Apps We Love: Things ( with Dropbox thrown in )


Things from Cultured Code is an easy to use task management application built from the ground up for the Mac. While at first glance, it looks like just another GTD themed app, it’s actually very flexible and can conform to your specific workflow. I find it invaluable for keeping track of anything and everything in my life, from work to play. There’s also a iPhone version of Things. While being standalone, it syncs flawlessly with the desktop version for the ultimate in to-do management between devices and locations.

By far, my favorite feature is the Quick Entry dialog that you can invoke with a single keystroke. I have mine set to Option-Space. When you press those keys, up pops a simple dialog box where you can type in a task and optionally add tags, notes, a due date and file it into a project. New in the latest release is a ‘Show and autofill’ option. What this does is take whatever you have selected, for example a piece of text or an email, and places it into the notes section of the Quick Entry dialog. That way, you can quickly create todos from emails, web pages, calendar events and even other to-dos.

The one thing that it doesn’t do natively is sync between computers, using MobileMe or some other means. However, I actually have syncing working across machines using the awesome Dropbox. Here’s what I did:

  • Start Things so that is creates a local library.
  • Move the resulting ~/Library/Application Support/Cultured Code/Things directory to your drop box.
  • Open up a terminal window and cd to the ~/Library/Application Support/Cultured Code directory.
  • Create a symbolic link to your Dropbox Things directory: ln -s <Your Drobbox directory>/Things Things

That’s it. Things will now load up the Things database on your Dropbox and Dropbox will keep the database in sync to your other computers.