In Things, you can add notes to to-dos and projects to 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 to find relevant information quickly. Here’s how Things helps with that.

Structure notes with bullets

Bullet lists in Things are as easy to use as typing - followed by a space. They allow you to structure a lot of information in a way that is easy to read and quick to parse.

Write great bullet lists

In addition to using - for bullets, you can also type *, +, or 1.. To indent or nest lists, simply put the cursor in front of the bullet and hit the Space key, or use ⌘ Cmd ] on Mac and iPad.

Shortcuts are localized. Please look up the correct combination for your keyboard’s language on our keyboard shortcuts pages for Mac and iPad.

Format text with Markdown

When adding notes to your to-dos in Things, you can style the text in the notes section **bold**, *italic*, or ::highlight:: phrases that deserve extra attention. If notes run long, you can add structure with # Headings.

Using Markdown to format text in notes

If you’ve never used Markdown before, it’s a bit different from Rich Text editors that you might be used to, like Apple Pages, but it’s incredibly easy to learn. To apply the formatting, just a few special characters like *, :, or # are needed. Things will then turn this Markdown syntax into a visible style in your notes and checklists. The special characters will remain visible, making it easy for you to edit them if you want to change a style.

Learn more in the Markdown Guide.

Use keyboard shortcuts or the menu to format text

If you are used to do everything from the keyboard, then you’ll be happy to discover that you can fall back on a wealth of shortcuts, and they are the same between the Mac and iPad. The most common ones you’ll probably already know: ⌘ Cmd I turns text italic and ⌘ Cmd B makes it bold.

Learn more about keyboard shortcuts for Mac and for iPad.

If you have trouble remembering the basic Markdown syntax, you can also use menus to style your text.

Mac
  1. On your Mac, open Things.
  2. Select any text inside the notes section of a to-do or project.
  3. Right-click on the selection and select EditMarkdown.

Alternatively, you can also go to the menu bar at the top of your screen and click EditMarkdown.

iPad & iPhone
  1. On your mobile device, open Things.
  2. Open a to-do and tap inside the notes section or a text selection.
  3. In the black pop-over, tap Aa and select the style you want to use.

For more style options, hit > at the end of the popover.

Autocorrect and Substitutions

On the Mac, spellcheck and substitutions in the notes section can be adapted to your needs. Here's how:

  1. Open any to-do.
  2. Right-click into the notes section.
  3. Select Spelling and Grammar or Substitutions.
  4. Check or uncheck options according to your preferences.

On mobile devices, these settings are global and can’t be changed on a per-app basis.

If you want to keep smart quotes and smart dashes in regular text, but don’t want any code snippets or commands to be reformatted, you can add code fences first, and the paste your command into the code block.

Code fences help retain dumb quotes and dashes

Search notes with Find in Text

With longer notes you might need some help quickly locating a specific word or phrase.

Description...

The content of notes was already included in searches when using Quick Find. With the new Find in Text feature, the scope of the search is narrowed down to the note you are currently working on.

Of course, you can trigger Find in Text from the keyboard on both Mac and iPad. If you prefer using the menu, here’s how:

Mac
  1. On your Mac, open Things.
  2. Open a to-do or project.
  3. Place your cursor inside the note or checklist.
  4. In the menu bar at the top of your screen, click EditFind in Text

Hold down ⌥ Opt while in Edit to change the menu to Find and Replace in Text.

iPad & iPhone
  1. On your mobile device, open Things.
  2. Open a to-do.
  3. Tap > Find in Text in the toolbar at the bottom.

At this time, Find is limited to notes inside of to-dos on mobile devices. Find in Text is not available in checklists and project notes.

On an iPad with a hardware keyboard, you can also use these keyboard shortcuts.

FAQ

Can I hide the Markdown syntax? – No. We have no plans of supporting this option.

Can I style my to-do titles? – In order to keep your lists looking tidy, the styling will not show in to-do titles or names of projects or areas. The styling only applies to the notes and checklists inside of to-dos, and to the notes in projects. For eye-catching titles, consider using emojis.

Can I change the text color or size? – Changing the font size or color is not supported.

Can I hide links behind text? – Not at this time. Links will be displayed at full length.

Can I use buttons instead of writing these special characters? – Yes, there are menu options. You can find them up here.

Can I add images to my notes? – Images, or attachments of any kind, are not supported at this time. You can upload them to a cloud service and copy the URL to your photo or file into the notes, though.