Using Dates and Times

Here’s how to use dates and reminders in Things to make sure your to-dos come to your attention when needed.

You can accomplish the most if you only have to focus on what’s important to you at any given time. Things allows you to plan your to-dos ahead, add reminders, or even a deadline to make sure to-dos come to your attention when you need them.

We strongly recommend that you take a look at Getting Productive with Things to familiarize yourself with the purpose of each of the default lists that are included with Things. Knowing what each list is for will make it much easier to understand how to effectively use dates in Things.

Today & This Evening: Add structure to your day

The Today list is your command center for the day. Here’s how you can add to-dos to this list:

  • You can create new to-dos here or drag and drop existing to-dos into Today.
  • A to-do will be automatically shown here when its start date arrives, which you assigned via When.
  • An instance of a repeating template will be shown here on the date you defined in the template.
  • A to-do will be automatically shown here when its Deadline arrives.
  • When you add a Reminder to a to-do, it will be shown here as well.

To structure your day, you can group to-dos in Today under a separate heading called This Evening. This allows you to move those to-dos out of the way which you can only complete later, but not lose sight of them during the day when you need to evaluate how much work is still left.

Here’s how to move to-dos into the This Evening section:

Mac
  1. On your Mac, open Things.
  2. Hover in front of the closed to-do and click the calendar icon.
  3. Click This Evening

You can also select a to-do and hit ⌘ Cmd + E. Learn more keyboard shortcuts here.

iPad & iPhone

Postpone a single to-do

  1. On your iPad or iPhone, open Things.
  2. Swipe right on any to-do to reveal When
  3. Tap This Evening

Postpone multiple to-dos at the same time

  1. Swipe left to select multiple to-dos.
  2. Tap When
  3. Tap This Evening

iPad users with a hardware keyboard can also use a keyboard shortcut. To learn more iOS gestures, check out this page.

Watch
  1. On your Watch, open Things.
  2. Tap a to-do to open it.
  3. Tap the arrow in the upper right.
  4. Tap This Evening

Upcoming: When do you want to start something?

In order to rely on your Today list to show you what’s relevant on any given day, planning ahead can really help ease your mind.

The Upcoming list shows your agenda for future and allows you to see how busy you’ll be. Here’s how to-dos are added to this list:

  • You added a start date via When. This will most likely happen when you can’t start a to-do just now, but already know when you’d like to begin working on it in the future.
  • Your to-do is a repeating to-do. The to-do will be listed on the date when it will be executed next.
  • You added a Deadline to a to-do. You can still do it any time, but the deadline tells you by which date you absolutely need to be finished. This to-do will also be shown in Anytime.

In addition, the Upcoming list can also show your events from Apple’s Calendar app for an even better overview of how busy you’ll be.

Here’s how to add a start date to your to-dos:

Mac
  1. On your Mac, open Things.
  2. Hover in front of the closed to-do and click the calendar icon.
  3. Pick a date from the date picker, or just type it.

You can also select a to-do and hit ⌘ Cmd + S. Learn more keyboard shortcuts here.

iPad & iPhone

Plan a single to-do

  1. On your iPad or iPhone, open Things.
  2. Swipe right on any to-do to reveal When
  3. Pick a date, or pull down to reveal Search and use natural language.

Plan multiple to-dos for the same date

  1. Swipe left to select multiple to-dos.
  2. Tap When
  3. Pick a date, or pull down to reveal Search and use natural language.

iPad users with a hardware keyboard can also use a keyboard shortcut. To learn more iOS gestures, check out this page.

Watch
  1. On your Watch, open Things.
  2. Tap a to-do to open it.
  3. Tap the arrow in the upper right.
  4. Pick a date.

Tip: Want to focus on tomorrow’s to-dos? Invoke Quick Find and type “tomorrow” to see the Tomorrow list. Learn more on this page.

Deadlines: The date you can’t miss

When you have been given a date by which you need to complete a to-do or face consequences, add a Deadline. Use it sparingly so you won’t numb yourself to the urgency of these tasks. If you just want to be reminded of a to-do, try adding a start date instead.

Here’s how to add a Deadline to your to-dos:

Mac
  1. On your Mac, open Things.
  2. Double-click a to-do to open it.
  3. Click
  4. Pick a date from the date picker, or just type it.

You can also select a to-do and hit ⌘ Cmd + ⇧ Shift + D. Learn more keyboard shortcuts here.

iPad & iPhone
  1. On your iPad or iPhone, open Things.
  2. Tap a to-do to open it.
  3. Tap
  4. Pick a date from the date picker.

iPad users with a hardware keyboard can also use a keyboard shortcut.

Watch
  1. On your Watch, open Things.
  2. Tap a to-do to open it.
  3. Tap Add Deadline
  4. Pick a date.

You can, of course, combine start dates with deadlines when it’s useful to have a little lead time: for example, pick a start date via When that’s a few days ahead of the Deadline to avoid nasty surprises.

Tip: Want to see all deadlines at once? Invoke Quick Find and type “deadline” to see the Deadline list. Learn more on this page.

Reminders: A nudge for time-sensitive to-dos

No one wants to be interrupted by constant notifications and alarms, but there are occasions when a nudge is useful. By adding a Reminder to to-dos that are time-sensitive you can focus on the work at hand, knowing that you won’t miss that important call or appointment.

Someday: Everything that’s not clear yet

Everyone has those to-dos that you want to tackle some day, but don’t have a clear plan for yet. You can safely chuck them into Someday until you have a better idea what to do about them.

Keeping your to-dos without a clear start or due date in Someday is a great way to keep your Anytime list manageable, too, because it will now only show the to-dos you can realistically accomplish next. You can update these lists during your weekly review.

Type ahead: Use natural date input

Instead of working your way through a calendar picker, you can also just type a date or relative date to tell Things when a to-do should be brought to your attention.

You can use natural language in both When and Deadline on the Mac by just starting to type; on iOS, pull down in When to specify your start date.

Here are some examples – notice that you don’t have to fully complete the term for a suggestion to pop up:

  • “tom” = tomorrow’s date
  • “eve” = This Evening
  • “2pm fri” = 2pm on Friday
  • “next we” = 7 days from the current date
  • “in 2 mo” = 2 months from the current date
  • “third thur in jul” = 3rd Thursday in July
Mac

Add a start date and reminder

  1. On your Mac, open Things.
  2. Select any to-do, or create a new one.
  3. Press ⌘ Cmd + S
  4. In the When popover, type when you want to start this to-do, for example “tom 8am”.
  5. Press Return

Of course, you can also just add a date, without a reminder time.

Add a deadline

  1. On your Mac, open Things.
  2. Select any to-do, or create a new one.
  3. Click the icon to set a deadline.
  4. Just start typing the date by which you must be done.
  5. Press Return
iPad & iPhone
  1. On your iPad or iPhone, open Things.
  2. Swipe right on any to-do to reveal When
  3. Pull down in the popover to see Search
  4. Type when you want to start this to-do, for example “tom 8am”.
  5. Tap Done

iPad users with a hardware keyboard can also use a keyboard shortcut.




Didn’t find what you were looking for?