Developer: Cultured Code
Price: $9.99
Version Reviewed: 1.3.8

Appearance Rating: ★★★★★
iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★★
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★★★

Overall Rating: ★★★★★

basic-1Use
When you open Things for the first time you’re presented with a list showing where everything is kept. Inbox is where every new task goes by default. Today is for tasks that are happening or due today. Next is for items that are due. Scheduled is for tasks that have been scheduled. Someday is your stuff that’s not urgent, but you just want to keep it handy. Projects is a folder for batches of tasks that pertain to well… your projects. Finally Logbook is where completed tasks live for your review until deletion.

Things for iPhone works best with its Mac app counterpart. Wireless syncing is easy to set up and offers a huge advantage when it comes to managing several tasks. But even if you don’t have a Mac or don’t want to shell out the $49.95 for the main app, you’ll still have a lot of power and flexibility available in the iPhone version alone.

Features
There are lots of nice little touches Cultured Code has added to Things to make it handy for everyday use. There are little buttons you can push in the list views which induce new functionality and sorting power. These allow you to organize new tasks quickly and sort by due dates, key words, and importance. It’s also really easy to move tasks between lists and projects.

task-1The instructions for using Things are on Cultured Code’s website. You should also watch the QT video and you’ll see how easy this app is to use. As I reviewed the webpage and video while writing this, I realized how painfully inept I am at using Things to its full capacity. Yet the simplicity of use is what makes it so good. I’m not forced to use it a certain way. Though I’ll get a lot more out of it by using all of its features, it’s working just the way I want it to, and this makes me very happy. It’s a friendly little app.

Day-to-Day Use
It’s really easy to tap something in quickly and not having to worry about forgetting it anymore. I’m no stranger to the library, and one of my favorite uses for the Things is having a Project labeled Library where I can enter all the books I have checked out and their due dates. I have each book with a due date and a reminder to come up one day before then so that I’ll either take back the book or check it out for another three weeks from my library’s website.

Things is a really stable app. I’ve never had any problems with it and I’ve been using it for a long time. Cultured Code has also been quite regular about updating it with increased functionality. This is especially true when it comes to bug fixes—I’m certain it takes longer for Apple to approve the updates than it does for CC to write the code and submit it.

Finally, there’s a lot of attention to detail that I like here. The flexibility of managing your tasks is astounding. I also really enjoy being able to customize my tags without using the desktop app. I don’t know why this appeals to me so much as I’ve only used this a couple of times, but it’s just kind of soothing to me knowing I have this much control. Muuaahh haaa haaa. If you sync with the desktop app, the syncing screen is really well done too, but this is purely aesthetic, and there’s no practical value to this… other than the fact that nice aesthetics are pretty to look at.

task-5Negatives
I would like to see the email function built into the app so that when you send the email you don’t have to restart Things. I recently downloaded another iPhone app that has this feature, and think it is something available to developers under the 3.0 OS (though I reserve the right to be wrong on this). (Updated 7/8/09: As of Things 1.3.7 the built-in email sheet is built in as part of the iPhone 3.0 software.) Other than that, if you’re looking for just a simple task manager, Things might be a bit of overkill for you at $10. Otherwise, the worst case scenario I can think of is a slight case of buyer’s remorse, or getting in trouble with your spouse for spending $10 on an iPhone app. (Man, I hope my wife doesn’t read this.)

Conclusion
As I said above, I’ve been using Things for a long time and am well satisfied with it. Even when I hit times that I don’t use it often, it has earned a permanent spot on my iPod Touch. Simple users (like me) won’t be disappointed and power users will be able to do whatever they want to organize their personal and business lives. Things is a great product and I’m certain will only continue to get better. Go buy it. Now.

Posted in: iPhone Apps and Games, Productivity, Reviews

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