. In the Today list, tap and hold on the screen.
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Scroll down and toggle the Today switch on.
  5. In the top left corner, tap Done.

Enable complications on the watch face

Things provides several watch face complications that show you information about your to-dos at a glance. Complications are also useful because you can quickly tap them to open the app.

Things has three types of complications you can use, depending on your watch face.

Left: Infograph with Title and Add (+) complications. Middle: Infograph Modular with Add (+) and Title complications. Right: Siri watch face with a to-do scheduled for later that day and Add (+) complication.

Ring complications

Ring complications show the percentage of progress you’ve made towards completing every to-do on your Today list. Your goal each day is to finish that list, which closes the ring.

Title complications

Title complications show the title of your next 1 or 3 to-dos, so you can see what you need to do next.

Add complications

Add complications only show a + button. They allow you to quickly create a to-do from the watch face using dictation or scribble.

To add a complication to your watch face, follow these instructions.

A complication will sometimes show Things data from the iPhone which is more recent than the data inside the watch app. This means that when you open the watch app it might take a moment to “catch up”.

See to-dos on the Siri watch face

Apple’s Siri watch face tries to be clever, showing you different information throughout the day at a relevant time. We’ve made it possible for Things’ data to be shown there, too: if you set a reminder time for a to-do, Things will tell your Apple Watch that this to-do will be relevant at that time, so that it can appear on the watch face a little earlier.

Please note, however, that Siri decides what will be shown on the watch face; we have no way to force your to-dos to appear.




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