Learn a few ways to quickly add new to-dos to Things while you’re working in other apps.
Sometimes, when you’re replying to an email or browsing the web, you might think of something you want to jot down. Things makes it easy to do that before you forget, and without losing focus on what you’re doing. You can even automatically link to a website, email, or file, and capture snippets of text that you need to refer to later. Let’s have a look at how it works.
If you want to import large sets of data from other apps into Things, please have a look at this page instead.
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The Share option is native to Apple’s Operating Systems and allows you to quickly create new to-dos that include links and text from within many apps.
- Open Safari. In the toolbar at the top of the app, click the Share button.
- Click More...
- Turn Add to Things on. Things will now appear when you click the Share button in other apps.
A more powerful alternative to Share on the Mac is our own Quick Entry with Autofill feature. Learn more here.
When you share a file from Finder to Things, it won’t be attached to the to-do but we’ll add a link to where it lives on your Mac. To access the file from another device, store it in a cloud-based service, like Dropbox, and add the file’s URL to the notes of your to-do.
iPad & iPhone
- Open Safari and tap the Share button.
- In the row of colorful icons, swipe left and tap the More button.
- Tap Edit in the upper-right corner.
- Scroll down until you see Things.
- Tap + to add Things to your Favorites. Things will now appear in the row of share extensions when you tap the Share button in other apps.
Things can only accept plain text as input. The Operating System will intelligently omit Things from the Share menu if you are trying to share content that’s not supported (photos, PDF documents, etc).
Drag and Drop
Drag and drop is a great method of adding content to the notes of an existing to-do. You can also use it to create entirely new to-dos.
- Open Things.
- Drag and drop from another app to Things.
Some apps that allow you to drag into Things are Apple Mail, Safari, or Finder.
When you drop a file into Things, it won’t be attached to the to-do but we’ll add a link to where it lives on your Mac. To access the file from another device, store it in a cloud-based service, like Dropbox, and add the file’s URL to the notes of your to-do.
iPad & iPhone
On your mobile devices, you can drag content from some apps into Things, for example from Apple Mail, Safari, Messages, or Maps.
If dropping content into Things doesn’t work, it might be because the content you’re trying to add is not supported. Things can only accept plain text as input, so dragging in files (photos, PDFs, etc) won’t work.
For information on how to use multitasking on iPad, or drag and drop on iPhones with iOS 15, see Apple’s guides.
Quick Entry (Mac-only)
On Mac, you can add to-dos from anywhere via two features called Quick Entry and Quick Entry with Autofill. They allow you to quickly capture thoughts, and include relevant details, without switching away from what you are currently working on.
To learn more about Quick Entry (with Autofill), please check out our page here.
Apple’s Live Text feature lets you capture text simply by pointing your iPhone’s camera at it. This makes it easy to turn real-world text from books or even scribbles on a whiteboard into a note in a Things to-do.
Live Text is available in the notes of to-dos and projects. It’s not available in the titles of to-dos or checklists.
Apple has limited the feature to iPhone. On iPad, you can merely select text on existing photos, but not live capture it.
Mail to Things
Mail to Things is a powerful way to create to-dos by sending an email to Things Cloud. This will create a to-do in your Things Inbox. The email’s subject becomes your to-do’s title, and the email’s body is added as the note. Learn more here.
Siri & Shortcuts
- Siri on iPhone and iPad gives you the ability to interact with Things by speaking. Learn more here.
- On the Mac, and on your mobile devices, you can use Siri to create tasks in Apple Reminders and move them into Things later. Here’s how to set it up.
- You can use Apple Shortcuts with Things to create workflows that enhance your productivity, making it easier to add to-dos to specific lists, automatically include content from other sources, and much more. Find examples here.
Copy and Paste
Here’s how to quickly convert a simple list from apps like Apple Notes, Apple Mail or any other text app into to-dos in Things:
- Copy a plain text list and hit ⌘ Cmd V inside Things. Each line of text will be converted into a separate to-do.
- Copy a plain text list and hit ⌘ Cmd V inside an open to-do. The first line of text will be converted into the title of your to-do, the rest of the text will be added to the notes of the to-do.
iPad & iPhone
- Copy a plain text list and hit in the top right corner in Things. Each line of text will be converted into a separate to-do.
- Copy a plain text list, tap into the title of a new to-do in Things, and hit in the top right corner. The first line of text will be converted into the title of your to-do, the rest of the text will be added to the notes of the to-do.